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A Delicate Karma: Recent Thoughts and Conversations

by Alan Metnick
Show Dates: April 7th - May 7th, 2011
Opening Reception: April 21st, 5 - 9pm
Art, Food & Wine: April 28th, 5 - 7pm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. /March 2011 — Gallery Z announces a solo exhibition of pastels and pen and ink drawings by artist Alan Metnick. The show runs from April 6th through May 7th, 2011. There will be an artist talk on Thursday, April 14th from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.

Alan Metnick, a Providence based artist presents “A Delicate Karma; Recent Thoughts and Conversations”. Inspired by his many travels to the Middle East, much of Metnick’s work is driven by his experiences in Lebanon and Israel, and comments on social, political, and religious events.

Metnick was born in Chicage in 1941. He received his BS in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1963, and continued to receive his MFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1973. Metnick works in a variety of different mediums, including photography, serigraphy, stained glass, painting and drawing. He has exhibited in numerous locations, including the Newport Art Museum.

Although some of the work Metnick presents dates back to 1976, much of it was created in the past few years after a disquieting experience while visiting Israel in 2006. As a whole, however, this body of work is a continuation of ideas, both visual and conceptual, that he has been concerned with for decades. “A Delicate Karma; Recent Thoughts and Conversations” is a collection of pastels and pen and ink drawings. For more information please see the attached artist’s statement.

The opening reception will be held on Thursday, April 21st, from 5 to 9PM, and the show will run from April 6th to May 7th, 2011.

Also, through April 6th, Providence College presents Alan Metnick, “The Photographs from Poland 2004-2008”. This powerful collection of photographs is on display at the Reilly Gallery, in the Smith Center for the Arts at Providence College. For more information visit www.providence.edu/art/Reilly.

The Art, Food & Wine Creating Awareness for a Cause event is held at Gallery Z on the last Thursday of every month. For this month’s event, Gallery Z partners with the participating Public Art Window organization The Armenian Cultural Association, with a display on the 96th anniversary of Armenian Genocide of 1915. Gallery Z will host a fundraising event to elevate public consciousness for their cause on Thursday, April 28th. This event, which will run from 5:00 – 7:00pm, will feature cuisine provided by a local restaurant and world-class hand selected wine provided by Mark Gasbarro of Gasbarro’s Wines located at 361 Atwells Ave. on Historic Federal Hill (www.galleryzprov.com)

Artist’s Statement

Much of my work is catalyzed by social, political, and religious events. Today I’ll start a conversation with myself in pen and ink about Tahrir Square which has been on my mind for weeks.
I have a particular affinity for the Middle East. I lived there for two and a half years. First in Israel, then Lebanon, and then Israel again. It’s an intense place. One feels pressure there, a compression as such.

The work being presented here goes back as far as 1976 but the vast majority of it was done in the last few years after a short stay in Israel in 2006 on the heels of Israel’s War with Hezbollah in Lebanon. I went to witness what Israeli’s call The Separation Barrier, but what most of the world refers to as The Wall. This is the cement and barbed wire structure that has been erected ostensibly to prevent Arab terrorists from easily accessing Israel with the purpose of bringing death and mayhem. In the process of bringing more short term security to the Israelis the erection of this structure has driven these two people further apart severely limiting what little exchange they had previously had with each other. In some places this structure has cut off Palestinian farmers from their own fields requiring them to seek permission from Israeli authorities every day to tend their fields. And there is of course the question of whether the land that was encroached upon by this structure will ever be returned. But the Barrier, the Wall, has unquestionably brought more day to day security to the Israelis. This cannot be denied.

This last travel to Israel also took me briefly along the border with Gaza, a disquieting experience as I drove with a couple of Israeli friends along a lonely, dusty road marked by the tread tracks of tanks and half-tracks. I walked the border with Lebanon the day the last tanks were leaving and saw the flimsy wire fence that stood between the two countries and the deserted buildings on the other side. I spent the better part of two days walking and driving on the Golan Heights alongside the border with Syria. These were not peaceful experiences. There are ghosts here. I’m not a religious person but whatever sense of soul one has is agitated and active in these places. I feel that it is the agitation and the compression that I referred to above that drives much of what is being presented here.

Alan Metnick
February - 2011