Jonathan Ferrara Gallery is pleased to present new works by artist Paul Villinski in his solo exhibition Glidepath. The exhibition explores the serene act of flight through a delicate meditation on found objects. Illuminating Villinski’s tendency towards the metamorphosis of tattered materials into evocative forms, Glidepath’s narrative of flight ebbs and flows from the explosive energy of birds made from LP records through the sinuous streams of blue flashe-painted butterflies crafted from found aluminum cans.
Of his recycled forms, Villinski says “I am drawn to humble, yet evocative materials; in this case, crushed aluminum cans from the streets of New York - every one of them once raised to someone’s lips. My process of “recycling” them into images of butterflies is a quiet physical meditation, a yoga of tin snips and files and fingers…they want to gather into a certain shape, or fly off on a particular tangent, and I let them. They function both as marks in these abstract, three-dimensional “paintings,” and as actors in curious narratives.”
In Glidepath, the energy of flight is harnessed in works like Diaspora, which travels to New Orleans after making its debut in Never Can Say Goodbye, a site-specific installation at the former Tower Records in New York City presented by No Longer Empty. Emanating from hand-crafted boxes made from discarded album covers, over 130 birds radiate outwards, each with its unique identity headed to an unspecified destination. Villinski then revisits his signature form of the butterfly, which embraces a quirky, magic-realist quality that reverberates in their scattered pathways through found objects including an old tank driver’s helmet in Wreath, a vintage flight suit in Vessel (for Amelia), a rustic glider instrument panel in Marker, dancing alight through works like On Final (for St. Ex), and pausing for reflection among works like Idyll, an antique French easel awash with butterflies. These ethereal compositions implicitly evoke the lurid beauty of the past and the act of transformation.
Paul Villinski (born York, Maine, 1960) has lived and worked in New York City since 1982. Villinski’s work has been included in more than ninety exhibitions, including Prospect.1 Biennial (LA) Rice University Art Gallery (TX, Ballroom Marfa (TX), The Hillwood Art Museum (NY), the Ogunquit Museum of American Art (ME), Carnegie Mellon University (PA), Arkansas State University, the University of Wyoming Art Museum, Wesleyan University and Jonathan Ferrara Gallery (New Orleans) and Morgan Lehman Gallery (NYC). He has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Millay Colony (NY), the Ucross Foundation (WY), the Djerassi Foundation (CA) and the Villa Montalvo Arts Center (CA). He taught as an Adjunct Lecturer in Art History at the CUNY LaGuardia Community College.
His work is in numerous collections including Fidelity Investments, Microsoft, New Orleans Museum of Art, Progressive Insurance, Virginia Museum of Art and The Museum of Arts and Design. Villinski has been reviewed and featured in numerous publications including ARTnews, Art In America, Artforum, Elle Italy, Metropolitan Home, Traditional Home, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Sculpture Magazine, The Art Newspaper, The Houston Chronicle, The International Herald Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Sun, The New York Times, The Times-Picayune, The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post.