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Out & About

July 11, 2013

Couple's art on exhibit in Westport

Couple holds exhibit at Atea Ring Gallery in Westport

WESTPORT — Artist Elena Borstein revisits architectural geometrics, color and light in “Elena Borstein: Recent Paintings,” an exhibition opening Saturday at the Atea Ring Gallery in Westport.

The gallery also hosts  “Iain Whitecross: Paintings.”

Borstein and Whitecross are married and live in Elizabethtown.

ARCHITECTURE INSPIRATION

Borstein’s “Reitberg-Two Views” (acrylic on canvas) offers an interior/exterior telescopic perspective of the extension to a 19th century museum in Zurich, Switzerland.

A Connecticut native, she studied at Skidmore College and the University of Pennsylvania. She is professor emerita of York College, City University of New York.

At graduate school in Philadelphia, she drew in the cavernous halls of an old building housing sculpture studios. Louis Kahn’s poetic musing on architecture inspired her.

That and a love of travel focused her eye on ordinary houses, white cubes aglow beneath cerulean skies, gracing Mediterranean hills and coasts.

VISUAL METAPHORS

Six years ago, she lived and painted in buildings designed by Tadao Ando on the island of Naoshima, Japan. She translated his critical-regionalism aesthetic into visual metaphors.

“Rokko” and Green Wall” capture not only the architecture’s concreteness but “salient associations, the sound of rain on the roof, the movement of shadows.”

About Borstein’s Andoan homage in a 2011 retrospective catalogue, author/critic Janet Koplos wrote:

“If one were to attempt an interpretation of this body of work, enclosure and protection are surely among the possible motives. Borstein stands in these places: she experiences them as geometry and color, the useful elements of art. But her interest in light as well as color, in space as well as plane, gives each setting breathing room.

“I’m reminded of Tadao Ando’s early architecture, with its empty, concrete courtyards in which sun and rain and wind mark the presence of nature. Borstein captures the same clarity and heightening of the senses in her paintings.”

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