Howard Werner & Michelle Stuhl
March 2, 2012 through April 28, 2012
PHILADELPHIA- In the main space, the gallery will host an exhibition of works by husband and wife artists, furniture maker Howard Werner and painter Michelle Stuhl. Show will run from March 2nd through April 28th. *An opening reception will take place on First Friday, March 2nd from 5 – 8 pm.
Howard Werner has been direct-carving sculpture and furniture since the mid 1970’s. Influenced by the work of Brancusi and Noguchi, as well as classical forms and primitive carvings, Werner uses a chainsaw to carve large tree sections into sculptural and functional objects such as benches, chairs, tables and vessel forms. This untraditional process is evident in much of the artist’s work, as flaws, cracks, and rough natural surfaces are highlighted and enhanced by his recessive carving techniques. Exposing the inherent grace and beauty of his chosen natural materials, Werner’s pieces often appear raw and composed simultaneously, operating on both a sculptural and functional level for the viewer.
Werner received a degree in woodwork and furniture design from The School for American Craftsmen at Rochester Institute of Technology. The artist has been awarded grants from The National Endowment for the Arts and The New York State Fellowship for the Arts. His work is in numerous collections including: The Museum of Art and Design, The Mint Museum, The Arkansas Arts Center, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rochester Institute of Technology, Arizona State University Museum and The Mobile Museum of Art. The artist maintains studios in New York and Arizona.
Michelle Stuhl is best known for her abstract encaustic paintings, which utilize a series of simple symbolic forms and motifs to create a personal visual language. Her most recent body of work was inspired by a trip to Peru in 2008, where the artist was exposed to the culture, landscape, and remains of the ancient Inca civilization. This series honors the accomplishments and rich history of the Incas, exploring the complex dualism of Quechuan riches as both the emblems of the culture’s achievements at the height of the Incan Empire and the coveted objects of its downfall at the hands of the Spanish conquistadors. For Stuhl, Gold is the symbol that epitomized the invasion, which can be found used as a visual metaphor throughout her work.
With an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Michelle Stuhl’s work has exhibited at galleries and museums across the United States and internationally. The artist maintains studios in New York and Arizona.
Fascinated by the notion of challenging traditional labels that categorize art, Wexler Gallery exhibits work that can coexist in the worlds of design, fine art, decorative art and craft. By questioning and challenging the boundaries of these fields, we aim to present functional and non-functional work that consistently celebrates innovation. Unified by a commitment to excellent craftsmanship and true dedication to their art, we are proud to showcase some of the world’s most esteemed artists working in their areas of pursuit.