seraphin gallery, philadelphia art gallery, fine art, contemporary art gallery, pneuma spiritus
Seraphin Gallery proudly presents its first exhibition of 2014 from Ward Davenny entitled “Pneuma Spiritus”. The exhibition will run from January 24 through March 2 with an opening reception on Friday, January 24 from 6 – 8 PM.
“Pneuma Spiritus” is a phrase which comes from the ancient Greek term defining clouds and winds that carried the connotations of blowing, breath, wind, air, and spirit. The exhibition will be comprised of Davenny’s photographs and charcoal drawings, both of which depict scenes of Midwestern landscapes. These landscapes, or more specifically, skyscapes, once pleasant and bathed in sunshine have been devoured by ominous storms. Viewers will find themselves dwarfed by swirling clouds and powerful gusts of wind.
Davenny gathers his inspiration from visits to the plains of Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. While his works may appear to be about weather, Davenny says his “fascination lies with the movement of light and air.” While you may not see an actual tornado or fire, you will witness the transformation of a calm day into an almost terrifying scene of violent nature. Any presence of human life is dominated by the turbulent natural elements.
His photographs are manipulated digitally, even if they are taken with film, sometimes merging multiple shots into one. The finished product is an image that is painterly, with vast skies and rolling clouds that almost look as if they were created with a brush. The edges seem to blend together. There is a definite sense of movement; time seems to pass, yet Davenny captures the specific moment. He creates a feeling of anxiety – is this storm over or just beginning? What will the effects be? These questions plague the viewer, who will be so lost in the works that they feel as if they are before a great tornado or thunderstorm.
Ward Davenny received his MFA from Yale University. Exhibitions have been displayed at Moore College of Art, the University of Long Island, and Dickinson College, as well as in galleries across the country. His work resides in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, British Museum in London, and Fogg Museum among others. Davenny was awarded the Mid-Atlantic Council for the Arts Individual Fellowship Grant and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship as well as several awards from Dickinson College.