Featuring paintings so detailed they appear to be photographs, the works of renowned Spanish realism artist José Luis Corella will be on display March 14-April 26 at the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery at Misericordia University.
The exhibit, "José Luis Corella: Paintings," will open with an introductory lecture by friend and fellow realism artist Tim Reynolds of Middletown, N.J., on Saturday, March 14 at 5 p.m. in Lemmond Theater in Walsh Hall. An opening reception will follow the lecture from 6-8 p.m. in the Friedman Gallery. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.
Friedman Art Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; and Saturday and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.
"This exhibit brings a rising star of the contemporary Spanish art scene to our students and community at-large and gives us an opportunity to present a highly realistic series of oil paintings so detailed they appear photograph-like," said Brian Benedetti, M.A., M.S., director, Pauly Friedman Art Gallery. "This collection of work presents a breath of the various personal and unique subject matters used by Corella as well his original and masterful techniques used to create his art. Each painting presents a special visual experience for the viewer of his interpretations and visual imagery.
"This exhibition would not have been possible without the kind attention, care and support of artists Tim Reynolds and Anthony Waichulis (Bear Creek, Pa.) of the Ani Art Academies Waichulis," Benedetti added. "José and Tim have selected a beautiful grouping from José's myriad of work illustrating his artistic flexibility and creativity."
Reynolds will offer his personal and professional insights into Corella's work during the opening lecture. "People are people and paintings are paintings. When a painting makes me feel that I have connected with someone's soul – that is art," said Reynolds, who counts Corella among his closest friends, as they were drawn together by their artwork.
While attending the BP Portrait Competition in London, England, in 2008, Reynolds came across Corella's winning entry, "Metamorphosis." He contacted the artist and bought the painting that now hangs in his home. "It was then José and his family became part of mine," Reynolds said.
"Gazing into a Corella painting can feel almost voyeuristic, getting too close to the models, invading their personal space and sometimes getting to unabashedly stare right into eyes – clear, direct, personal and looking right into us," Reynolds said of Corella's talent. "His paintings are so real, human and personal that we feel a sense of belonging. We are drawn in so close we see blemishes, tiny blackheads and the wear and tear of living, loving and making countless human connections, that too often end with the pain of separation, leaving nicks and sometimes scars.
"Although I'd count José among my closest friends, he doesn't speak English and I don't speak Spanish," Reynolds added. "But we can spend hours side by side and gesture, joke, draw and paint together. We are brothers in art and that's better than almost any other kind of brotherhood. We use translators and get by but the stuff that binds us is the stuff of life: great art," he said
Born in Spain in 1959, Corella studied at the Facultad de Bellas Artes de San Carlos in Valencia. Since 1980, his work has been widely exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions in the U.S. and Spain. Corella was selected as the Visitors Choice Winner at the National Portrait Gallery in London BP Portrait Award Exhibitions in 2008 and 2009.
"This exhibit is dedicated to each and every individual that has ever taken paint and a brush to canvas or charcoal and graphite to paper – as well as their teachers, mentors and sources of personal inspiration," Benedetti added.
For more information about the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery at Misericordia University, please log on to www.misericordia.edu/art or call (570) 674-6250. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County's first four-year college and offers 34 degree programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats. Misericordia University ranks in the top tier of the Best Regional Universities – North category of U.S. News and World Report's 2015 edition of Best Colleges and was designated a 2015 Best Northeastern College by the Princeton Review.