Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Portrait of the Artist: Brian Kiernan

Brian Kiernan began showing at L'Attitude Gallery over four years ago, and in that time both we and his admirers have wondered about the affable artist behind rich, textured paintings of Northeastern landscapes. We've always loved how Brian's abstracted style makes places feel majestic yet familiar. 

On his recent visit to the gallery, we sat down with Brian Kiernan to learn more about his journey as an artist. We're pleased to share with you the interview that followed. 

When did you decide to become an artist?
I was in a very bad car accident as a young adult and broke my neck. The recovery was a grueling process and left me with limited mobility for some time. I eventually found my footing through making art, which fueled my desire to recover. Ever since that incident I have devoted myself to being more fully aware of my surroundings, and that is when I began to feel a deep urge and commitment to make art.

What draws you to painting?
When I was young I was always making things and working on projects. It didn't matter what kinds of materials I had at hand so long as I could get lost in the making of something. Year later, after having gone through art school and maintaining a professional studio for over a decade, I am still basically the same. 

Art is a profession that requires you to roll up your sleeves and get lost in the work. Growing as an artist means getting in as many hours as you can in front of your work. During the course of painting, my perspective towards nature is constantly changing, which pushes the vision further away. I enjoy the pursuit of something that is elusive.   

Dusk in the Great Gulf Wilderness, 36" x 24"
Why landscape as a subject?
Nature is overwhelming. Every aspect draws your attention while the light is ever-changing, and it is so easy to be seduced by the surfaces I paint. It is truly impossible to capture all the nuances of a place. For me, working from the landscape is a document of my struggle to absorb it all and create from it. I am less concerned with trying to replicate a place and more interested in portraying a representation of my experience with nature; my perceptual struggle. The process of looking is a crucial part of my subject, which I try to put into focus with a sometimes heavy buildup of marks which constantly evolve in shape and color. I hope that my paintings are able to convey a sensation of place as well as a history of the visual search that took place during my process.

Have you had any interesting commissions?
Most of my commissioned paintings have gone according to plan. I can remember finishing a very large painting for a client who requested the addition of a mountain lion after being presented with the finished piece. The animal would not have worked well in the painting, and I politely declined to add it by saying that it would be truer to form to imagine the lion stalking the viewer from a good hiding spot (probably behind the viewer). These unique challenges are what make commissions exciting. Whether it is reworking a composition, painting in a different format such as a triptych, or just plain working LARGE, I always welcome the opportunity to paint something a little different.    

What is your favorite painting at the moment? 
Cliché, but the answer is usually what is on the easel at present. The promise of a current painting always holds my attention more than a completed work. Thinking back, my personal favorites have more to do with the experience of working on them rather than their success as finished works of art. I can remember working on a winter landscape years ago... It began to snow, and it looked like the fake snow in a movie with these big, slow-moving flakes that hovered rather than fell. The painting need something and that was it! I worked in the snow and even went so far as trying to mimic the large flakes that were landing on my glasses. Snow gave the painting real depth and was a nice little breakthrough as well as a memorable experience for me.

Who do you see as your primary audience?
When I am painting in the mountains, I am constantly meeting people out rock climbing, hiking, and just taking part in the spectacle of it all. I think people will always feel the need to connect with nature. I hope that anyone who has an affinity for wild places may find some spark or connection to the environment in my work.

You have also worked at Harrison Gallery in Williamstown. Has working at a gallery influenced how you approached your relationship with galleries as a painter?
Having seen the amount of work it takes to run a gallery and sell artwork, I want to be easy to work with. Whether that is being prompt on email, open-minded about projects, or delivering works at a set time, I hope to keep up my end of the bargain by painting often and being professional. With all the quality artwork being made today, I am lucky to have someone willing to show my work. Painting is a somewhat isolated profession, so having a gallery and people willing to look over the work and give me input/suggestions is very helpful.

Can you give us a preview of what's in the works for your newest series?
What's on my mind: mountains and Cezanne. Patterns and subtle shifts. The urgency of Tom Thomson's paintings. Surfaces with thick paint and more mark making balanced with more dissolved forms in space.

To see more examples of Brian Kiernan's recent works, visit his page on our website, or stop by the gallery to see them in person. If you have follow-up questions or comments for Brian, please leave them below or email us and we'll get back to you!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Mixed Media Assemblages of George Mason

Nearly thirty years into his career, George Mason has hit his stride. Though he received his training in ceramics at New York State College of Ceramics, where he specialized in architectural ceramic tile, his most recent body of work departs from the medium he has traditionally used. Floating about one inch from the wall, his unframed paneled hangings, which he dubs “relief tapestries,” are composed of hydrocal plaster, burlap, casein paint, and encaustic. Mason works his surfaces to create low relief, carving them, burnishing them, and adding pigment and encaustic to underscore the variety in his patterns. His boldly textured surfaces combined with tighter color palettes and a clean display feel simultaneously ancient and contemporary, minimal and subtly complex.

Mason’s panels are most successful when he omits pictorial hieroglyphics from them. His less graphic markings still invite the viewer to “read” the pieces close up, but they don’t nod obviously to written languages of ancient civilizations. The mystery of trying to decode a visual language without an overt reference adds another layer of interest to Mason’s work. The gestalt of the pieces assembled from texturally varied, asymmetrical strips evokes reverence in the viewer who sees them.

Mason was invited early in his career to participate in group exhibitions at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem and at the 13th Chunichi International Exhibition of Ceramic Arts in Nagoya, Japan. While teaching in India, Indonesia, and Jerusalem, he began experimenting with encaustics and layered paper cutouts. His absorption of many countries’ visual cultures has led him to focus his most recent artistic exploration on a central question: “Is it possible to create large dimensional works, outside the frame, highly textural, referencing textile, ceramic, and cut out traditions, that hang with authority yet surrender to gravity with grace?” Upon viewing his Wedge series in person, our unequivocal answer is yes.

  Wedge, 37" x 25.5
Proscenium, 19" x 32"

Monday, June 20, 2011

Judith Brust: Life Cycles

L'Attitude Gallery is pleased to present new works by Judith A. Brust. Judith works in various media, but is perhaps best known for her larger scale layered monoprints. Through the use of natural elements and layered colors, Judith's monoprints focus on nature, balance and coexistence.

Influenced by extensive readings in the works of Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and Gaston Bachelard, and inspired by the spiritual quality in the works of fellow painters and sculptors Mark Rothko, Paul Klee, Louise Bourgeois and Eva Hesse, Brust's art is both compelling and intriguing in its complexity.

Judith gave private drawing lessons in her home studio while raising three children and fulfilling her responsibilities as the wife of a corporate executive. When her three children were grown, she went back to school and received her MA and MFA from SUNY Albany. She has exhibited extensively in both group and solo shows in the Northeast for the past thirty years, and her work is held in many private and corporate collections throughout the United States.

Above: "Balance Disturbed", Acrylic and Mixed Media, 55" high x 46" wide

Below: "Windows to Africa I", Acrylic and Mixed Media, 53" high x 27" wide

Below: "Origins", Acrylic and Mixed Media,

Below: "Mind's Eye", Acrylic and Mixed Media, 41.5" high x 40" wide

Below: "Barriers I", Acrylic and Mixed Media, 50.5" high x 36" wide

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SpringWorks: Uncommon Perspectives from Massachusetts Artists

Please join us at the opening of our new show, Thursday March 3, 6-8pm
"SpringWorks: Uncommon Perspectives"
New Ceramics and Wall Art by Massachusetts Artists

"Not the End of Summer but the Beginning of Fall" by Stephanie Warburg
"Ceramic Totems" by CathyGerson

"Untitled" Monoprint by Naomi Cohan

"Turquoise Ripple" by Brian Kiernan

"Koi Wishpot" by Jeanne Wiley, Ceramic and Rattan

Fun new fused glass bracelets by Debbie Harary

We have new fused glass bracelets in by Debbie Harary.
Reasonably priced - great gift item!

Monday, November 15, 2010

L'Attitude Gallery in Boston Provides Art Consulting Services

In addition to operating our gallery on Newbury Street in Boston, L'Attitude Gallery Art Consultants provide art consulting services for corporate, healthcare and private clients.

We are known for the originality of the collection we create, the excellent service that we provide and the pricing that accompanies it. We give our clients high quality, high value results within a budget. Several recent installations are shown below.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

L'Attitude Gallery - What's in Store?

What's in store for you in the Gallery these days? Take a look...and come see us soon!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This Weekend: L'Attitude Gallery at Providence Fine Furnishings Show

L'Attitude Gallery will be at the Providence Fine Furnishings Show this weekend, October 22-24. Stop by to see new pieces in our collection of fine contemporary art, glass and sculptural objects. The show will be held at

The Rhode Island Convention Center
Hall A
1 Sabin St.
Providence, RI
Hours: Fri 10-6, Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Swing by the gallery to see new artwork by Henry Levine, Cheryl Weissbach, and Akiva Huber, and new jewelry by Ania Davis, Barbara Ottmar, and Lynn Nafey.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Smooth Surfaces Show

Our Smooth Surfaces Show is now open! The show features fantastic fused glass wall artwork by Roger Thomas and lovely figural sculptures in bronze by Akiva Huber. Stop by soon! Check the "Now Showing" page on our website for more photos from the show.

Above: "Autumn Riot" by Roger Thomas

Below: "Compassion" by Akiva Huber

L'Attitude Art and Sculpture Gallery

We feature contemporary
two and three-dimensional artworks
and indoor and outdoor sculpture
for home, corporate and commercial environments.