Point Of Departure

August 29 – September 27, 2014

1708 Gallery is pleased to present Point Of Departure, a group exhibition featuring works by Stephen Benenson, Tatiana Berg, Raphael Fenton-Spaid, Haley Josephs, Sharon Madanes, and Maureen St. Vincent. As recent MFA graduates, these six artists are finding points of entry and exit from the rigidness of the canvas structure, while paying homage to their predecessors. Point Of Departure will be on view August 29 through September 27. Please join us for the opening on Thursday, September 4, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m and for an artist talk and closing reception on Friday, September 26, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The talk will begin at 5:30 p.m.

In Point Of Departure, the form of painting comes into question in works such as Tatiana Berg's Tents. Here the canvas quite literally moves away from the wall, taking on a three-dimensional form that the viewer experiences from all sides. Likewise, Raphael Fenton-Spaid's Happy Bulletproof Chinese Garden Star Guaranteed Very Good playfully works with structure and perspective, while also speaking directly to the long standing tradition of idealized landscapes in painting, photography, and culture at large.

Some of the works in Point Of Departure play less directly with physical form and focus more on addressing the history, clichés, and tropes that riddle the history of painting in a witty and self-aware manner. Stephen Benenson's works directly reference 15th Century Italian paintings in their compositional structure while working to make common information seem new by intentionally drawing attention to the way that the viewer reads them. Likewise, Mr. Locks by Sharon Madanes utilizes the scene of a window display as a starting point to speak to ideas of surveillance and egocentric perspective in relation to the viewer. Additionally, Maureen St. Vincent  investigates the place of femininity and comedy within painting while Haley Josephs attempts to capture elusive moments, a particularly challenging task to tackle through painting.

Point Of Departure highlights the work of these artists who prove that despite its long history, painting still has a lot to offer as a field for exploration. By addressing its history and critically questioning the medium itself, these artists offer a refreshing and playful take that is intelligent but far from stuffy.


To find out more about the artists, please visit their websites:

Stephen Benenson: www.stephenbenenson.com

Tatiana Berg: www.tatianaberg.com

Raphael Fenton-Spaid: www.raphaelfentonspaid.com

Haley Josephs: www.haleyjosephs.com

Sharon Madanes: www.sharonmadanes.com

Maureen St. Vincent: www.maureenstvincent.com

Accommodations for the artists generously provided by the Linden Row Inn.


1708 Gallery's 2014-2015 exhibition season is generously supported in part by Jay Barrows, Bridget Beari Designs, Page and Sandy Bond, Josh and Sarah Eckhardt, Suzanna Fields and Richard Douglas, Mary Fleming, Suzanne Hall, Kathryn Henry-Choisser, Ben and Peggy Howerton, George and Linda Kelly, Heyn and Sandy Kjerulf, James Klaus and Brent Morris, Andrea Levine, Greg and Deb Lockhart, Reynolds Gallery, Bill and Pam Royall, John Ryan and Wesley Chenault, Chip and Lynn Spitzer, Andy and Jill Stefanovich, Ted and Katie Ukrop, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.