Invented worlds/surrogate landscapes
Opening reception: Saturday, September 19 5:30-7:30pm
September 19 - November 1, 2015
Using the earthwork artists of the 1970s and 1980s—Heizer, Smithson, Long, Maisel, and Matta-Clark—as a jumping-off point, Gerald Saladyga explores landscape in drawings, photographs, “over-painted” illustrations, and small installations. His landscapes are not romantic representations of the past, but visions of an ever-changing environment challenged by urban sprawl, pollution, industrialization, victimization and conflict.
For Saladyga, land, landscape, and earth are impermanent. “I prefer a fantasy that lets the viewer go with a sense of unease that there is something wrong and it is just below the surface….A river runs wild, then ends in pollution. A city is built and then is abandoned (Detroit). The natural landscape is bulldozed, dynamited, clear-cut, war-ravaged, tunneled. What remains gives the artist visual information that is truthful and powerful.
What Saladyga tries to reveal through his work is nothing short of the vision he had when he visited the site of the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw: “Where there were forests, there were massacres and where there were fields covered with wild flowers, there are not-so-silent graves.” In Saladyga’s words, “Every country and every people have a story to tell and every piece of real estate has a secret.”
Gerald Saladyga is a Connecticut native who lives in Hamden and maintains a studio in downtown New Haven. He has been awarded grants from the Connecticut Commission on Art and Tourism and the Weir Farm Trust Visiting Artists Program. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts and can be found in public and private collections including the Housatonic Museum of Art, the University of Bridgeport, and the Paul Mellon Arts Center at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut.