Corridan gallery of Santa Barbara

Contemporary Fine Art of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara in the Abstract

May 11th through June 26, 2010

abstract painting by Karin Aggeler
abtract painting by Francis Scorzelli
abstract painting by Peggy Ferris
Karin Aggeler
Francis Scorzelli
Peggy Ferris
Contemporary expressions with roots in Abstract Modernism of the mid 20th century

To a certain degree we are all products of our environment. Any artist's work is influenced by their circumstances and surroundings to some degree. Perhaps this is why Santa Barbara has been known for the compelling landscape paintings produced by the artists here for the past three decades. However, the overabundance of realist painters has obscured the presence of the dedicated non-objective abstract painters in our midst. Corridan Gallery is proud to present the work of three top Santa Barbara artists who have held to the traditions of pure abstract painting. Karin Aggeler, Peggy Ferris and Francis Scorzelli have taken cues from the Abstract Modernist art of the mid 20th Century and have expanded the idiom adding the experiences and visual themes they developed during the past three decades. One hundred years ago the early abstract artist, Robert Delaunay, determined that the essential subject matter of art was not out there in the world, but inside the artist's mind. For these three artists, the quality of life and beauty of the natural surroundings positively affect their state of consciousness and therefore their artistic output. Their work is sophisticated and powerful, yet more accessible and livable than much of the abstract work of recent decades. They have been able to reach conclusions that eluded the famous Action Painters and Abstract Expressionists of the 1950's, perhaps because of the hectic, tumultuous and brief lives those earlier artists lived.

Francis Scorzelli's paintings most effectively eschew any reference to life experiences and the outside world. His narrative unfolds in terms of pure paint. The paintings begin with the application of vigorous slashing impasto strokes, defining the underlying composition. The work then evolves through layer upon layer of different textures, forms and colors, building complexity. Fine lines define areas or tie together passages of color thus creating non-linear interrelations that read as constantly changing compositions. In the way that his paintings patiently extend the initial "slashing" emotional basis of the composition, his art has extended the concepts of the Abstract Expressionists. The predecessors provided a beginning of an idea that Scorzelli has spent decades perfecting. Occasionally disquieting, but still accessible, these images emanate from deep within the soul and play out in passionate drama.


painting by Francis Scorzelli

"Untitled 3" 60"x50"

Peggy Ferris studied fine art and design at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague, Holland, then went on to get a BFA in graphic design from Art Center College of Design. During her ensuing career as a graphic designer, she developed an intuitive adeptness with color and form. Returning to her first love, painting, early in this decade, she brings an energetic new view of abstract art. In her latest series of acrylic paintings the pallet knife applied surface texture appears to be torn off or scraped away to reveal other layers of color and composition below. These are reminiscent of ancient walls evolving through centuries of time, revealing layers of history. In the Metropolis series Ferris explores the vertical forms and cool palette of the Manhattan cityscape. This work shows the intense, almost musical rhythms and wildly abstracted reeling architectural feel of the city.
painting by Peggy Ferris

"Fire from Ice" - diptych 42"x84"

Like the other two artists, Karin Aggeler, left her professional career to return to full time painting more than ten years ago. Her work ranges from the ethereal to the robustly expressive, in a search for visual truth. One finds visually vague references to landscape and the colors of the seasons. These are simply poetic allusions, detailing an emotional response, rather than any literal imagery. She keeps the work open and abstract enough to allow the viewer to add their own experience and vision. In this way the work avoids a static position on the wall and involves the viewer in a dynamic continuous conversation.

painting by Karin Aggelar

"Room with a View" 30"x40"