Gallery r is pleased to present Leap Into the Dark: a show of recent work by Rochester area artists Bradley Butler and Mitchell Messina. Butler’s paintings evoke surreal, subconscious landscapes inspired by traditions of abstract expressionism in both small and large scale canvases. Messina’s work, while using a traditional material like clay, presents figurative sculpture to address the paradoxes of human communication in a contemporary age.
Together their work draws on a disconnection from reality and a sense of existential uncertainty — a recurring theme in American art, literature and popular culture. However, beyond the darkness, the artists ultimately celebrate the redemptive qualities of individual expression and creative freedom essential to the human experience.
About the artists:
Bradley Butler (b.1983) is an Western New York native who received his MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2010. In addition to exhibiting his work regularly, Butler is Gallery Director at Main Street Arts in Clifton Springs, New York, an active center for art exhibitions, classes and workshops, and a newly established artist-in-residence program.
Mitchell Messina (b.1961) grew up in California and received his MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. Messina’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, in addition to being featured in publications like Sculpture, Ceramics Monthly and American Craft. Messina is Head of Sculpture and Ceramics at Nazareth College where he has been teaching for over 25 years.