Chelsea was abuzz with opening receptions on August 27th, and the three exhibitions, Fragmented Reality, Emerging Transformation, and the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition Exhibition, represented Agora Gallery with a truly astonishing collection of talented artists from across the globe.

8.27 opening reception 1


Featuring photographers, painters, and mixed media specialists, the shows Fragmented Reality and Emerging Transformation fill our second-floor gallery space wall-to-wall with exemplary contemporary art. The subjects of these shows may vary, but they remain consistent in their ability to move viewers to new, unexpected emotional heights.

On the ground floor, we are currently featuring the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition (CIFAC) Exhibition. These artists were selected by the jury of seven art experts to show their work in Agora Gallery. For thirty years, the CIFAC has offered artists from all over the world the chance to win prizes and promotional services, bolstering their art careers and gaining them invaluable exposure. This year, the selected artists are truly an international bunch: hailing from every continent except Antarctica. (Though we’ll never let it be said that there isn’t some great art coming from there!)

Mark Schiff poses with a guest in front of his Canondale Lilies

Mark Schiff poses with a guest in front of his Canondale Lilies

A portion of the proceeds from all artwork sales in the CIFAC exhibition are going to benefit The Children’s Heart Foundation, a charity that works closely with congenital heart defect research studies to “bringing health, hope, and happiness to children and families impacted by a CHD.”

Jan Cyr and Friends at 8/27 opening Reception

Jan Cyr and friends pose with Shades of Red

“I promised my mother that, just as soon as I retired, I’d start painting again,” said Jan Cyr. And when she did retire from her work in the golf industry, she bought herself a new easel and named it Ethel, after her mother. Now, she is able to visit her mother and tell her that she kept her promise – and is showing today in New York City. Jan started off painting large-scale abstract works at Mills College, then University of Washington, so it is fascinating to see her transformation post-retirement, as she paints still lifes and landscapes, often under one square foot in size!

Klaus Grape with his works

Klaus Grape and his imaginary landscapes at the August 27th opening reception at Agora Gallery.

Klaus Grape came straight from Munich with his wife to attend the opening reception. Despite a recent knee injury that limits his walking, Klaus is enjoying his stay in New York. He spoke of his work, Landscape XIVwhich belongs to a series of “imaginary landscapes,” as he calls them. “They are inspired by Google Earth, but I paint by intuition.” Though the exact path that his paintings will take is unknown at the outset, he starts with a strong thematic idea. For Landscape XIV, “I knew it must be hot, like a volcano. A boiling landscape.”

Michael Christidis at the August 27 Opening Reception

Michael Christidis paints extraordinary scenes that capture the elusive nature of water.

On display in the exhibition Emerging Transformation are five abstract landscapes by Michael Christidis. By combining abstraction with figuration, Christidis allows his viewers to evaluate his work on multiple levels, pulling exactly what they need from each piece. One of his favorite subjects is water, as is present in each of the five pieces on exhibit. “Water is fascinating to painters, because it has no color. Because it is always moving, you can’t really capture it.” He uses various abstractions and textures to really capture the essence of water. His works are also very notable for their unique frames, which only border the pieces on the top and bottom. By leaving the left and right sides open, he gives “the sense that each piece continues on.”

Farzad Golpayegani at the August 27 Reception

Painter Farzad Golpayegani standing in front of his piece 88. Farzad typically uses numbers as titles, allowing the works to speak solely for themselves.

A viewer of Farzad Golpayegani‘s untitled paintings will get a distinct sense of dreamy surrealism. “You don’t have logical boundaries within a dream,” says the artist. Even the strangest things can feel normal in this context, and that is the sense that Golpayegani imbues in his works. He often works from sketches, but these sketches are often created directly after a dream inspires him. “I’ll often wake up and the first thing I do is sketch an idea.” This is also true of Farzad’s other artistic endeavor: music. His compositions can often be inspired by a live show or improvisation session that happened while he was asleep.

Gallery Director, Angela Di Bello, is interviewed by Sinovision Journal about Jian Jun An's artwork.

Gallery Director, Angela Di Bello, is interviewed by Sinovision Journal about Jian Jun An’s artwork.

The exhibition was also attended by many notable alumni from the University of Arizona, who came to celebrate the evening with Xinyu Zhang. Reporters from Sinovision were also in attendance, filming coverage of Jian Jun An’s artwork in Fragmented Reality.

As always, the opening reception was a great success. Guests couldn’t get enough of the artwork, and we were thrilled as ever to have the gallery filled with so many art enthusiasts, artists, and collectors.

Agora Gallery August 27 Reception

To learn more about the artists on display, head over to our online catalog. You can also view artwork for sale at Agora Gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm. For updates for future events and openings, follow our Facebook page and subscribe to our mailing list.