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      Lara Hoke/Dave Mitri
    Double visions

    Lara Hoke and Dave Mitri foray into the dilemmas of figurative subjectivity at an alternative space in Brooklyn.


    Flanked by Park Slope and Sunset Park, Brooklyn in a neighborhood affectionately called SoSlo (from which views of Manhattan abide), 'Madarts' combines studios for working artists and a spacious gallery space. In a two person show selected from the Madarts artists, Lara Hoke and Dave Mitri recall the figurative tradition in portraits of friends and family.

    Exhibition: Lara Hoke/Dave Mitri.
    Madarts Studios 255 18th Street, Brooklyn NY 11215 November 5-13

    In portraits of female friends Lara Hoke conveys a sense of mutual understanding between artist and sitter. Broadly designed yet carefully drawn and painted with transparent glazes, her subjects often relax on chairs or couches in introspective reverie.

    Hoke characterizes her subjects as reserved with a quiet intelligence. Understated optimism toward her subject matter is countered by a framing of each sitter within situations that hint at a narration to their world at large. Through pictorial devices in which various aspects of her subjects — arms, legs and torsos are partially revealed or hidden by large pillows, arm rests and tables, Hoke establishes themes of protection and distance, allowance and insight, expanding the portrayal of her subjects. The mood of quietude is enhanced by Hoke's shifts in focal points from crisp linearity to slight blurring across the pictures surface, giving her work an association to Vermeer.

      Lara Hoke/Dave Mitri
    Dave Mitri's paintings explore themes of transition and alienation. Framing his subjects at close range Mitri moves around his scenes like a film director to capture various perspectives. In one series of paintings Mitri explores the motif of a single young man surrounded by cardboard boxes. Their open and closed flaps emphasize empty interiors. Symbolic and theatrical, the boxes function as environments that confine the space around each youth and delineate a narrative of internal vertigo. Here, Mitri is forthrightly exploring how 'all the world is a stage' in a Hopperesque sense. His figures are monumental and have a sense of conviction, yet his emphasis on content limits his potentially pliant response to the fluctuations of living emotion through form that could open up the surfaces and luminosities of his work.

    ...the boxes function as environments that confine the space around each youth and delineate a narrative of internal vertigo.  

    Each painter works in tones of umbers, blues and ochres, while assigning them a different weight and temperature. Hoke's tones are cool, broad and flushed with breath. Mitri's are warm, modeled and condensed. In taking on the psychological aspects of figuration, Hoke and Mitri will continue to provoke forays into contemporary dilemmas of subjectivity.

    DECEMBER 31, 2005

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  • figure show   from hk, Apr 11, 2006

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