LEWISTON — Throughout the month of June the Gallery at L/A Arts, 221 Lisbon St., is exhibiting paintings and drawings by artist Michel Droge. Droge is an abstract painter and printmaker who lives and works in Portland. Her work draws connections between the physical and psychological relationships of the environment and its living creatures. This exhibition features recent paintings and drawings.
Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays. The gallery is free and open to the public.
In her paintings, Droge works to connect with the realities of an uncertain world. She imagines a post human and post animal landscape infused with our residual essence and spirit; the love, care for the earth, quiet, and mystery that lingers.
These atmospheric landscapes are finished with multiple layers of glazing, resulting in a sheen that captures the viewer’s reflection. This locates the viewer within a landscape that is devoid of any human or animal life. This is an invitation to enter an imagined and mysterious space. Beyond an expression of hope, the works portray the aftermath of our existence. What remains in these imaginary landscapes is the dynamic and powerful spirit (love) represented by the hot red and orange embers in the atmosphere.
Also included are a series of small paintings, which Droge refers to as aubades. An aubade is a love poem or song welcoming or lamenting the arrival of the dawn and is a form of poetry or song that originated in medieval France.
The drawings are from a series titled “Fragments for Heraclites.” Droge says, “These Drawings explore the connection between the land and the artist and inquire about the space between. Regular walks daily prior to studio time led to an experience that was linked in a visceral sense to the philosophy of Heraclites.” Heraclites was a Greek philosopher whose theories focused on nature and was best known for his insistence on ever-present change as being the fundamental essence of the universe as stated in the famous saying, “No man ever steps in the same river twice”
Michel Droge received a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in fine arts and cognitive psychology and her MFA from Maine College of Art. After graduating from Oberlin she worked at Styria Studios in New York City as an edition printer. The recipient of grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and the Maine Arts Commission, Droge has been awarded fellowships and residencies at the Tides Institute, The Joseph Fiore Foundation, The Stephen Pace House and The Saltonstall Foundation.
Droge has had solo exhibitions at the University of Maine Farmington, June Fitzpatrick Gallery and the Frank Brockman Gallery. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Bates College Art Museum, The Cue Art Foundation, ICA at MECA, Boston University and Brandeis University. She currently works for the Rabkin Foundation in Portland.
“Rise,” oil on panel, by artist Michel Droge is among Droge’s works on exhibit at L/A Arts Gallery, 221 Lisbon St., Lewiston, through the end of June. Droge’s art reflects a post-human, post animal landscape, where colors represent represent an earth infused with our residual essence and spirit.