Crowell Gallery presents works by Ragouzeos

NEWFANE — During the month of August, The Crowell Gallery will be featuring an exhibit of recent large-scale ink drawings and small color paintings by Newfane artist Leonard Ragouzeos.

Prior to moving to Newfane in 2005, Ragouzeos taught as a professor of studio art for 31 years in Iowa and in Pennsylvania, while simultaneously maintaining an active studio life and exhibition presence.

He began working with India ink on paper in a representational manner in the mid-1990s, focusing on faces and single common objects like tools or fruit. Several of Leonard's newest "Utility Pole" series will be included in this exhibit. Also on display will be a series of small color abstractions in water media and oils.

The black ink drawings in this exhibit were made on Yupo, an archival synthetic paper with a smooth, nonabsorbent, vellum-like surface.

"I enjoy the physical nature of working on a large scale," Ragouzeos said. "The drawings are made on a wall, so I must move quickly to control the flowing ink, avoiding and directing the drips and accidents that occur."

Brushes, pens, rollers, and other tools are used to apply the ink. A hair dryer is always on hand ready to guide the ink and hasten the drying process, allowing Ragouzeos to build layers of grays into deep blacks with subtle or dramatic value shifts, he explains.

"The purely abstract color paintings in the exhibit are the antithesis of the large black representational drawings," according to the news release. "Color speaks in a language not shared by black, a language with emotions and feelings. Working small in color with gouache or oils is a slower, more intimate process and provides the artist with a counterpoint to the black work."

The Ragouzeos exhibit will hang through the month of August. An artist reception will be held on Saturday, Aug. 12, from 4 to 6 p.m., in the gallery at 23 West Street, behind the Moore Free Library in Newfane. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 1 to 5 p.m.; Thursday 1 to 6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This The Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

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