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September 6, 2022 - November 6, 2022
All Day

Downtown Library

100 W 10th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401
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Art Exhibit: 20Twenty Cage Blues

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Works by Robert Baret and maRco Elliott sharing "Two Visions on the Confinement" of the early COVID pandemic.

As the pandemic unfolded globally, artists Robert Baret in France and maRco Elliott in the U.S. exchanged points of view on the confinement. Reacting with their art to the novel crises from one continent to the other, they shared impressions over the internet. A question arose from this fruitful time for the two painters: why not have an exhibit together to share and contrast their different perspectives? In the resulting show, the quiet solitude emanating from tranquille interior scenes of an old apartment in Lyon sharply contrasts with the "rage-filled visual diary reflecting on a wounded America in the jaws of a double whammy virus."

This exhibit was shown in September 2021 in a public library in Lyon, France. It now comes to Eugene’s Downtown Library for exhibit Sept. 6 through Nov. 6.

On Tues., Sept. 6, drop by anytime 4pm-6pm to meet and chat with the artists in the gallery space in the library's 2nd floor Magazines and Newspapers Room.

They will also speak at the library on Wed., Sept. 14 at 5:50 p.m. 

Robert Baret's work is "introspective, bringing to mind the intimate atmosphere of Vuillard’s plush bourgeois interiors devoid of crowds. There is an aura of good natured, almost serene stay-at-home calm, content on frugal pleasures for the eye, self portraits, still lives with a boldly outlined angular geometry reminiscent of De Chirico. Robert chose a methodical routine: creating one painting a day during the strict confinement imposed in France."

Baret teaches Communication Design and Typography at the École Estienne in Paris. He has also served as a designer and illustrator for nonprofits including Doctors Without Borders and UNICEF, and created comic strips for magazines and newspapers. He lives in Lyon, France.

maRco Elliott shares, "In 2020, seen from Eugene, it appears America suffers from an invisible and often deadly illness, while simultaneously another black plague, la Sombra, the Time of the Shadow, is shredding  the social fiber. It’s a time of cruel division, violent rhetoric, conflict, street protests and hatred.  These paintings are sourced from dream-like sublimations of the constant anxiety resulting from weeks upon weeks upon months of confinement and social distancing and political turmoil. Like a rash, a visceral auto-immune reaction to the daily news landing on American households under a continuous carpet bombing raid, the paintings are those of a witness, a pained observer trying, from quantities of collected raw images, to make sense of the persistent chaos. The goal, conscious or not, was to filter out the din, remain sane without overindulging in sarcasm, all the while documenting with emotion the cacophonous bloody carnage, and the brave resistance by many to furious attacks on science, civility, caring, honesty, decency and compassion, long held virtues associated with being human."

Elliott is a muralist, arts educator, and author. He studied and worked in graphic design and illustration in Paris and Cannes. For many years, he taught visual communication, graphic design and printmaking at Venice (CA) High School and printmaking at Venice Adult School. He lives in Eugene.

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