“Painting is a way of communication just as a language is”–William Chewning
On Friday, December 4, 2009, David Ober, Chairman of Sotheby’s Southeast joined William Chewning, Jr. to host a cocktail party at the Miami Art Group Gallery during Art Basel Miami Beach. Artist William Chewning showcased his exceptionally inspirational works throughout the 1,800 square foot showroom in the Miami Design District. His various abstract pieces, each of which were created using familiar imagery, realism and environmental elements were featured. Atlantico Rum, a unique, sophisticated and handcrafted quality rum, produced in the Dominican Republic, provided the libations for the evening’s festivities. Guests mingled, snacked on light bites and checked out the art while sipping on specialty cocktails, which included the Atlantico Insha and the Atlantico Daiquiri.
Hosts William Chewning, Jr., David Ober and Peter Brady were joined by the likes of William Chewning, Piper Quinn, Leslie Bluhm, Hello Campos, Sibua Puopolo, Nicole and Ed Lozano, David Helfrand, Alfred Karram, Warrington Elias, Jennifer Valoppi, Robert Thorne, Dana and Gary Shear, and Jamie Elias.
The cocktail party commenced Chewning’s first exhibition since 2005, and showcased his compelling and original vocabulary through the translation of Chewning’s personal life experiences. Transcending time and place, Chewning’s paintings are traditional, while at the same time, entirely modern. Chewning combines elements from nature: the ocean, birds, mountains and flowers with elements from the real world: universal symbols from sources as diverse as ancient Egypt, Buddhism and Chinese screen painting. Blue Mountains, cartwheeling birds, anthropometric trees and heartbroken flowers flourish in a truly imaginative world that provides an engaging alternative to our own.
Among the many pieces in Mr. Chewning’s collection that sparked buzz among party guests, was one of Chewning’s central works, “Bentley and the Bay Tree,” a large three paneled acrylic painting measuring 50 x 70 inches. This piece captures the essence of nature, displaying a garden landscape with figures and animals under a bay tree. Portrayed in allegorical context, the piece is filled with many magical symbols and compositional effects Chewning has honed over the years.
William Chewning’s works will remain on display until December 29th, 2009.
Pictured above: William Chewning, Angela Criscione, and Matthew Chevallard
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