In the Balance

John Griebsch, Peter Hoffman, Joy Taylor, Cinda Sparling, Ralph Stout, and Joe Richards

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 25th, 5-7pm

February 24, 2023 through April 16, 2023

Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to present “In the Balance”, featuring paintings by Joy Taylor, Cinda Sparling, Ralph Stout and Joseph Richards; wall sculpture by Peter Hoffman; and photographs by John Griebsch. The works by these artists explore the interactions of contrast in color, brightness and form to create dramatic and confounding illusions of movement and luminosity. The exhibit will open February 24th and remain on view through April 16th. All are welcome to attend the reception for the artists on Saturday, February 25th from 5-7pm.

Joy Taylor’s paintings transform botany into a personal vision. Her recent series on canvas, playfully titled the “Boo-K” paintings, defy traditional still life depictions that often seek to tame and order the objects of the world. On the contrary, Taylor’s subjects are never still. Her floral forms have the crisp, clean qualities of cut paper; sharp, decisive lines slice through blocks of pure pigment to create defined edges of leaves, vines and blossoms. The colors are constructed as well as the form. Her exuberant palette of oranges, blues, magenta and green echo the complimentary colors favored by the Fauvists. Color is an element in and of itself in her work. This balance of sparkling color and form is irrepressible, at times disconcerting and even dangerous in its boldness. Joy Taylor is the recipient of a Pollock/Krasner Foundation grant, and a NYFA Painting Fellow. She lives and works in Red Hook, NY.

Peter Hoffman’s neatly made suspended wall sculptures are rooted in abstraction where nothing stays fixed. The works all share the same construction; a multitude of 4 foot wooden rods measuring less than 1 inch in diameter are individually hung from a horizontal beam. Referred to as ‘Veils’, the wooden curtain is marked as much by the space that floats between each rod as the line of the rod itself. Each element is hand painted, and this is where his compositions begin to differ. Hoffman invites soft light to infiltrate the form by using slight adjustments of the shades of one or two colors. The hallucinatory effects of vibration and luminosity are a result of a delicate balancing act of contrast. Peter Hoffman holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has exhibited his work in the Hudson Valley and parts of Vermont for the past thirty years.

Captured from the cockpit of his vintage 1952 Cessna biplane, John Griebsch is a master of composition as he commands our focus with selective designs that capture a small but significant portion of the landscape he flies over. Offering a unique, airborne perspective, his photography plays to ambiguity of scale, the graphic quality of nature, and man’s influence on the landscape. Rocky ridges cast dark shadows over silky sand dunes in Quarry Near Louisburg, North Carolina creating painterly textures that are perceived as velvet and impasto. Another image titled Plowed Fields – Near Blanchester, OH, has the qualities of an Agnes Martin painting; the extremely subtle coloring of the tightly plowed ‘grids’ are as crisp as the contour of a pencil. This body of work titled Aerias is ongoing and leaves us with a satisfying perspective of the planet’s geography, as well as a visual sense found within the confines of the camera lens. John Griebsch lives and works in Rochester, NY and has exhibited his work nationwide. To date, he has logged over 300,000 miles in the air.

Cinda Sparling opens the lid on an effusive glow that captivates the heart and mind with the feeling of aliveness. In her small compositions, a matte field of smooth, solid black pigment apposes an explosive burst of luminous color amassed by flecked specks of paint. The pigment sparkles against the dark abyss, evoking a vast nebula of gas and dust, or a supernatural glow. The sharp line that divides the two planes suggests the edge of the atmosphere, or perhaps more philosophically, the edge of time or delineation of old ideas. From this plane, we witness a spontaneous combustion before the energy gradually merges with the vacuum of outer space. Sparling holds an MFA in sculpture and has worked in fine art printing studios, curating and hand coloring editions. She currently lives in Tivoli, NY.

Ralph Stout refers to his approach to abstract painting as “incremental adventurism”. This sums up Stout’s calculated combos of vivid pigments and defined forms layered on top of fluid underdrawings. The artist first creates space using simple linework with graphite pencil; intertwining curvy lines or straight intersecting angles are drawn in varying densities. He then fills the spaces with blocks of pure, vivid color without any real detail other than the outlines of each form that begins to appear. Each mass is connected in stark juxtaposition using intense contrast of color and line. It is the delicate tension between the background and foreground that reveals a solid graphic that is full of vibration. Ralph Stout graduated from Bucknell University in 1960 with a degree in mathematics, yet always found time for his artistic pursuits. Stout currently lives in East Hampton with his wife, Sally.

Joseph Richards’ precisely painted canvases of giant cranes, cargo booms, propellers and train engines are fueled with a fascination like that of a six-year old boy. Working directly from photographs, Richards unites light and color together as one element, evident in the reflective surfaces of steel. The otherwise mundane signs of corrosive wear are magnified; rust stains glow on the canvas and yellow painted pulleys radiate like beacons against a bright, blue sky.

Cinda Sparling


John Griebsch


Joseph Richards


Joy Taylor


Peter Hoffman


Ralph Stout