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    Posted June 9, 2013 by
    Lanham, Maryland
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    "Salvaged Doors" Inspire Abstracts by Maryland Artist Laurence Chandler

    While looking for doorknobs at a salvage center, Lanham-Maryland abstract artist Laurence Chandler became absorbed with rows of doors in the back of the building. "I was taken with their size and architecture, the paint peeling off and how many layers there were, the anonymous marks and missing hardware areas, the cracks and what they were were made of," remembers Chandler.

    He used his camera to zoom in on the areas that interested him and in the printed 4-by-6-inch photographs the "eureka" moment hit. "I discovered some of the most beautiful compositions," says Chandler. Instead of a literal homage to an old deteriorating door I used them as a jumping-off point to create energetic, spiritual and beautiful pieces."

    Fifteen of Chandler's mixed media and acrylic abstracts including panels from his "Unhinged (Door)" series are being exhibited in a group show through July 13 at Meeting House Gallery, located in Oakland Mills Interfaith Center in Columbia, Maryland.

    Titled "Abstractions," the exhibition explores contemporary abstraction in painting and photography with not only works on the gallery walls, but with several additional programs including a gallery talk and artist's reception on Sunday, June 16, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.

    "Abstractions" coincides with the Columbia Arts Festival from June 14 to 18.

    Chandler's abstract style uses many of the same elements -- lines, shapes, forms and colors -- associated with earlier modernists and contemporaneous artists like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Sam Gilliam and Mark Rothko to depict emotions, cultural themes and spiritual ideas as opposed to tangible items and figures in the real world.

    In his "Unhinged (Door)" series, Chandler layered acrylic, watercolor and torn paper. Exuberant, high-keyed colors wind in and out of each other and overlap. Vertical lines weigh against one another, establishing an eloquent rhythm. Combed scrapes through planes of color balance geometric rigor with gestural freedom.

    Chandler's art is spiritual, colorful, uplifting and provocative, giving it universal appeal. "When people view my art I want them to be drawn in and their curiosities piqued. I want them to take their own journey, ask their own questions and most of all, form their own conclusions. I want them to leisurely meander through my painting and ponder what the thought process must have been like when the painting was taking on life," says Chandler.

    About the Artist

    Laurence Chandler works from his home studio in Lanham, Maryland, in Prince George's County. He is a Baltimore-native and Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) graduate. Chandler has been involved with art exhibits in the Washington metro area including Strathmore, Montpelier Arts Center, Touchstone Gallery, Gallery West and Foundry Gallery, and art galleries in California, Georgia and Tennessee. In 2011, Chandler's artwork was featured in American Art Collector magazine's "Art Lover's Guide to Collecting Fine Art in Washington, DC," and "MICA Takes Flight," which showcased works by MICA alumni at Ronald Reagan National Airport.

    For more information about the artist, visit www.LaurenceChandlerFineArt.com.

    About Meeting House Gallery

    Established in 2012, Meeting House Gallery is located in the Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, 5885 Robert Oliver Place in Columbia, Maryland. The nationally-recognized interfaith center is a unique worship facility run by five various religious congregations working together. Its gallery was established as a venue to explore diversity and celebrate unity through the arts. All exhibitions are juried.

    The idea of different religious expressions working together where possible and having independent integrity when needed began with the creation of Columbia in 1967. From the very beginning of Columbia, Jews, Protestants and Roman Catholics planned to live together in the new city and to maximize their respective and collective interests.

    Photo: “Dwelling Place" by Laurence Chandler, is among the works on display at an abstract artists’ show at Meeting House Gallery in the Oakland Mills Interfaith Center in Columbia, Maryland. The painting is from his "Unhinged (Door)" series, which was inspired by markings on timeworn "salvaged" doors.
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