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Scottdale native hosts 'Michelangelo Noir'

| Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
A piece of work entitled 'Daniel' that will be part of Scottdale native Richard Claraval's art show Friday through Dec. 31 at Imagebox Gallery in Pittsburgh.

Scottdale native Richard Claraval has another art show, which will begin tomorrow and run through Dec. 31 at Imagebox Gallery, 4933 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh.

There will be an opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. with beverages and food. The show is titled “Michelangelo Noir-Drawings Based on the Pre-Cleaned Frescoes,” in which Claraval uses photos of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and The Last Judgment before they were cleaned as starting points for a series of dark compressed charcoal drawings.

He abstracts and extrapolates both Michelangelo's work and the random areas of soot and jagged cracks that juxtapose them, by integrating them with his own spontaneous gestures. The show thus continues Claraval's exploration of fusing the realistic human figure with Abstract Expressionist gesture. What is different in this exhibition however, is that he pushes the qualities of chiaroscuro and drama very far, while making new compositions of Michelangelo's figures, draperies and architectural details.

To increase the dramatic feeling of the work, the drawings are mounted on boards painted the exact color of very dark compressed charcoal, creating borders of about one inch. Parts of the compositions flow off the page thereby integrating them with the rectangular “frame” of the board.

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