Artist Linda Fantuzzo plays with shadows in her latest exhibition

Light Play

Courtesy of Charleston City Gallery

The City Gallery marks a change of the seasons with a new exhibition featuring an unexpected pairing of painting and poetry.

The gallery's new exhibition Linda Fantuzzo: Penumbra explores light and shadow represented on canvas through the eyes of artist Linda Fantuzzo.

The title word "penumbra" is a term that references light's transitions, a theme which Fantuzzo explores in her exhibition — both the literal transitions of light and the metaphorical idea of light in connection to human experience.

"Her work is lovely and atmospheric, it's beautiful. She uses doorways, ladders, and windows to pull people into the piece and give it tension," says Anne Quattlebaum, the gallery manager. Abstract interior paintings exploring unseen human presence round out the body of work on display. "Light, bright, low, or poetic, can imbue the image with a sense that something has happened or will momentarily occur," Fantuzzo says.

With Fantuzzo's work having such a strong focus on the changing light, the City Gallery thought it would fit well at the start of the year. "For the entire calendar year of the City Gallery we have a number of proposals coming forward, and we work with each individual artist," Quattlebaum explains, adding, "When examining the flow of the year to see what would fit best, it seemed like the best period for [the exhibition] since there's such interesting, changeable light at this time of year."

Originally from New York, Fantuzzo is a local artist who has been involved with many projects within the Charleston art community. Her portion of the exhibition will feature more than 50 paintings and large-format drawings depicting both landscapes and interiors.

Alongside Fantuzzo's artwork, the Long Table Poets of Charleston will be presenting ekphrastic poems.

Greek for "description", ekphrastic poems are created based on a scene or a work of art. Fantuzzo invited the Long Table Poets to create pieces of poetry based on her artwork in the exhibition. "It's art made about another piece of art. All of the poems will be on display together and each will have an image of the work that they refer to," Quattlebaum says.

Two separate poetry readings will take place on Thurs. Jan. 23 from 7 to
8 p.m., and Sat. Feb. 22 from 2 to 3 p.m. Both readings are free to the public and will take place at the City Gallery.

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