Universal Expressions: Movement in Multiple Dimensions

Abstract painter Thomas Bigatel collaborates with wood sculptor Peter Johnson in Universal Expressions: Movement in Multiple Dimensions.  Working in their respective mediums, Bigatel and Johnson find inspiration in the concave and convex shapes found in nature and the undulating movement of water.

“The ocean, water, and organic shapes of shells and other objects have always influenced my work,” says Johnson.  “Walking along the shoreline, I collect pieces of shells, sea pods, odd shapes of wood, bone or stone.  These shapes and
forms later become sculptures.”  In each sculpture he creates, Johnson looks for the point where motion and balance meet.  He finds the lines, curves, convex and concave shapes, as well as the contrast within the form, the line between light and shadow.  These are the same components found in the vibrantly colored paintings of Thomas Bigatel.  Bigatel paints spontaneously, emulating the motion he observes in nature.

“When Peter Johnson’s sculptures were introduced to me, I felt there was an immediate connection between his work and my paintings.  We are both exploring similar universal expressions, with an emphasis on dramatic motion found in nature,” says Bigatel.

About Thomas Bigatel
Thomas Bigatel’s paintings have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and universities throughout Pennsylvania.  He has over a decade of experience creating abstract paintings that have evolved into his current style.  Many of his works have been purchased for private and corporate collections.

About Peter Johnson
Most of Peter Johnson’s sculptures are carved from wood that he has collected from various sources here in the city of Pittsburgh and the surrounding area.  He starts with solid logs, using various chainsaws and grinders to create organic shapes and abstract forms.  He is inspired by natural forms and the grains in the wood with which he works.  Johnson’s work has been exhibited locally.

709 Penn Gallery is located on 709 Penn Ave. / Downtown Pittsburgh Cultural District
Hours: Wed. & Thurs. 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.–8
p.m.; Sun.11 a.m.–5 p.m.

709 Penn Gallery is a Project of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Education & Community Engagement department.

September 23 – November 13, 2011
Artist reception: September 23, 2011
6:00-8:00 p.m.