Christopher Broughton and Rachel Perry Welty
november 1-25

opening reception: friday november 3, 5:30 - 7:00 pm

Christopher Broughton continues his exploration of the possibilities of the line in his most recent series of small paintings on panel. While his previous body of work approached the surreal in scale and evoked strangely familiar references to sporting arenas or architectural design schemes, these recent paintings speak of a more personal, intimate approach. In this exhibition, Broughton presents the viewer with five small paintings, all equal in scale and similarly situated on square panels beveled slightly so the image floats forward from the wall.


Lorimer 3-00

oil on board, 12" x 12" , 2000

His minimalist palette and reductive method lay bare the properties of the simple, straight line - in one place thick and full of texture, or thin to the point of breaking in another location, the ground pushing and pulling between negative and positive space. Broughton continues to play with light, depth, and volumes in space, but by choosing to work in a more human scale, he frees the viewer to explore every tiny break and intersection of each line. We are no longer sucked into his swirling vortexes but presented with more delicate, nearly inert objects neatly contained each in its own small box.

Lorimer 2-00

oil on board, 12" x 12" , 2000

Originally from Peabody, Massachusetts, Christopher Broughton earned a BFA in painting at the Montserrat College of Art in Beverly in 1993, and went on to receive an MFA in painting at Yale School of Art in 1996. In 1998 he was awarded a year's residency at the prestigious Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation in New York City. Most recently he was a visiting lecturer at his alma mater, Monserrat College of Art.

Rachel Perry Welty transforms and transmutes everyday objects into a commentary on "this business of living", as she puts it. Welty is obsessed with the banal aspects of our contemporary existence - the things that perform useful functions in our lives yet are normally discarded without a second thought.

Ironic column, 2000

32,400 twist ties, dimensions var. (approximate size, 12' x 2' x 2').


She uses twist ties, cash register receipts, medical records, correction fluid, paper towels, etc., changing the mundane into the sublime. Welty also employs language, which is, perhaps, even more fleeting than the intended usefulness of her materials. By charting, mapping, changing and manipulating the tiny bits of language and information contained on grocery receipts she creates a unique form of calligraphy that is unreadable yet remains recognizable as "language". In appropriating the language of braille (each dot delicately numbered) and medical records (the information "corrected" and re-drawn) she turns these necessary and functional by-products of unfortunate life circumstances into quietly beautiful paintings and drawings.

About her own work, the artist says, "they are about taking a negative experience, something traumatic and 'ugly' if you will, and transforming the vestiges of it quite deliberately into painted expression. The [medical] chart paintings are an attempt to selectively erase a part of the past and put my own mark in its place, however feeble or futile". Rachel Perry Welty holds a BA from Connecticut College and a Diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where she will receive her Fifth Year Certificate in December 2000. While completing her studies she was awarded first prize in several competitions at the SMFA and other exhibition sites, and her work has been acquired for the collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Clifford•Smith Gallery is pleased to present her first solo exhibition.


Ironic column ( detail)


For more information, please contact the gallery.