Félix de la Concha | PENN AVENUE
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Penn Avenue from Pearl Street to Gross Street

 

 

This series represents three blocks of Penn Avenue, between Pearl Street (the Allegheny Cemetery) and Gross Street (Garfield Artworks). The paintings were created from 23 points of view: 12 from one side of the street and 11 from the other.

Year: 1999-2000
Media: Oil on Canvas
Dimensions:146 pieces: 73 of 9 x 11; 50 of 11 x 9; 23 of 9 x 7 ¼

 

Horizontal canvases in groups of three or four paintings depict a segment of one side of the street, as seen from the other. Then, Felix turns around and paints a small detail of the facade just a few feet in front of him accompanied by the views looking down the sidewalk in either direction. (See the top row of paintings). Felix then crossed the street and started the process again. Presented together, these paintings create a continuous vision of the two facades of Penn Avenue seen from both sides of the street at the same time.

 

Each canvas was painted in a single session. Pittsburgh’s varying weather conditions creates vast differences in light from painting to painting. In addition, the lack of formality or pattern in architectural facades made it difficult to fit the street in a standard format. Finally, the randomness of vehicles (parking and then leaving) creates a quirky half-present, ghost image in time and space that acts as a subtle reminder that the paintings, though connected, were created at different periods of time.

 

Felix beautifully renders his confrontation with these forces: his desire to fit certain spaces in a standard structure versus the uncertainty of time and space. Using a traditional technique of oil on canvas, Felix discovers the impossibility of rigorous limitations in perception and execution. He is forced to make choices in translating an overwhelming reality.

 

De la Concha paints realistic, technically refined images that are a meditation on passage of time reflected in the paintings slight tonal variations. Each piece in this series changes perspective collectively presenting the artist intense quite observation. The compositional variations shift our awareness examining another take on reality.

Félix de la Concha