a modern baroque
with sémplice baroque ensemble
June 14 – July 22, 2017
Helikon Gallery is pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition, A Modern Baroque. This show will bring together artists from across the United States who are working along themes of the baroque era: lavishness, complexity and adornment, exaggerated emotion– all with a 21st century twist. In addition to the visual, this show will include a musical element to further bring the baroque into the gallery space: Denver-based baroque ensemble Sémplice will play a live concert in the gallery, highlighting the links between music and art of a former era as they are manifested today. ‘A Modern Baroque’ seeks to bring these forms of high art and beauty into the gallery space as an accessible experience for all viewers while recalling a specific period in art and music history.
While the term ‘baroque’ has had a complex history, one encyclopedic definition defines the qualities most frequently associated with the baroque as ‘grandeur, sensuous richness, drama, vitality, movement, tension, and emotional exuberance.’ For this show, we’re particularly interested in how the artists’ work approaches modern themes of excessiveness and opulence through a baroque lens. Artists may choose to consider ‘baroque’ a derogative term– as it has been used in art criticism throughout modern periods– to critique elements of our modern society; or they may embrace this sense of opulence and exaggerated adornment in their work.
Artist list: Bill Mayer, Daria Theodora, Maria Kreyn, Michelle Avery Konczyk, Suchitra Mattai, Adrienne Stein, Patty Carroll, Damian Chavez, Alex Kuno, AM DeBrincat, and Lara Dann.
Wednesday, June 14th (6-10pm); First Friday, July 7 (6-10pm)
Saturday, June 17th (7:30pm)
Sémplice (pronounced SEM-plee-chay) is a Denver-based quartet specializing in the music of the baroque period, from 1600 to the mid-18th century. The quartet, comprised of Miriam Rosenblum on recorder, Carla Sciaky on baroque violin, Elinor Saragoussi on viola da gamba, and Ben Cohen on lutes and harpsichord, got their start playing house concerts. That informal atmosphere is perfect for this style of chamber music, so Sémplice carries that relaxed performance presentation wherever they go. Instead of concert black, printed program notes, and austere silence between tunes, Sémplice’s audiences enjoy stories about the composers, the instruments, and the cultural context from which the music was born, including the occasional tasty tidbits that depict the baroque characters as the actual human beings that they were.
Sémplice’s concert at Helikon Gallery on Saturday, June 17, will feature guest soprano Amanda Baliestrieri, “revered for her baroque repertoire” (Washington Post). The Baltimore Sun praised her “silvery soprano”, and the Boulder Camera her “beautiful, tender tone.”
The ensemble will present instrumental and vocal pieces by Handel, Pepusch, Barsanti, Rameau, J. S. Bach, and Boimortier.