Joan Furia Klutch
  Painter, Printmaker, Teacher & Ceramic Artist

My 2015 Participation in Art Exibitions


Full Circle: Furia and Klutch in Visual Dialogue

Klutch and Furia, Furia and Klutch, two artists with such engaging names, place their art side by side, their lives side by side, and reveal their work for us to explore. Klutch’s name suggests grasping and not letting go. Furia’s name suggests uncontained energy. If our identities are shaped, at least in part, by the names we carry, it is clear that this work and these names offer us a compelling challenge. Klutch’s work pulls the viewer into her spaces and then alternately serves us harmony and tension, repose and agitation. She refuses to let us leave these alluring multisensory events. Furia’s work rushes at us in a progression of fragments, bits and pieces recognizable but vague, triggering sensations. We should be able to name this place, solve this riddle. This pairing of Klutch and Furia, and the side by side juxtaposition of their work presents us with a striking conversation about art and friendship, phases and cycles. 

The dynamic of any relationship changes over time as our identities shift and evolve. Such is true with Klutch and Furia as their lives have converged and diverged over a lifetime of friendship. A look at the backgrounds of these two artists offers insight into their complementary work and how it coexists within a pleasant sort of tension.

Klutch and Furia began their friendship as sisters; Furia was married to Klutch’s brother. During their early lives, teens and twenties, they grew quite close as they all lived together with the Furia family. Vivid in their memories, they both speak fondly of gathering flowers to press, dry and frame. This mutual experience of nature as art was the earliest bond and a foreshadowing of their artistic paths.

Eventually school, careers, marriages, and families took them down differing paths, with some, but little overlap. Perhaps suggested by her early interest in flowers, Klutch first became a floral designer, and later went to art school following her path into watercolors, then later, mixed media. Quite successful, she exhibited and sold her work while simultaneously building a career as a workshop and university painting instructor. Furia’s early art life took a different direction. She attended a music conservatory and, for a time, worked as a musician. After obtaining various degrees, she worked in Human Resources for a large corporation. Eventually, she left corporate life and returned to art. By now her interest had turned from music to mixed media combining photography and printmaking. 

They remained friends during this busy time of schools, careers, and family but with little time to share. Life events caused the two to have limited contact for fifteen years; that is until Klutch’s 2001 exhibit in the Hamptons. Both acknowledge this was the magnet that pulled them back together. It was here that their mature artistic relationship took root and grew. By this point Klutch was a signature member of the American Watercolor Society exhibiting in galleries and museums throughout the United States. Furia had an established career in photography and printmaking and was looking to explore her artistic vision in a mixed media approach. After seeing Klutch’s exhibit, Furia signed up for her workshop and began exploring a combined photography, printmaking, and collage journey. Furia said, “We literally picked up where we left off. It was great to share our work and observe how we had matured personally and artistically. We were of the same voice.”

When considering Joan Klutch and Rosemary Furia together, a visual dialogue develops, pointing towards shared type of awareness and perception. Klutch’s Conversation Within and Furia’s Series IV define and illustrate the simple idea of a circle. Viewed separately or together these pieces demonstrate a deeper experience than a mere circle suggests. Klutch’s piece is alive with expressionist mark making. This is what a circle feels like in the forming. Furia’s piece gives us just enough information to sense the mechanics of the circle, a diagram to instruct about how a circle operates and why it exists. Both pieces achieve a sense of space; these are not simply surface treatments, they possess dimension. Both have a carefully constructed balance of black and white with some, but little gray values, making them high contrast and stark. This conversation is about absolutes; both artists, in distinctly different voices, provide clear arguments about the construction of a circle. They reach the same conclusion but they apply different logic to arrive there.

Now, full circle, Furia and Klutch come back together for Side By Side, an exhibit that celebrates the art but also honors the value of artistic friendship. Furia said of Klutch, “Her concentration and Zen approach was transfixing. I cannot stress how much her ideas and skill poured into me. I took giant leaps, finding a focus and point-of-view in my approach.” The depth of their mutual respect is inspiring. In speaking of their friendship Klutch said “We have an accumulation of artistic respect for what each brings to the table. We sit for hours looking at these pieces one by one discussing, critiquing, and sharing our work in dialogue.” Aren’t we the fortunate ones to get an invitation to this conversation

The Art League of Long Island
Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery
107 East Deer Park Road
Dix Hills, NY 11746
(631) 462-5400

Opening Reception, Sunday, May 17, 4-6PM
Exhibition runs May 16 through June 7th

Monday – Thursday: 9AM – 9PM
Friday: 9AM – 4PM
Weekends:  11AM – 4PM
Open to the public

Three Parts of One, Rosemary Furia


Copyright © 2014 by Joan Furia Klutch
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