Paintings and Drawings by
HELD OVER through March 10, 2016
Afternoon Reception - Wed. Feb.17th, 11am - 1pm
Evening Reception: Thurs. Feb. 18th 5:30 - 7:30
Fire-imbibed, Thy Sanctuary, 2015, 30” x 24”, oil on canvas
Amor Fati presents recent paintings and drawings by Christopher Willingham, adjunct professor of visual arts at Holyoke Community College. Charged with mark and color, and evoking themes from classical mythology, these powerful images reveal emergent forms and compositions in a language of exploratory abstraction. Grounded in vivid materiality, they record the search not for specific objects, but for an emotional exactitude—a specificity of feeling in which features of light, landscape, weather, and organic form pulse as elements of urgent process. Naming his creative engagement as amor fati, “love of fate,” the artist offers his works as a Stoic meditation on life as eternal, transformative process, and on the aesthetic as life itself. In an exuberant exchange of chance and vernacular, he proceeds not by merely accepting as necessary the often fraught activity of making and living, but by loving it.
An adjunct professor of visual arts at Holyoke Community College since 2000, Christopher Willingham teaches drawing and design, and has authored and co-developed several advanced courses and Learning Communities, including the popular Sensuality, Spirit and the Sublime: The Art of Philosophy. He served as coordinator for HCC’s off-campus studio at Open Square in downtown Holyoke, and curator for three annual Arts of the Valley exhibitions, each featuring over 70 regional and international artists. He collaborated with Dean Nimmer on the writing of Art from Intuition, published in 2007, and contributed original art and project design to Nimmer’s highly-successful Creating Abstract Art, published in 2014. Trained across disciplines, Christopher Willingham’s work combines rigorous intellectual investigations with sensuous approaches to materials and environments, utilizing the blended strategies of drawing, painting, sculptural installation, photography and critical writing. His solo works and collaborations have been exhibited in New York, Boston, Germany, and Turkey, as well as extensively throughout western Massachusetts. He maintains a studio in the Cabotville complex in Chicopee, and resides in East Longmeadow.