A husband-and-wife dual retrospective Featuring fairy-tale fantasy and woodwork
August 3 –25, 2019
Married for decades, Andrew Willner and Jo-Ellen Trilling share a bond of creativity. They’ve traveled on different artistic tracks, but side by side; embarked in New York City and arrived in in Rosendale, in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Trilling’s paintings and dolls exemplify Magic Realism. Appearances lure and trick with bright colors but incongruous details.Whimsical, Bosch-like hybrid creatures teeter on the disturbing. Winged things cling to Grimm forest trees; a live rooster hat glares from a dog doll’s head. Disquieting toys, ‘steampunk’ horses .and strange animals peer through Alice’s looking glass.
Nautical notes and textures pervade Willner’s woodwork: Apple wood and spalted Elm boxes, and sculptures he calls wave/sails. He works utilitarian pieces like bowls and cutting boards into waves and swells, counter-currents and swirls, gentle lifts and ebbs on surfaces far from shore. Willner laminates and carves fine wood, sands to fluid flows, oils it to a rich sheen.
Jo-Ellen’s works have been avidly sought by private collectors, especially by prominent individuals in the entertainment world, such as Elton John, Carrie Fisher, Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Robin Williams, and Madonna, just to name a few. Jo-Ellen was born in Huntington, Long Island, in 1947 and grew up in Setauket, Long Island. She attended the State University of New York, New Paltz, during which time she focused on dollmaking. Also, at that time, Trilling began creating portrait figures in cloth, producing prototypes for her later works. She moved to New York City in 1972 where she studied pastel drawing at New York’s Art Students League with Dan Green.
Fashioned from cloth, wire, and other materials, her sculptures portray such subjects as lascivious pigs in flamenco costume and leering dogs in gangster suits or leather motorcycle outfits. Trilling’s sculptures have been exhibited at various venues. They may be found in the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, Kansas, and the Ito Doll Museum, Japan. Trilling began painting in 2001, and her first exhibition devoted to her oils in New York City took place in 2008.
The Philadelphia Museum will include 2 Jackets from the 1980’s, in an exhibit entitled Off The Wall, opening this November. For more about Jo-Ellen, visit her website.
Willner has been a sculptor, furniture designer, boat builder, city planner, environmentalist, permaculturist, transition advocate, storyteller, public speaker, and blogger. Some of his photographs and furniture can be seen HERE..He is writing a book, Fish and Ships, a photo narrative of the people, places, and environment of one of the most beautiful and vulnerable estuaries in the world. Most of his photographs were taken while patrolling the New York/New Jersey Harbor for 20 years on the Baykeeper skiff. A portfolio of his photographs can be seen HERE.