This collection of 16 paintings, all created in 2020, represents a calendar year where humanity has dealt with vast personal and collective uncertainties while enduring a global pandemic. The abstract expressionism on display captures the zeitgeist of the United States, Europe and elsewhere, as we maneuver through medicinal, political, philosophical and psychological landscapes. Holder’s work challenges the viewer to embrace a unique journey and explore the unknown or unfamiliar visceral concepts through a prism of collective consciousness. Throughout this collection of paintings, there are many threads that connect the work. The vibrancy of color, brush strokes and visible layers of the process all offer intrigue, forensic curiosity and, perhaps, emotional reprieve during a time where love, hope and the regaining of a sense of personal and individual normalcy in society is profoundly desired. It is our wish that the viewer engages and reflects in response to the exploration of the open themes in these paintings. With Beyond the Horizon, Mr. Holder offers the welcome surprise of inspiration and courage during a time when the thirst for new incarnations, new beginnings, new love and positive transformations are dire.
“My artwork is a juxtaposition of the unconscious and conscious mind. Painting in layers allows me to embrace the freedom that is associated with the Abstract Expressionism movement, and I feel the forms and techniques here give the work depth and texture. The intangible aspect of painting is what drives me to create work and my process unfolds naturally when I let my thoughts flow freely. I want my paintings to speak to the viewer long past their initial viewing or introduction. Painting for me has always been a natural selection. I will share an anecdote: An art teacher of mine provided an exercise, and the objective was to paint a flower without using paint. With the teacher’s guidance, we used soil to create a brown color, chlorophyll to create a green hue, and the natural dyes in flower petals to create secondary colors. This experience allowed me to associate art with freedom.”
About the artist:
Augustin Kelvin Holder’s professional development was shaped by taking art classes throughout his undergraduate studies at the University of the Virgin Islands, University of Alaska and the University of Hawaii. He continued to engage in art education and theory at the Art Students League of New York and with independent studies at MOMA and The Brooklyn Museum. His work was recently featured in the November 2020 edition of MOKO Magazine, in the arts and culture section. He is currently featured in the exhibit “The Joy Inside Our Tears” at sevenminuseven art collective and gallery on St. Thomas.
Augustin Kelvin Holder – Beyond the Horizon – Abstract Expression Art
Exhibition opening event date and time: Saturday, Jan. 16, 7 p.m. to midnight
Location: 81C – downtown Charlotte Amalie. Strand Gade between waterfront and Market Square. Right around the corner from Moe’s Grocery on the waterfront. Visit www.81CVI.com for a map link or google 81C Virgin Islands. Parking and other info: Park on the waterfront.
COVID-19 capacity regulations will be observed. Face masks are required to enter the event. Drinks will be available for a suggested donation and hors d’oeuvres will be passed around. Liquor sponsors include West Indies Corporation. Please drink responsibly.
Gallery hours: The exhibition will be on display for one week and viewings are available by both public walk-in and private appointment. Gallery hours are Monday, Jan. 18, to Sunday, Feb. 24, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Art sales contact person: Joseph Hewes 340-244-5056.
About 81C: 81C is a newly opened event venue in historic downtown featuring a pop-up event space and art gallery. The space is available for private and public pop-up event rentals. 81C was launched by entrepreneur Zack Zook after several years of renovation and restoration to the (circa 1810) building located at 81C Kronprindsens Gade. The space is currently operated by Joseph Hewes, Augustin Kelvin Holder, Anya Vizziello and Zack Zook. Artist Shansi Miller was featured at their opening launch event in October 2020. In 2021 81C will expand operations to include a “hurricane season artist in residence program” and launch an Airbnb component, featuring an upper-level grand residence complete with a library and lounge, also serving as additional event space. Visit wwww.81CVI.com for more information.