Painter Gregory Coates to speak at URI

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KINGSTON, R.I. — August 28, 2006 — Gregory Coates, a New York-based painter will visit the Art Department at the University of Rhode Island Sept. 25 and 26. His visit to the Kingston campus is made possible by the Italo Scanga Visiting Artist Fund.

Coates will give a lecture on Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. in Room A202 in the URI Fine Arts Center, followed by a reception. The lecture and reception are free and open to the public.

Coates embodies the qualities and excitement of the contemporary abstract painter, according to artist Barbara Pagh, who chairs URI’s Art Department. Spending most of his career in New York City, Coates has formulated a rich body of work centered on refiguring and redefining found and fabricated materials that are subsequently pigmented and attached to wall panels. The result is highly innovative. Using such materials as rubber, wood, metal, plastic, and glass Coates explores provocative and difficult social issues that have a remarkably urban tenor and flavor.

In his relatively short career he has demonstrated a sense of relentless experimentation, growth, and productive energy. Challenging older, prevailing positions in abstraction, his works tend to look forward, taking the viewer’s expectations to the limit of understanding and perception.

He has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in New York, London, Berlin, and Munich.

He is currently working on a series of installations, the most recent of which is entitled “Strut,” concurrently exhibiting at Galerie Denkraum in Vienna, Austria and at Magan-Projects in New York.

Awards include the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, the Pollack-Krasner Grant, the New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, and the Edward Bannister Society’s Artistic Achievement Award. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Kunsthaus Tacheles in Berlin, and the International Artist-Workshop in Capetown, South Africa.

The Italo Scanga Visiting Artist Fund was established in 2005 with a donation from URI Art Department alumna Katherine Scanga and the Italo Scanga Foundation. Italo Scanga was an internationally renowned sculptor who taught for many years at UC-San Diego. For further information on the Italo Scanga Foundation see For more information about Coates’ visit, contact URI’s Department of Art at 401-874-5821.