McClain Gallery is pleased to present this two person exhibition featuring new sculpture and drawings by Sharon Engelstein alongside new paintings and prints by McClain Gallery artist Aaron Parazette. This will be Engelstein’s first exhibition at McClain Gallery, Parazette’s third, and their eighth time showing together since 1986.  

Sharon Engelstein and Aaron Parazette met at the University of South Florida over 30 years ago. Since that time, as partners in life and art, they have made their work in close proximity to each other. Except for a few brief periods, their studio spaces have been adjacent and at times overlapping. While each artist has maintained a separate and distinct practice, such long and close proximity has had its effect. Sometimes through direct conversation, but more often by peripheral observation, shared sensibilities, material affinities, and formal sympathies have emerged.

The work presented in Each to the Other showcases each artist’s mature work and provides a fine opportunity to appreciate the results of their long rapport. Engelstein’s recent ceramic sculptures explore her continuing interest in the merging of organism and mechanism. In these works her interest is expressed in forms that appear to merge the process of growing and building. Part natural landscape, part built environment, they identify as both strange new worlds and curious creatures. Parazette’s paintings extend his commitment to color and form and can be seen as searching for the situations Engelstein is building. The paintings are emphatically flat while also suggesting spaces, places, and masses. Made through a fetishistic tape painting process, the crisp interlocking color-forms in Parazette’s paintings echo again the growing and building process intrinsic to Engelstein’s sculptures.  In the works of both artists are measured gestures, taut geometries, and rigorous attention to material. The result is a group of specific objects and highly developed visual moments; objects and spaces that know, like, and respect each other, while always understanding that they can stand alone.

Sharon Engelstein (b. 1965 Montreal, Canada) received a BFA from the University of South Florida, and an MFA from the Claremont Graduate University. She completed two consecutive CORE Residencies at the Museum of Fine Art, Houston (1990, 1992), and has been included in countless exhibitions around the world.  Her exhibition record includes solo shows at Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Glassell School of Art, Houston; Locust Projects, Miami; Elias Fine Art, Boston; Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco and The Suburban, Chicago. Commissions include: Little Ricky and Tall Ma for Midtown Park (2017), Crullers for the City of Austin Art (2016), station platforms for Houston Metro Solutions (2014), Transported and Renewed for Houston Arts Alliance (2014), Dillidiidae for Herman Park (2014), and Your Loyal Mighties for the Houston Police Department. Selected awards include the Individual Artist Fellowship from Houston Arts Alliance (2008), the International Artist in Residence Program, ArtPace, San Antonio (2002), the Creative Artist Program Award from Cultural Arts Council of Houston (2000), the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, New York (1995), Project Grant from the Canada Council (1994), the Creative Artist Program Award from Cultural Arts Council of Houston (1994), and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Award (1993).

Aaron Parazette (b. 1960 Ventura, California) received his BFA from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida (1987), his MFA from the Claremont Graduate University, California (1990),  and he completed two CORE residencies at the Museum of Fine Art, Houston (1990, 1992). Selected solo exhibitions include North Swell at the Dallas Contemporary (2011); Snow White Tan, Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas (2010); New Paintings, McClain Gallery, Houston (2008); New Paintings, Marlborough Gallery NY (2006, 2007); Wind Swell, Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco (2006); Drive Thru, The Suburban, Chicago (2005); Aaron Parazette: Perspectives 141, The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2004). He has also been included in over a hundred national and international group exhibitions including In Plain Sight, McClain Gallery, Houston (2012) which he curated. Aaron Parazette is a Professor at the University of Houston School of Art where he has taught since 1997.