‘Five Elements: Bill Pangburn’s Rivers’ to Open at ARTEGO Gallery




Bill Pangburn, Untitled, Color, 2010, watercolor and gouache, 66.5 x 52.5 in. Image courtesy of the Artist and ARTEGO Gallery.

ARTEGO Gallery is pleased to announce the forthcoming exhibition, “Five Elements: Bill Pangburn’s Rivers,” featuring the exceptional works of highly accomplished artist Bill Pangburn. For over two decades, Pangburn has dedicated his career to the singular theme of rivers and water, employing various mediums such as meticulous woodblock prints, authentic Eastern ink paintings, and expressive oil and acrylic paintings on paper and canvas. This captivating showcase, curated by Soojung Hyun, will grace the gallery from March 1 to March 30, 2024.

“Five Elements: Bill Pangburn’s Rivers” will focus on Pangburn’s prints and paintings, offering viewers a unique opportunity to delve into his profound exploration of the natural world. Pangburn’s art masterfully captures the essence of water in all its diverse forms and nuances, from rivers meandering through everyday surroundings to coursing through arid deserts and connecting vast oceans. His work symbolizes the transformative power of flowing rivers, serving as a metaphor for the interconnectedness and complexity of human existence.

Bill Pangburn, A River Apart A Third Reflection, 2021, woodcut, 32″ x 12.5″. Image courtesy of the Artist and ARTEGO Gallery.

At the heart of Pangburn’s artistic practice lies the principle of Eastern cosmology, embodied by the concept of the Five Elements. Rooted in Chinese philosophy, the Five Elements—wood, fire, earth, metal, and water— transcend the physical realm. Representing the cyclical flow of cosmic energy, they imply that humanity and nature are intertwined. These elements interact with and deeply influence one another in his work, focusing on water as it flows across the landscape.

Pangburn’s woodblock prints are truly exceptional, elevating the combination of various elements to unprecedented heights in the art world. Each print is meticulously crafted, with water intricately incised into wooden blocks. Every stroke of the carving knife is a deliberate gesture, much like a brushstroke, evoking the copious characteristics of water in the artist’s mind. In Eastern symbolism, metal represents strength and power, yet it is also known to yield to the force of fire. This principle within the Five Elements finds profound meaning in Pangburn’s work. The metal carving knife is for engraving images on wooden blocks. The artist pours his heart and soul into the carving, infusing it with the energy of creation. The relentless passion signifies a symbol of fire, akin to the fire that can melt metal. The artist’s creation process transcends the medium’s boundaries, interweaving with the Five Elements. The central principle of these elements is the profound interconnection whereupon they find their balance.

“Five Elements: Bill Pangburn’s Rivers” invites viewers to contemplate the interplay of universal forces and the enduring connections between all aspects of existence. Pangburn’s rivers serve as metaphysical conduits, traversing time and culture to connect past epochs with the contemporary era and the promise of the future.

About the Artist ~ Born in Amarillo, Texas, Bill Pangburn studied fine arts at the Phillips-Universitaet, Marburg an der Lahn, Germany; Tulane University, New Orleans, LA; and Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, where he received his MFA in printmaking. A professional artist who works in painting, printmaking, and installations, he is also an arts administrator, curator, and educator. He recently retired as the director of the Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery, John Jay College.

Bill Pangburn’s professional activities include solo exhibitions at Studio Artego, Queens, NY;  Art Mora Seoul, Seoul, South Korea; Art Mora NJ, Ridgefield Park, NJ; University College Art Gallery, Farleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ;  BCBArt, Hudson, NY; and the San Angelo Museum of Art, San Angelo, TX; among others. He has participated in group exhibitions at the State Psychiatric Hospital of Attica, Dafni, Athens, Greece; Art and Design Gallery, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY; AHM Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan; the Sofia International Paper Biennial 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria; Art-Area China 2015, Hebei Normal University Museum, Hebei, China; Dishman Art Museum, Beaumont, TX; Nikolaou Gallery, Selonika, Greece; and the 22nd Seoul International Art Festival, Chosunibo Museum, Seoul, South Korea. His work is held in public collections at the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, San Angelo, TX; and the Henan Museum, Zhengzhou, China; among others.

Five Elements: Bill Pangburn’s Rivers will be on view from March 1 to March 30, 2024 at ARTEGO Gallery, 32-88 48th Street, Queens, NY. An Opening Reception will be held on Friday, March 1st from 6-8pm.