Featuring Victoria Adams, James Cook, Sheila Gardner, Michael Gregory, Rod Kagan, Laura McPhee & Theodore Waddell.
Honoring our Landscape features the aesthetic interpretation of the land by Nationally renowned painters Victoria Adams, James Cook, Theodore Waddell, Sheila Gardner and Michael Gregory. Laura McPhee presents her photographic view of our western lands along with works by Rod Kagan, who reinterprets the landscape around us by creating them in bronze.
Featuring Squeak Carnwath, Linda Christensen, David deVillier, Bean Finneran, Gary Komarin, Cole Morgan, Gary Nisbet, Marcia Myers, Rana Rochat, Jim Romberg, Julie Speidel, Therman Statom, Inez Storer & Melinda Tidwell
Artists in this exhibition use color as a predominate component of their artwork. Squeak Carnwath gives voice and form to those deeply affecting experiences that many of us find difficult to articulate. Linda Christensen’s figurative paintings deal with life’s everyday occurrences. Her work features contrast of extremes in color and ambiguity of space. David DeVillier's imaginative works and titles are satiated with emotionally driven messages while at times being sharply humorous and full of wit. The liveliness of Bean Finneran's hand rolled ceramic sculptures are equaled by Rana Rochat's series of encaustic paintings. Rochat's new paintings use scrawling lines, rhythms of dots and texture, and sophisticated color to create an uplifting atmosphere. Gary Komarin’s abstract painting style visually engages the viewer with richness of color as a primary message. Cole Morgan creates whimsy and illusions of dimension with color and shape. Marcia Myers utilized natural pigments to capture the essence of her Italian experiences. Gary Nisbet creates colorful and playful painted collages featuring forms drawn from the domestic realm of home. The interactions of the natural processes of earth and fire with the hand define the sculptural beauty of Jim Romberg’s Raku fired ceramics. Julie Speidel’s newest work features bold colors matched with her iconic forms influenced by ancient artifacts.
For over five decades, Inez Storer has pursued her own uniquely personal style of figuration, despite periods in which abstraction remained the prevalent avant-garde style. Internationally recognized for his unconventional painted, blown, and fabricated glass sculpture, Statom's playful but sophisticated imagery and integration of non-glass materials continues to explore unique, architectural compositions. Using simple geometric shapes and rectilinear alignments, Melinda Tidwell focuses on the coherence and juxtaposition of color, pattern, placement and size.
My artwork has shifted from a meticulously designed process of layering, sanding, incising, drilling and filling pigmented wood putties onto the surface of wood panels. That series had a visual depth, and a highly finished, smooth waxed surface. My focus was to create paintings that were quietly powerful, contemplative with seductive surfaces, and very much objects unto themselves.
Using the same pigmented wood putties, but with collage elements, beeswax, and asphalt emulsion,my work this year is much more open-ended. This new series of work is inspired by metaphoric and non-linear literature. Failure often informs this body of artwork as well as exploration and open avenues of discovery in image making. The concept of conflating figurative elements, text, disparate surfaces, fabric, and digital photos has moved my work away from rigid predetermined images to paintings that evolve through a process of discovery.
By applying and altering materials directly with my hands and a putty knife this series is also exploring the physicality of these materials resulting in a post expessionist art making process.
In all of my work, I endeavor to make pieces that move the viewer to visually examine the work from distance, and up close, where he/she is rewarded by nuance of surface, by imagery, and by the physical nature of the work: If I am successful there is an ineffable quality that is felt intellectually and emotionally.
I use the most pristine of clays, Porcelain, which has been wheel-thrown, de-constructed, re-constructed and then fired to vitrification at cone 10. These vessels are unglazed to accentuate the surface quality of porcelain.
All of the applied elements on each vessel, came from the altered clay body of the other two thrown vessels. These elements were interchanged, combined, stacked, and altered. The ‘vocabulary’ of this series of sculptural artwork tells the story of my architectural interests, my interest in the directness of my clay manipulations, the beauty of ‘raw’ porcelain, and finally my reverence for vessels.
“When I look at the body of work dedicated to a show, I stand and wonder from where this work has emerged. I look back at the year that preceded it and see all my experiences sublimated into paintings and drawings.
I see the travels I have made, hikes I have walked, books I have read, images I have viewed, dreams I have recorded, clouds I have observed, ceremonies I have witnessed and workshops I have taken.
I am often a bit surprised when a theme I have worked on for a year or more dissipates or even ends abruptly. The Trees were a big topic for me in 2013 & 2014. Then a painting emerged in which the landscape had given way for a mist or cloudscape, pushing the figure forward in a new way. Rocks, crystals and minerals, keepers of time, witnesses to history accompany my people.
What keeps me interested is the joy I feel when exploring ideas, new and old, in my studio. What will come next? I do not know..”
Allison Stewart has gained recognition for her mixed media paintings that express the restless balance between man and nature. Stewart exemplifies this struggle by painting with acrylic, enamel, inks, tar, charcoal, metallic powders and wax as an investigation of media which repel and attract each other.
Trained as a biologist, Stewart is inspired by landscape imagery, specifically the vanishing Louisiana coastal wetlands. Stewart takes as her subject fragile environments, cycles of life, and evidence of man’s mark on nature.
She uses layers of color, light, form and texture to address issues of beauty and loss, time and transformation. Residing somewhere between realism and abstraction, the paintings are visual diaries upon which Stewart records her responses to the threatened landscape.
Allison Stewart has exhibited extensively throughout the United States. Her work is included in many public and corporate collections such as: the US Department of State Art in Embassies Program, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the South Carolina Art Museum, the Historic New Orleans Collection, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Texaco, Freeport McMoRan, Price Waterhouse Corp., Chase Manhattan Bank, ARCO, American Express, Sun Bank of Florida, Pan American Life, the Pensacola Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Women and the Arts.
The Gail Severn Gallery has presented Morris Graves’ work in more than 20 exhibitions, including nine solo exhibitions over the last 30 years. In addition, the gallery has helped support and participated in a number of museum exhibitions and traveling shows featuring Graves’ work. This exhibition includes pieces from the early 1930’s thru the mid 1990’s. Graves’ spirituality sets him apart from the mainstream of the 20th century modernists.
“He is one of the very few 20th century artists for whom the creation of art is an act of reverence and perhaps the only one of stature for who it is largely a means of lovingly (but persistently) reaching upward, outward, and inward toward greater and simpler dimensions of being and evidence of the divine. Here he stands quite alone.” - Theodore Wolff
"Kolkata’s extraordinary domestic architecture (particularly the 18th and 19th century houses of the zamindars of North Kolkata, a caste of landowners made rich by the Company) tells the story of past and present, of the evolution from colony to independence and beyond. The houses were built by Indians for Indians (rather than by the British for the British) and they follow their own unique architectural conventions that reflect both domestic customs and religious use. The households I photographed consist of unusual amalgams of internationally derived architectural styles overlaid by details of family life and personal history seen in the objects that adorn the rooms. These spaces speak to the vicissitudes of economic life and of time, to incipient globalization, to the blending of history with contemporary living, to family and changing traditions, and to the long and complex material and political relationship between India and the west."
We all see the world through the prism of our own experience. When Marcia Myers was first exposed to the ancient Roman mural paintings of the 1st century CE, she saw pure abstraction. It was these frescos, and those of the renaissance masters, that compelled Myers to transform this ancient technique into modern terms. The last of Myers’ body of work is the culmination of a 28-year journey through time, integrating the technique of the masters with a vision of modernity, giving birth to the modern fresco.
Myers utilized the formal elements of artistic expression—color, light, texture, shape, and space, to capture the essence of an experience. Her paintings are relics of a creative process where the act of creating supersedes the product of creation. The subject has been reduced to paint. The viewer is propelled into a realm where past and present commingle. As a conveyer of truth, her paintings explore the realm beyond the recognizable subject, a place devoid of word and imagery, where all is distilled to its very essence. The result is pure indulgence in the sensory aspects of color, texture and space. Her paintings tantalize, inviting the viewer into ineffable dialogue with paint. It is purely through the power of color that an emotion is triggered and the viewer is transported through space and time to arrive at a present interpretation of the past.
A highlight in August will be California based artist Deborah Oropallo whose newest body of work focuses on the farm to table concept and the relationship between animals and food. Oropallo, inspired by her recent move to a farm and attempt to live in a self-sustaining environment, captures the gentleness and ferocity inherent in nurturing, living with, and harvesting animals. This complex relationship is echoed in Oropallo’s technique of layering imagery and blurring the distinction of form, figure and background. Oropallo refines her artistic transition from painting to digital imaging by incorporating the multimedia of printmaking, photography, digital technology and painting. Using animals to provoke questions regarding the paradoxical aspects of food and our relationship to it.
Gail Severn Galley's "State of Nature IV" group exhibition will explore our open air environment through the eyes of our represented artists. The show will feature many different disciplines of painting, sculpture and photography.
Artists included in this exhibition are Victoria Adams, James Cook, David deVillier, Betsy Eby, Morris Graves, Michael Gregory, Valerie Hammond, Lisa Kokin, Hung Liu, Lynda Lowe, Robert McCauley, Laura McPhee, Kenna Moser, Gwynn Murrill, Ed Musante, Christopher Reilly, Rene Rickabaugh, Jane Rosen, Brad Rude, Anne Siems, Jack Spencer, Allison Stewart, Boaz Vaadia, Theodore Waddell and David Wharton.
Jenny Honnert Abell’s artwork is filled with fantasy and imagination. Loving nature, Abell’s imagery of birds on old book covers resembles the illustrations seen in early childhood fairytale books. Jenny’s work includes collage; it is an enigma of fine prints, drawings and patterns for the viewer to solve. Her work is so detailed; even the smallest book cover has levels of complexity which are hard to comprehend. This new exhibition includes her ubiquitous birds along with her interest in depicting trees and other flora and fauna with her magical vision and her complex collages.
"For the past few years my sculptures have been glazed, stained, fired, then glazed, stained and fired again to give the surfaces the look of disintegrating paint over weathered wood. This softening and reduction of form so that its essential nature is revealed is a metaphor I am using for life being lived, my exploration of the process of growing up and growing older. These latest small sculptures recall the “Santos” figures of Mexico and Central America and incorporate a reproduced 19th century doll head. Although my figures echo contemporary concerns, the borrowing of earlier styles gives them more of an ageless quality. Linda Gastrom, Professor of Art, Fort Hays State University, states, 'The subject conveys a sweet sentimentality twisted into melancholy that touches my emotional core and helps me remember the complexities of childhood and life'."
My paintings have an earthen, organic quality, which begins with the materials. Marble plaster, clay, beeswax, natural pigments and oil glazes are the parts of the whole. By layering color and media, the surface of my paintings acquire a refined coarseness and quiet abstraction that evoke an emotional response.
On a daily basis, we encounter a great volume of verbal, written and visual communication - details and demands, both substantive and irrelevant. When I arrive at my studio, I'm seeking a quietude - a mental stillness.
The layering protocol I undergo to create my paintings is both laborious and blissful. I welcome the solemnity of the process. I intend the resulting pieces to convey a sense of depth and to offer evidence of their evolution.
Following the ritual of adding and subtracting what may be twenty or thirty layers of color and material - my paintings arrive at the eventual visual and tactile end of their journey.
The final interaction of hue and substance adequately articulate all I intend to convey. If there is a narrative or story to be found in my work, I offer that to the viewer to ascribe.
Alexander Rohrig’s painted stone sculptures depicting animals evoke cubist sculptures, and with their animal features defined by color stains, they are somewhat reminiscent of excavated cave paintings.
“This group of work stems from the memory or a feeling that something gives me rather than its detailed portrait. A glance from the corner of your eye repeated over time, a gesture, a personality, a relationship can often reveal a truer likeness than a photograph. You have to be paying close attention, sifting out nonessential details in order to arrive somewhere both simple and true. I’m finding the more ordinary something seems, often that is when it can also become most interesting to me. I tend to enjoy humor in art. It welcomes a viewer in to take a closer look without being off-putting. The playful aspect of these sculptures seems native to me and are the type of work I most enjoy making and looking at. It also allows me access to play around with the formal aspects of sculpture without making purely formal work. For instance, I love Richard Tuttle’s work, but I can’t make his kind of work. Figuration, at least at this stage, is important to me although it’s often arrived at through abstract means.”
Working from his imagination, José Cobo creates resin sculptures that capture moments of innocence and transformation, taking the form of children, animals, toys, and mythological creatures. In the gallery, viewers assume the role of outsiders, gazing upon figures crowded in groups or suspended supernaturally from the walls—completely oblivious that they are being watched. He creates his figures using a moldable epoxy resin that changes as it dries, adding an unexpected element beyond the artist’s control. Along with his murals and public installations, these works address ideas of both individuality and collectivity.
Gallery II will offer a group exhibition of artists who are fascinated with the idea of landscape and recreating their own personal view of the natural world.
“James Cook, Michael Gregory and Theodore Waddell are viewed as some of the most influential contemporary landscape painters living today”… Henry Hopkins, director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from 1974 to 1986, speaking at the Gail Severn Gallery in 1995. This cross section of visual ideas about light and our regional landscape bring back a kind of genetic memory for the viewer – reminding them of places lost and places found.
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Michael Gregory paints richly detailed landscapes that are realist in style, but painted from imagination and memory. Gregory is fascinated with the study of old barns and silos, which have become some of his most frequent subjects. His actual depictions of the structures vary widely—sometimes up close and centered, other times at a far distance. His other subjects have included flowers isolated under bright lighting, precariously balanced houses made of cards, and stucco buildings. In addition to his subject matter, Gregory is known for his luminous use of color and characteristically limited palette of whites, grays, blacks, and muted tones.
Kindler looks at the feminine in this series of limited edition prints named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of eternal youth, perfection, and beauty. Through this reference Kindler playfully explores the ideals of what defines beauty of the modern woman. Each of the six prints focuses on contemporary ideals: Sexuality ("Stepping Out"), Nurturing ("Branching Out"), Accomplishment ("Something to Do"), Self love and confidence despite vulnerability ("Queen of Chaos"), Realization of ones unique identity ("Self Portrait"), and Control ("Crowned Prince").
Judith Kindler is an American multidisciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation, photography, and photography-based mixed media works. She is noted for her use of diverse and complex medias in the expression of a conceptual or narrative idea. Born in Western New York, she grew up artistically under the influence of the New York Avant Garde, and has been honored as a recipient of the prestigious Poncho Artist of The Year Award and is in many important public and private collections.
In this work "Aphrodite" she continues a focus on the figurative nuances as she has done in her work in encaustic, rubber and resin.
Kindler’s work in encaustic was described by Stefano Catalani, Artistic Director and Curator of the Bellevue Arts Museum in the exhibition book entitled “Defining Truth / Judith Kindler”: “The composition of the photographs is minimal, reduced to standing girls and young women in white delicate clothing, often against an indefinite and blurred background. The spatial perception here is blind, almost dimensionless, except for the human figure. The white atmosphere is rarefied, suspended, though charged at times with symptoms of tension: A sudden gesture of embrace, eye contact with the viewer, lifted hands, or eyes cast down . . . Judith Kindler builds up the narrative and iconographic space . . . a repertoire of symbols and seminal ideas projected out for readers able to decipher.”
This exhibition is composed of paintings and works on paper that are concerned with form and color as a metaphor and the power that a color and/or a rather basic, minimal form can exert on a viewer. These works pay homage to several periods of painting and are not concerned with representation. They are abstract in the most fundamental sense.
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I continue to explore the figure and am looking more consciously at the reasons for doing so. I enjoy working on composition whilst creating obstacles for myself – this challenges me to select different solutions to familiar situations.
Sometimes throwing something onto the canvas that has little immediate connection to the current idea opens up a new awareness. I strive to keep myself interested in the process and therefore a challenge is welcome. Reworking my palette and exploring new color combinations is helping me to question the reason for selecting specific colors.
I like the challenge in my awareness of what isn’t happening, what isn’t being used, what isn’t being said and why, these are some of the obstacles I set myself.
Honesty about myself is a crucial factor in my paintings. My overall desire is to emit emotion through the paint, the line, the contrasts and composition. Redundancy is the enemy. I want to keep things interesting and with a hint of danger. Danger in the desire to obscure what is already there and what might be a beautiful passage in the painting. Courage to continue growing and recognizing my need for emotional movement is paramount.
Tucker's Seasonal Words of Wisdom
"Tucker's Seasonal Words of Wisdom" is Theodore Waddell’s newest book for children and dog lovers of all ages. The second of Waddell’s children’s books, "Tucker's Seasonal Words of Wisdom" follows Tucker the Bernese Mountain Dog and his fellow ‘Berners’—and human pals—through a year of fun and exploration in the Northern Rockies. The happy ‘Berners’ experience the joys of each season, all the while sharing their uplifting brand of canine wisdom. Waddell’s beautifully painted works of oil on paper adorn each page of the book.
Gail Severn Gallery is pleased to be able to offer the original works on paper that are the images on the pages of this wonderful new book. Ted’s originals offer a playful sense of fun and fantasy with the ever present allure of Waddell’s master works. The works on paper delight both children and adults alike.
Theodore Waddell is an internationally recognized artist that has spent more than 50 years painting and sculpting his beloved western landscape. His work, full of horses, cattle and sheep are given life by his impasto style of painting using washes, endless colors and wax. The paper pieces in the exhibition show off his sense of humor and his amazing talents as an artist in all mediums.
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Inspired by the mysteries of life, Morgan Brig’s mixed media along with her copper and enamel works are both playful and contemplative. Her three dimensional wall sculptures are typically conceived in words by the writings in her journal. There, she explores human nature and the inner dialogue of individual character. Brig then expresses these ideas through symbols, icons, and even written text embedded onto her surfaces.
Using Pigmented oil paint, knives, blowtorches, and waxes Betsy Eby formulates herself, she creates encaustic paintings as rhythmic compositions. The artist says her best work results on the days she also dictates time to playing classical piano.
Focusing on painting as a space of exploration, Raphaëlle Goethals has used wax and resin as her signature medium for more than fifteen years. Probing the physicality of the materials, Goethals works in a process of layering, pouring, scraping off, scratching into the surface, effacing, leaving traces of earlier information, all of this eliciting from the viewer a continuous shifting in the perception of forms, a build up and overlap of successive stages which demands that his or hers attention continually adjusts. The physical history of the piece, however, is buried underneath the smooth surface, its presence felt rather than seen.
Nationally recognized painter Michael Gregory continues to create the richly detailed oil landscapes that he is so famous for. Collectors and Museums are inspired by the romantic and intellectual paintings that are realistic in style, but painted from Gregory’s imagination and travels to specific locations. Reconstructed landscapes that bring to mind special places and times in ones memory.
Margaret Keelan’s ceramic sculptures of dolls / children and animals are both compelling and disconcerting. There is an immediate and visceral reaction to the heavily textured surfaces. The figures appear to have been excavated. The layers of stains and glazes curl and peel away, creating the illusion of disintegrating paint over weathered wood. Her meticulous approach to creating these aged surfaces gives the sculptures a strength and integrity, suggesting they have undergone their own rites of passage through heat and flame.
Photographer Laura McPhee, noted for her stunning large-scale landscapes and portraits of the people who live and work in them, has been traveling to eastern India for over a decade. There she has devoted her perceptive vision to picturing layers of history, culture, religion, and class as they appear in private heritage homes and public markets, in lively street festivals, and in the faces of city dwellers in Calcutta (also known as Kolkata).
Signed copies of McPhee’s latest book published in conjunction with Yale University Press The Home and the World: A View of Calcutta, is available for purchase during the preview exhibition.
When Marcia Myers was first exposed to the ancient Roman mural paintings of the 1st century CE, she saw pure abstraction. It was these frescos, and those of the Renaissance masters, that compelled Myers to transform this ancient technique into modern terms.
Myers utilized the formal elements of artistic expression—color, light, texture, shape, and space—to capture the essence of an experience. Her paintings are relics of a creative process where the act of creating supersedes the product of creation.
This preview exhibition features a small selection of work that will be in the Summer 2015 exhibition. The Fresco paintings will be the final release of paintings from the Marcia Myers estate.
Melinda Tidwell's collage works begin with the formal aspects of design and a fascination with the balance of visual elements in composition. Using simple geometric shapes and rectilinear alignments, she focuses on the coherence and juxtaposition of color, pattern, placement and size. With a background in mathematics, computer graphics, and design and her predilection for the geometric, this rational foundation serves as the basis for her departure into what is not rational. The way colors activate each other, how the size and position muddle or enhance visual unity, the simple grace of worn and tattered surfaces. The picture plane becomes a dialogue of vibrant, abstract voices unified by a logic one can feel but not fully understand. Tidwell finds this wonderfully mysterious and enlivening.
Using discarded books as her primary material adds both seriousness and levity to her work. Tidwell likes working with words, pieces of text, the odd string of numbers. Cut away from their original context, they operate as texture and shape and also as a kind of code, or pieces of memory. The abstraction of this information into bits of non-sense, hope to tease the mind into the wilder lands of free association and one’s own imagination. The peculiar sensation of a world slightly askew gives her no end of delight.
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