The Great North American Animal Census Project
December,18 2019 - February 3, 2020
Gallery Walk • Friday, December 27th, 5-8pm
Artist Chat • Saturday, December 28th, 10am
While Robert McCauley’s paintings, drawings, installations and mixed media works are rooted in the tradition of 19th century American Romanticism, his narratives are contemporary, timely and relevant. Through the metaphorical juxtaposition of found objects, inscribed texts on frames and ambiguous titles, McCauley addresses a wide variety of contemporary themes and issues, including cultures in collision, environmental ethics, humankind’s impact on nature and the appropriation of nature in art.
McCauley’s paintings are sometimes ambiguous, but not so much that no meaning comes across. Returning to his childhood haunts each summer has shown the artist how much things keep changing. “The salmon streams I fished in are silted up and have no more salmon,” he says. “The Native Americans used to set a trap of chicken wire a half mile out to sea, and I would watch the salmon in the trap in awe. That’s gone. Even the huge fishing resorts are gone because the fish are gone. Clear-cutting is still common. A small greenbelt of ten feet on either side of the roads makes you think you’re looking at forest, but beyond that it’s just devastation.”
Victoria Adams large-scale landscapes and small intimate jewel-like oil paintings on linen, features her signature skies, and watery reflections. Adams’ focal point is the inherent radiance of light found in nature. She often highlights the transforming effects of light filtered through clouds falling on the land and water below. In her masterful hands, light reflected from sky to water and back again forms a subtle interchange between evaporating wetness and the atmospheric qualities of air itself. Adams creates images that connect us with our own past experiences of place and more often than not evoke personal moments of stillness and meaning. Adams’ landscapes are found in Museums and private collections throughout the country.
Putnam sculpts animal forms with cast off blankets, shirts, fake fur, rags, thread, plastic bags, leather scraps, glue and thread. These sculptures evoke playful, whimsical characters found in children’s books, but his characters also offer something different: they are physically and psychologically vulnerable and seem like overgrown stuffed toys or imaginary friends—misfits whose demeanors both invite and may also possess a sense of sadness.
Putnam’s drawings, too, create images that carry associations with simplicity, innocence and play, but as if experienced in a dream. In these works, cartoon heads drift, collide and overlap in space. These orphaned characters in search of a body attempt to reassemble into a larger whole—but sometimes never quite manage the feat.
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 or text can exert on a viewer. These works pay homage to several periods of painting and Sculpture are not concerned with representation. Gary Komarin, a master of Post-Painterly Abstraction, has been at the forefront of contemporary art with a bold and colorful style recognized by art collectors worldwide, and museum curators alike. Pegan Brooke’s painting are inspired by the experiences of sustained reflection upon certain places and circumstances, and an undeniable impulse to make art inspired by them in order to understand what they might mean. Squeak Carnwath combines text and images on abstract fields of color to express sociopolitical and spiritual concerns. Marcia Myers utilized natural pigments to capture the essence of her Italian experiences. Inspired by the redwoods of his childhood, Delos Van Earl likens his work to a pinecone. While you may see a pinecone as a single solitary perfect shape, it is actually many parts that are all different and irregular to form something unique together.
Rana Rochat's works are pictorial metaphors of a fragile balance using marks, forms, colors, as well as the luminosity and visual depth afforded by the encaustic medium. Pamela DeTuncq turns taxidermy into a playful and lively version of itself by using vintage tapestries.
Contemporary painting and photography that uses the subtilties of vision to create visual activity that stimulates and encourages a deeper exploration.
Seven renowned artists offer a personal language for the viewers’ consideration.
Daniel Diaz-Tai abstract paintings are layered with stories, emotion and texture. In these paintings, you can feel competing emotions stemming from the artist’s international journeys. Raphaëlle Goethals’ encaustic paintings include many layers of translucent wax to explore underlying references to ancient script and marks. Kathy Moss is drawn to botanicals for their emotive and symbolic potential, for their mysteriousness and suggestiveness. Laura McPhee is noted for her stunning large-scale landscapes and portraits of the people who live and work in them. She is currently working in the desert west of the United States where she is chronicling visual stories about time, both geologic and human. Luis González Palma photographs are often intended to inspire psychological and culture issues in the viewer, by incorporating distant gazes and mystical costumes that objectify and explain the pain of the indigenous Mayas and the Mestizo people of Guatemala, who are a minority in the region.
Through stunning black & white portraits of ranchers, and the Hutterites of Montana, Laura Wilson dramatically explores, border issues, isolation, poverty and other symbolic images of the American West. Theodore Waddell's lifelong career as a rancher inspires his painting of livestock in the Montana and Idaho plains and mountains. His paintings are a combination of rough marks; thick paint; transparent elegant strokes; and, on a few occasions a slow, hard line scratched into the canvas. Waddell’s many Museum shows have brought him great national and international acclaim.
Putnam builds animal forms with cast off blankets, shirts, fake fur, rags, thread, plastic garbage bags, leather scraps and glue. These sculptures evoke playful, whimsical characters found in children’s books, but his characters are something different: they are physically and psychologically vulnerable and seem like overgrown stuffed toys or imaginary friends—misfits whose demeanors both invite and possibly repel. Like mutant craft projects gone awry, their surfaces suggest that the skins of these beings have been torn away, exposing their soft insides.
Putnam’s drawings, too, create images that carry associations with simplicity, innocence and play, but as if experienced in a fevered dream. In these works, cartoon heads drift, collide and overlap in space. These orphaned characters in search of a body attempt to reassemble them selves into a larger whole—but never quite manage the feat.
In both his sculptures and drawings, Putnam explores the murky spaces intersecting empathy, fear, intimacy, humor, the desire to touch or connect and the impulse to back away. Through these works, he hopes to expose a complex and contradictory human presence that mirrors our own vulnerability.
Kara Maria works in painting and mixed media and this will be her first time exhibiting at Gail Severn Gallery. Her work reflects political topics—feminism, war, and the environment. She borrows from the broad vocabulary of contemporary painting; blending geometric shapes, vivid hues, and abstract marks, with representational elements. Her recent work features miniature portraits of disappearing animals, focusing attention on the alarming rate of extinction now being caused by human activity.
Maria received her BA and MFA from the University of California, Berkeley. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the United States at venues including the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno; the Cantor Center at Stanford University; the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas; the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art; and the Katonah Museum of Art in New York; among many others.
Maria’s work has garnered critical attention in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Art in America. Maria has been awarded artist residencies and she has been a recipient of many awards and honors.
This will be her first time exhibiting at Gail Severn Gallery. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, the San Jose Museum of Art, the de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University, the di Rosa in Napa, and Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, among others.
Ed Musante captures the soul of the solitary animal. His primary subject is the bird, which he paints with exquisite detail. They are painted on cigar boxes and cigar box lids that refer to another time and place.
Often Musante’s subjects are floating in an undefined space or on a field of color. Interested in surface and texture, his works offer depth and beautifully painted surfaces. His manner of isolating his subjects, be they animals, birds or people, is reminiscent of Morris Graves’ approach to making the subject an icon.
Ed Musante’s paintings are coveted by many collections including the Detroit Zoo, Microsoft, Washington State Arts Commission and many private collections.
This body of work explores the object-quality of books and my long-time interest in the interplay of text and image. In some of these artworks, I’ve referenced my fascination with incunabula, those ancient manuscripts with mysterious content and undecipherable script upon their worn pages. Palimpsests too are part of the aesthetic associations and also the development the work. As the imagery progresses, surface additions and subtractions contribute layers where vestiges of earlier aspects are left deliberately visible. This stratum involves additions of text, asemic scrawls, pairings of realism and abstraction, and diagrammatic drawings with some aspects seen only with close inspection. These many layers of imagery offer a broad system of visual and symbolic information to engage different routes of information gathering and the construction of meaning.
On this theme, the exhibition with its collection of book-related artwork creates the atmosphere of an athenaeum. In Greek culture, this signified a reading room or library, a place where poets read, where science was researched, and the arts and literature considered. Since my artwork often begins with reading, research, and the relationships between art and science, and with poetry being a contemplative source, an athenaeum seems a fitting association for this show and also an invitation for you to enter.
A master of Post-Painterly Abstraction, Gary Komarin has been at the forefront of contemporary art with a bold and colorful style recognized by art collectors worldwide, and applauded by museum curators and art critics alike. While looking at Komarin’s paintings and his works on paper, the viewer is invited to the intimate space where a dialogue is established between painter and painting.
“My paintings proceed without preconception. I paint to find out what it is that I am going to paint. I think of myself as a stagehand who sets up the conditions necessary for drama to unfold. Once a painting has achieved a life of its own, when it speaks back to you as a painter, this is a good place to be. For me, the best paintings are those that paint themselves.”
New York, 2015
For nearly 35 years English artist Tony Foster has worked in the World’s wildernesses - mountains and canyons, rainforests and deserts, the Arctic and the Tropics.
Travelling slowly - on foot or by canoe or raft, and carrying his painting and camping equipment he makes his paintings in response to what he finds on his journeys.
He does not use photography or sketches but makes his paintings on site, often in the most difficult and uncomfortable circumstances. Sometimes a large-scale work (up to 7 feet by 4 feet!) will take more than two weeks on site before it is sufficiently resolved to roll into its aluminium tube to be completed in his studio in Cornwall.
The paintings are not simply landscapes - by their inclusion of written notes and symbolic objects they record his observations and experiences during his time in the wilderness.
Certain places and circumstances exert an undeniable impulse to make art inspired by them in order to understand what they might mean. My paintings are inspired by the experiences of sustained reflection upon the Aven River in Pont Aven, France, the Pacific Ocean near Bolinas, California and the snow and river in Ketchum, Idaho. I am awed by the beauty of light falling on water and snow. This visual phenomena is a perfect natural metaphor for the ever changing flux in which we make our lives. I love things one can only see for an instant; they shock us into contemplation, thought and change.
Featuring, Jenny Honnert Abell, Victoria Adams, Deborah Butterfield, Linda Christensen, James Cook, Michael Gregory, Valerie Hammond, Diane Andrews Hall, Judith Kindler, Hung Liu, Laura McPhee, Kathy Moss, Gwynn Murrill, Carolyn Olbum, Jane Rosen, David Secrest & Theodore Waddell.
“Honoring our Landscape” features the aesthetic interpretation of our lands by Nationally renowned painters, photographers and sculptors.
Deborah Butterfield, Theodore Waddell, James Cook, Pamela DeTuncq, Michael Gregory, Jane Rosen, Diane Andrews Hall, Margaret Keelan, Lisa Kokin, Hung Liu, Laura McPhee, Kathy Moss, Gwynn Murrill, Ed Musante, Carolyn Olbum, Anne Siems, Divit Cardoza, and Chris Reilly
“Flora and Fauna VII” is a celebration of Spring by our contemporary artists. An extrinsic dialog emerges between each artist and their personal depiction of the wonderful world growing around us. These artists present us with unique perspectives of the traditional symbol of spring and countless other concepts, like beauty, sensuality, and vitality. Each of these artists evoke responses and emotions through the creation of their intimate and nature inspired art work.
Formal Attire explores the use of Black and White as the primary colors used in the artist’s work.
Daniel Diaz-Tai explores asemic writing and different mediums to create his monochromatic paintings and works on paper. David deVillier is known for his colorful and playful paintings. Using black ink, he also creates pen and ink drawings which involve his wit and storytelling. Cole Morgan’s black and white paintings include color as a supporting cast. At first view, you see the obvious black and white objects, but on further inspection, the slight use of color brings depth and movement to the painting. Pegan Brooks paintings use slight variations in hue to create depth and movement in her paintings. Pamela DeTuncq turns taxidermy into a playful and lively version of itself by using vintage tapestries Gary Komarin’s abstract paintings create energy and movement which a child-like sense of wonderment. Squeak Carnwath draws upon the philosophical and mundane experiences of daily life in her paintings and prints.
Judith Kindler is an American multidisciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation, photography, and photography-based mixed media works.
Laura McPhee has been photographing Idaho and the greater Western States for decades. McPhee displays her images shot with a large format Deardorff box camera in galleries and museums across America. Alexander Rohrig’s work stems from the memory or a feeling that something gives him rather than its detailed portrait.
Natural phenomena, light, atmosphere, dynamic weather patterns, are a source I use to investigate my interests in time, light, movement, and the complex nature of “being”. I am moved by the awesomeness of nature and interested in immersing myself in it, sometimes scientifically, but always experientially. I paint transience: air, water and light, and things that live in it. The wind inspires me. My work marks time in timeless imagery.
Birdwatching (birding to the initiated), has been one of my favorite past times for most of my adult life. This interest has taken me to extraordinary places. Over time the birds became a subject. The intrigue of seeing them in their habitat, barely perceptible, always in motion, and full of character captivated me. It was these qualities of transience and flickering presence that made them seem so compatible with my passions for light–its movement catching the ocean waves or reflecting moisture in the sky. The birds, the clouds, the ocean, all are in a constant state of becoming.
I am trying to capture a moment, a split second that is loaded with information and speaks to my interest in perception, specifically in how we see and comprehend what we see. My paintings depict the passage of time and hold within them the time of labor. It is this interest in temporality that inspires the works which depict the transformation of a cloud or paintings of light
reflecting off the surface of ocean waves. I am an avid bird watcher, sky watcher and weather fanatic. My bird paintings, which are often limited to the birds in my back yard are also a reflection of transience: the ethereal and fleeting nature of “being”. Something, anything, appears as a solid yet it’s in constant movement. Nothing is permanent it only persists. I try to make evidence of this in my work.
Excerpt from Jennifer Complo,
McNutt Curator of Contemporary Art, Eiteljorg Museum
Waddell's paintings are a combination of rough marks; thick paint; transparent elegant strokes; and, on a few occasions a slow, hard line scratched into the canvas. You can feel the movement of the paint throughout the paintings but the subjects are frozen. They are not frozen as a stagnant object but captured as a solitary image. Captured, interpreted and enveloped in the landscape. They are carved out of, or laid onto the green and grey-yellow of the spring and summer, or the white canopy of winter. And sometimes there are ghosts in the paintings, the faint image of what has changed in the piece or decays in the pasture. These ghosts refer to Waddell's interest in life and death and our own mortality. They are metaphors for the struggle and change that is constant in life. In his artist's statement he says, "The understanding of death brings about a feeling of wonderfulness and appreciation of life and just how fragile and magical it all is."
James Cook exposes himself to diverse environments that inform his aesthetic views. Inspired by nature and the world around him, his canvases are powerful evocations of nature’s majesty. Cook’s work has been described as monumental, but the essence of his paintings (whether it is a cityscape or landscape) is contained in the singular brush stroke, line, and mark he orchestrates. Each stroke, each line, each mark is a distinctive note contributing to a chorus that echoes and resounds in a grand symphony. The viewer may be inspired by the grandeur of colorful and untamed worlds created by Cook, but it is the radiance of the painted surface that invites one to plunge into the depths. There is a lush quality to the surface of the canvas that is visceral, and even as you are engaged in the ripples of still pools, the patterns of fall foliage, or the complex patterns of a city skyline, it is the thick impastos and scraped textures that engage the senses in the expressive temperament of the medium. It is obvious that James Cook is in love with paint. To experience his paintings is to comprehend the spirit of color, depth and movement. His love of beauty finds its way onto the canvas as he strives to create visual excitement. Cook compares himself to abstract expressionists in the way that he works, noting that there is a great deal of invention in the paint itself.
Connie Gibbons, Director Mulvane Art Museum.
Mistral: The Legendary Wind of Provence is a portrait of Provence seen through its legendary wind. It funnels down the Rhône Valley between the Alps and the Massif Central mountains, gaining speed as it reaches the Mediterranean. I have been going to a small Provençal village for the past forty years, and I became captivated by the mistral because it was so often present in our lives and so much a topic of conversation by neighbors and friends. The mistral is not just a weather phenomenon: it is an integral part of the fabric of Provençal life. Nobody who lives or spends time in the region can escape it. It slams doors, lifts roof tiles from houses and tears fruit from trees. It is a gremlin wreaking havoc. It is everywhere. It is nowhere to be seen. My work takes place where an invisible force makes itself visible. A leaf takes flight. Waves breach a sea wall. Trees bend. My images illustrate the ways in which this unseen force profoundly effects life in Provence in both concrete and indirect ways. Houses have few or no windows on the northwest, windward side and the main entrance on the southern, sheltered side. Heavy stones hold down terra-cotta roof tiles. Rows of trees lining fields create windbreaks to shield crops. Artists have long been drawn to the area for the clear skies that follow a mistral, and many painters, like Van Gogh, have painted scenes with wind raging. The mistral has also entered the psyche of the people: in a folktale, the wind-tormented locals finally capture the mistral and imprison him. The mistral as a living character. The mistral as a spirit, the spirit of Provence.
Photographer Rachel Cobb has photographed current affairs, social issues, and features in the U.S. and abroad for the past 25 years. She has been published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, Time, Rolling Stone, Natural History, Stern, Paris Match among others on assignments ranging from U.S.-led sanctions in Iraq, a Kosovo Liberation Army soldier’s journey from a U.S. college to his war-torn homeland, the Evangelical movement in Guatemala, and a papal visit to Cuba.
Reflections on the Bears
While at first glance Judith Kindler‘s latest body of work looks like child’s play with the use of Teddy bears but they underline the concern that Kindler has in her look at the loss of innocence in contemporary life and her reflections of finding hope, joy and peace amidst corruption, hate and abuse. The Teddy bear is innocence and maybe for Kindler, she wants that back.
Kindler tackles three different ideas via motifs in creating a narrative in this work. The first, that of unity through a zen like understanding of “harm no one” and finding peace within, exemplified by the zen-like circles. The second, the morphing of a small child becoming a bear cub, reflecting on the ideas of reincarnation as the ultimate karma for allowing bears and cubs to be killed while they are hibernating, as a result of a recent horrific loosening of hunting laws. Lastly, the work titled “They thought they could bury us. They did not know we were seeds” is a reflection on the oppression of thought, gender, race, ecological preservation, and religion - the “seeds” offering up a sense of hope for our future.
One of Kindler’s three-dimensional bear installation references the story of Theodore Roosevelt’s hunting trip, where his cohorts who had all killed an animal, beat and tied a bear up to a tree and told Teddy who had not yet killed an animal that he could shoot the bear. Theodore or Teddy was revolted by this activity and told the man to put the bear out of it’s misery and he disgustedly walked away.
Political cartoons of the day showed an illustration of Teddy Roosevelt walking away from the scene where the bear was tied up and eventually this cartoon evolved into the bear being a small adorable cub referring to the scene as “Teddy’s bear”. An enterprising man decided that the small cub was indeed adorable and made the first stuffed bears calling them “Teddy bears” which became a huge commercial success. This installation of nine bears connected together by ropes and covered in jewels, playfully and satirically portrays the story of the origin of Teddy Bears.
James Cook • Theodore Waddell • Pamela Detuncq • Tony Foster
Pegan Brooke • Robb Putnam • Alexander Rohrig • Jane Rosen
Kenna Moser • Jack Spencer • Hung Liu • Robert McCauley • Lisa Kokin
Victoria Adams • Lynda Lowe • Margaret Keelan • David Secrest
A major group exhibition that will showcase a wide variety of the gallery’s internationally recognized and emerging artists who will be included in group shows or have one- person exhibitions at the gallery in 2019.
Artists in this exhibition use color as a predominate component of their artwork. Linda Christensen’s figurative paintings deal with life’s everyday occurrences. Her work features contrast of extremes in color and ambiguity of space. The liveliness of Bean Finneran's hand rolled ceramic sculptures resembles the creativity of nature. The encaustic medium allows Raphaëlle Goethals to form layers upon layers of subtle color, which take on a luminous quality. Rana 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. Marcia Myers utilized natural pigments to capture the essence of her Italian experiences. Julie Speidel’s newest work features bold colors matched with her iconic forms influenced by ancient artifacts. Allison Stewart's paintings reflects her training as a biologist and her love of the bayou's of Louisiana.
Featuring Victoria Adams, James Cook, Sheila Gardner, Michael Gregory, Laura McPhee, David Secrest & Theodore Waddell.
“Honoring our Landscape” features the aesthetic interpretation of our lands by Nationally renowned painters Victoria Adams, James Cook, Theodore Waddell, Sheila Gardner and Michael Gregory. Laura McPhee presents her photographic views of our western region.
Featuring Jonathon Hexner, Hung Liu, Robert McCauley, Ed Musante, Gwynn Murrill, Deborah Oropallo, Rob Putnam, Mary Snowden & David Wharton
Artists in our annual exhibition visually address man's relationship to nature as a primary concern, while art history, environmental ethics, beauty and aesthetics still resonate in their work.
Jonathon Hexner creates delicate imagery of animals using the destructive force of dynamite fuse and black powder. Hung Liu’s mixed media prints and Robert McCauley’s oil paintings create narratives about history, deforestation and ecological issues. Rob Putnam collects and forms recycled materials to create his signature animals. Sculptor Gwynn Murrill transforms stone, bronze and wood into animals both domestic and wild. Ed Musante’s small-scale paintings of birds and animals, painted on his signature ‘found cigar boxes,’ are intimate portraits of wildlife, as are Mary Snowden's meticulously stitched & embroidered animals from domestic farmyards and the wilds of nature. Deborah Oropallo has been in the forefront of digital artwork since the beginning of the medium. She combines images of her farm with hand painted elements to form her distinctive artwork. David Wharton’s watercolor paintings are influenced by his humor and creative mingling of juxtaposed objects.
For over 44 years the gallery has built a national reputation for presenting energetic exhibition schedules, participating in international art fairs, facilitating museum exhibitions, and publishing books and catalogs for our artists.
For over 44 years the gallery has built a national reputation for presenting energetic exhibition schedules, participating in international art fairs, facilitating museum exhibitions, and publishing books and catalogs for our artists.