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
Of What Importance
What you will see in the exhibition OF WHAT IMPORTANCE:
Themes of Ecological logic and what is important in life, ie. peace, nature, happiness, balance, protection etc. become symbolically referenced in her newest body of work titled OF WHAT IMPORTANCE. Through life size assemblage figures of beautiful women manikins with objects, construction, and painting, she explores the many impressions of nature and her immersion in it, creating a large impactful installation beckoning the viewer to see beyond our own selves and self interest to look at the grander picture of life and to what is truly important to the future. The figures are beautiful, frozen in time. At first glance they look like ancient statues deteriorating under the weight of time and struggle to survive. Yet they are beautiful, quietly and gently presenting an idea of perseverance amidst the struggle for existence.
The paintings are wall hangings, floating over the surface of the wall, each telling a story through paint, abstraction and drawing continuing the dialogue and backdropping the figures. Kindler speaks of life around her, not in a direct or obviously literal way, but through her unique language and vision presented as a large over arching installation composed of the many silent connotative stories of nature.
“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.”
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