Monday, March 30, 2009
The "From Nature" exhibition to benefit The Ragdale Foundation, has been selected. The show will be presented at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago from April 20 - July 24. The reception will be on April 24th from 5:30-7:30. The show consists of twenty-four works by twenty-one Artists from around the country. It includes painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and mixed-media.
The above image is a Platinum Palladium Print titled "Fog and Light" by RK Williams of Denver, CO. This is just one of the amazing images in the show. The mystical glow of the light moving through the fog—defining the trees— creates a peaceful, quiet sanctuary. The piece is an intimate, four by five inches in size.
A quick overview of Platinum Palladium Prints... The labor-intensive process for creating platinum prints was created by British Inventor, William Willis Jr. in 1873. Platinum images are contact prints and—based on their chemical composition—are highly permanent.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Only recently, have I been introduced to the still life painter, Catherine Maize. Represented by the Paul Thiebaud Gallery in San Francisco and the William Baczek Gallery in Northampton, MA, Maize creates miniature compositions—typically 5x7 inches—which draw the viewer into a muted world of form created by simple brushstrokes. The studies of light and shadow are reminiscent of Giorgio Morandi [1890-1964], but on a much smaller scale. Maize one-ups Morandi with the intimacy of detail. The beautifully painted works of art should be experienced. Viewing them on the Internet really doesn't do them justice.
The above image: Untitled, oil on board, 5x7", 2006
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I recently received a proposal for a solo exhibition, that I found intriguing. The proposal was from Virginia Artist, Suzanne Stryk. A brochure, titled "Keeping An Eye On Things", produced by East Tennessee State University for the Artist's current exhibition, was included in the materials. I reviewed the brochure, beginning to explore Stryk's world. Her imagery includes beautiful studies and seemingly scientific drawings of birds, feathers, insects, eggs and nest branches. These subjects are combined to create symbolic compositions, at times painted or drawn in a style reminiscent of the intricate scribbling of a da Vinci sketchbook. The paintings—less drawn and more finished—have the glow of brilliance. The content made me want to learn more about the work of this artist.
I spent the next twenty minutes on Stryk's web site where the Artist Statement presents a wonderful narrative explaining the genesis of the works. It's worth a quick read. If the above image, "Survey (Varied Thrush)", 2004, is at all interesting to you, review the paintings on the web site... they're truly wonderful. I hope to present the work of Susanne Stryk in a future exhibition at Gallery 180.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Just a reminder that the postmark entry deadline for the upcoming "From Nature" exhibition is Saturday, March 14. The exhibition—presented at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago—will run from April 20-July 24 with an opening reception on Friday April 24th. "From Nature" is a National Juried Exhibition to Benefit The Ragedale Foundation. Awards include The Ragdale Prize, a two week residency, as well as a Purchase Award for inclusion into the Permanent Collection of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. Additional information and Prospectus are available at gallery180.com I look forward to reviewing your work.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I spent some time today, talking with the brilliant and gifted Chicago Artist, Richard Laurent. For those of you who are unaware of this contemporary Master, his paintings are composed of technically amazing and wonderfully clever imagery. The canvases, filled with representational elements acting as metaphor, becoming a puzzle for the viewer to solve. I’m intrigued that I find personal relevance within many of his compositions.
"Dream of Swimming" [above] comes from a series of wonderful chair paintings, which Laurent has produced in recent years. It was purchased by The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, at the 2008 "Art of Real Estate" exhibition. The school owns and maintains numerous pieces by local and national Artists. Pieces from the collection can be seen at gallery180.com. Additional work by Richard Laurent can be found on his web site, laurentart.com.
A reception for the Robert Bornhuetter Exhibition will take place on Friday, March 27 from 5:30-7:30 [save the date]. The reception is scheduled in conjunction with the The Southern Graphics Council Conference, an international print conference being presented in Chicago, March 25-28. The Bornhuetter exhibition continues through April 17. Additional information can be found at gallery180.com.
Gallery 180 is located at 180 N. Wabash, at the corner of Lake and Wabash in Chicago’s Loop. The show is free to the public and the exhibited work is available for purchase.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
There were many amazing Works of Art available at the Art Against AIDS benefit this past Thursday evening. "Still Life with Pears" by Frances Cox, was among them. Cox is an Artist, who's talents—I believe—are underexposed. Her brilliant abstract still life paintings are created with Matisse-like forms, seemingly inspired by the Master's early turn-of-the-century works... "Joy of Life"  comes to mind. The fluid shapes cover the surface with richly modulated, patterns of color. Her content goes beyond the standards of sill life painting. The content becomes the form and color. The composition becomes a feast for the eyes.
My partner and I purchased "Still Life with Pears" [shown above] at the benefit auction. I placed it into a traditional frame, although I considered a solid black contemporary version. Either would have worked. We hung it in our dining room and spent the night enjoying its brilliance.
I have worked with Frances Cox in the past. I first saw her work while curating exhibitions for a little gallery in Michigan. At that time, the Artist was working on a series of paintings dealing with the tsunami disaster. The paintings were composed of beautiful modulating patterns of teal, blue and green. I look forward to seeing what she creates next.
Additional work by Frances Cox can be found at Edgewood Orchard Galleries in Door County.