The Plains, New Paintings
On Saturday, April 27th, there will be an exhibition of paintings by Peter Bonner. The work will be on display through May 19th with a reception for the artist on Saturday, April 27th from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m.
The Fence in the Lady, 2019, oil on linen, 31 x 23 inches
“Over the past few years, I’ve been thinking about “The Plains”, by Gerald Murnane, and the psychological landscape that exists as an inseparable conflation of mind, place and the tensions that time creates. These tensions evolve slowly, imperceptibly at times as they do in my paintings. In my paintings I watch as these tensions form, watching for the suggestive potentials of space, of narrative, of presence.
For me the process I employ to do this doesn’t beat about the bush, it’s intentionally rough, primitive even, and direct. It reveals and exposes those things I notice, like light, and half-formed memories of places or tiny details of interactions I never knew I’d witnessed. I think about the edges and how they dictate this psychological landscape where land and mind are one, and how this comes into existence in a space that’s flat and deep at the same time, a sort of elliptical space, like the lens in one’s eye.”
John Davis Gallery
On Saturday, May 25th, a group of seven artists will open the season with a medley of exhibitions for the Main Galleries, Sculpture Garden and Carriage House. In celebration, the gallery will have solo shows (sculpture, painting, and photography). The works will be on display through June 16th with a reception for the artists on Saturday, May 25th from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m.
Benjamin La Rocco
Love and Other Shadows
Falling Through, 2012-18, oil and acrylic on canvas, 49 x 24.5 inches
“These paintings are about my life over the past 7 years. Some of them took that long to make. I spent 11 years on one. There are paintings about cowboys and heroes. There are paintings about gods, goddesses, and sacrifices. There are paintings about dark places and terror. There are paintings about other worlds. There’s a painting about a mushroom and one about a bluesman and another about a flower. Many of these paintings carry a lot of paint on them, a physical record of the many hours spent working on them over their 7 years. A few were made in one or two sittings. They are all about loss, love and other shadows.”
Ben La Rocco, 2019
Growing #1, 12 x 12 x 63 inches, 2018, bronze, Growing #2, 12 x 12 x 56 inches, 2018, bronze, Growing #3, 12 x 12 x 50 inches, 2018, bronze
“Some of my materials are natural, such as bamboo, sticks, branches, feathers, and leaves. Other materials I use have very natural origins, but they are more associated with manufacturing and industry. These materials include cement, iron, plaster, ceramic, gold leaf, bronze, copper, wire, rubber bands, and glazes. Some materials work well together, whether their origins are more natural or not. Some materials do not work well together.
My work is an exploration into what kinds of materials work well together visually, on the one hand, but more important to me is that the materials complement each other physically. I let my pieces form and inform themselves as I work. I choose my materials for how they feel, physically, in my hands, and I let one stage of the object-making tell me what form or material will come next. The idea for an ultimate, final object only begins to form in my mind as it starts to form in my hands. This is the most primary form of manufacturing, as I see it, and that is how I think of my pieces. I take a bit from nature. I take a bit from industry. These materials come together in my hands, as a process of pure manufacturing”
Jiang Weixian, 2019
Ground Floor Carriage House
Nature Morte 4 (after Rousseau), 2018, acrylic on board, 20 x 20 inches
“I have often worked with a centrally positioned, iconic composition and before I have used appropriated images to reduce the presence of my own—too familiar—hand.
Henri Rousseau’s still lives in the Barnes collection moved me with their almost lurid power; ephemeral petals painted with an iron hand, blades of foliage like knives and ….. a vase of flowers tends to be in the center of the painting. I repurposed the silhouettes of his vases and flowers.
The French phrase “nature morte” for the English “still life” seems apt at this moment in the warming of our planet as fauna and flora disappear – a poem to our passing?
These paintings careen between two extremes; oversaturated color and the almost total absence of color, from gaudy abundance to ashes – our future? The birds are from Audubon and again there is the poignant detail that most of his subjects he shot, the better to see. He took no joy in their death it was only a means to an end.”
Joe Haske, 2019
Carriage House, Second Floor
Most Beautiful Wispy Drops, 2018 4.5 x 4.5 inches
“My relationship to my environment is voyeuristic. I search for textures, compositions, and subjects that reflect the uniqueness of my surroundings. Most of all, I look for those things that elicit a personal emotional response.
Using a medium format camera with a ground glass viewer, I am able to carefully compose, within a square, the image I hope to capture. In the darkroom, I am drawn to the Ziatype process, for its softness, and long range of tonality to complete my vision.”
Denise Oehl, 2019
Zone Plate & Pinhole, Photographs
Waxed Ziatype Prints
Forgotten Ritual, 2018 Zone Plate 4 x 5 inches
“My photographs are very personal. I’ve tried to put aside vanity and intent, and let the photographs create their own subject and narrative. My photographs are self- deprecating, vulnerable, raw, humorous, and histrionic; they are, for me, self-examinations of identity, as well as raw material for a personal mythology.
I am a process oriented photographer using a variety of rudimentary tools. I use simple pinhole and zone plate cameras requiring long exposures. Images produced with these cameras are characteristically dreamlike, dark, softly focused (grainy), and seem better suited to a past era. In a predominantly digital world, my process is totally analog, employing film, paper, and chemical manipulation.”
Robert Oehl, 2019
Carriage House, Third Floor
Garden plan, 2018, oil on panel, 36 x 24 inches
“I paint the images from my dreams. The characters appear as familiar or strange. I want to get to know them and live with them in my studio like visitors from another world. Some are furry and large others have one eye and others I can only see their hands. The feelings and light in the dream inspire colors and size of each piece. I’m interested in finding out what is underneath the conversations I hear and the places I visit.”
Linnea Paskow, 2019
Carriage House, Fourth Floor
Thin Doll, 2019, Encaustic, papier maché, plaster gauze, aluminum mesh, 11 x 5 x 2.5 inches
“These semi-figurative “Dolls” surprised me. They evolved from my previous sculptures but had to solve a technical need to hang from wires (They can also hang directly on a wall.). As a result, I made bulbous “bodies” to hide hooks and “legs” to stabilize them.
With their aluminum mesh armatures plumped up with plaster bandages, papier maché, and layers of wax, these sculptures took on nearly human feminine personalities. Their abstracted forms and gestures remind me of adolescent preoccupations with body images and degrees of femininity that used to cause me everything from envy to revulsion.
The sculptures’ lush, dense titanium white surfaces have a very different presence from the cold, translucent zinc white I used in previous work. As a result, I left some of these sculptures a demure white that nearly hides their mars black “undergarments”. Other sculptures strut their stuff with black boots or stockings, and other abstract marks.
Most of these sculptures, with butt to viewer, appear to walk away. They are missing their arms, heads, and half their torsos. I continue to make work with a hefty measure of the abject combined by contrast with something funny and/or poignant in the gestures.”
Pamela Blum, 2019
Gallery hours are Thursday through Monday, from 11:00 till 5:00 p.m. For further information about the gallery, the artists and upcoming exhibitions, visit www.johndavisgallery.com