Wednesday, July 31, 2013

August in the Underground

Watching the new show go up has been interesting as usual. We are featuring several of Sharon Killians's cool and cloudy horizontal river scenes. Very contemporary. By contrast, Doug Randall's new landscapes are more traditional. Very exciting in his inimitable layered style. Amazing how the gallery changes so much from month to month.

The last Quick Draw was held Saturday, July 27th. Judy Maurer here is polishing up her oil sketch of Lioneld Jordan, who was gracious enough to pose for us.

The Mayor

Melissa Garrison's painting of the Illinois River made a great backdrop.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Exciting Events

Last evening was especially enchanting at the Underground. Rachel Pianalto, accompanied by Dead Indian unplugged, performed interpretive dances for an audience of 50+ extremely attentive people. What an inspiration!
And there is more to come, with Jack Williams, a Good Folk Production tonight, and shennanigans by Houston Huges and friends on Saturday Night's Last Saturday performance. The gallery is alive with the sound of music, largely the result of the efforts of Samantha Sigmon, our gallery manager. Also, August First is First Thursday this month and I'm excited to see what Chris Weaver and Sharon Killian are bringing in for the show.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The portrait group residing at the Underground on Friday mornings has assembled a dedicated group of artists. Anyone is welcome to join the group and draw or paint a model for three hours of the same pose. There is a nominal fee. On June 12th, the model was a young swimming champion.

Friday Portrait Group

Thursday, July 11, 2013

At the Underground:

Different kinds of artwork are now on display by new members Kirk Lanier, Nicole Howard and associate member Alli Woods Frederick.

Sorry to say Diedre West is leaving us for Arizona. She has been a great asset to the Underground, bringing the exquisite paintings that are the result of her classical training. Good luck out West, Diedre!

Saturdays have been busy and folks are enjoying the art in progress during Quick Draw events. We are fortunate to have visiting artists participate, including Judy Maurer, Ken Kvamme, Jerry Plumlee, and others. Anyone is welcome to participate: draw or paint, model, harass the artists. It has been fun and some great sketches have resulted, including this one of my wife, Anne, done last Saturday:

Oil Sketch by Judy Maurer   7-6-13
She is teaching a pastel workshop at ESSA in Euraka Springs July 29- Aug2

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

About Sam King’s exhibit entitled, Commas

On my way tonight to see Terry Dushan and Johnathan Harris's show at ACO. The following is my critique of the last show there:

About Sam King’s exhibit entitled, Commas, last month at  ART CENTER OF THE OZARKS

First visit
Enter the room
Look around at two walls of paintings, well lit and balanced
The presentation I liked from the first. Obviously, without posted titles, each piece yields its identity to that of the whole. I realize something out of the ordinary is expected of me here: the purpose of the exhibit may not be the same as the purpose of other exhibits of paintings on walls. So.
Which pieces am I drawn to?
Among abstractions, my eye is drawn to one piece which is marginally representational. Then when it didn’t resolve for me as the figure I had first noticed, I switched to another piece. That’s when I noticed the vibration. It came from nearby, but I was distracted by some activity among the people in the room, and when I looked back, I couldn’t find it.
I was left with the feeling that I’d seen something which was at first obscured, like with those pictures from years ago with repetitive shapes that changed, after minutes of scrutiny, into a “hidden” image of the ocean floor with sunken ships and fish.
It was time to leave, and I was unfulfilled.
I wanted to hear a musical ‘comma.’
I realized I would have to return later.
So I went home needing more explanation about what I’ve been invited to see.

After a couple of hours of research, I learned (I think) that a ‘comma’ equals an increment of dissonance, and that our perception of dissonance is subject to cultural bias.
(Lacking an image of the actual painting)
At this point I’m wondering how this information translates into the visual world.
In my experience, musical or tonal dissonance is commonly experienced as tension from which we expect relief. In music, this relief is called ‘resolution.’ In literature and in drama, ordinarily we expect a story with conflict, which is somehow ‘resolved.’
So, I’m expecting this increment of dissonance to appear in the body of work entitled, ‘Commas.’
Second visit
Again I survey the walls of work allowing myself to be entertained. The note of dissonance I find first  is in a piece with a red ground. There is blue-green there also, with cream. An almost complementary harmony with accents of light blue. My attention can’t be held, though, because next to it is the one in black and neutralized blue-green with a watermelon slice or sailboat leaning from the wind. I look closely, then back up. Way up. I think it is the best painting in the show.
The stronger contrast effectively draws me in from across the room. The slanted edge between the dark side and the light is compelling and varied: it vibrates. The ‘comma,’ or ‘slice,’ or sailboat rides the edge of darkness, leaning into the light. An extrusion of the line. Blue-green and red, this appendage in almost-harmony follows the laws of optics. There is excitement embedded in the colors. Vibration again. Dissonance, then resolution. Repeat, comma.
MM Kent    6-26-13