2013 Exhibition Schedule
SURFACE BEAUTY: Martha Rea Baker, Ellen Koment, Mary Long-Postal, Vanita Smithey, Jinni Thomas
Martha Rea Baker’s paintings continue to deal with the concept of "time", the passage of time and its effects on our natural world. Whether depicting chronological time, marking the sequential passage of hours, days or seasons or an ancient age glimpsed through excavation, the painting process of adding, subtracting and thoughtful editing is a metaphor for life's timeline.
Mary Long-Postal I am 'decompressing' in my work, exploring more of the spaces in between. They don't simply represent topographical maps to me but also time and space, the painting acts as a 'slice' or a 'snapshot' of something continuous.
Vanita Smithey approaches the surface of her non-objective mixed media works with no pre-conceived idea of the final outcome. They begin with gestural drawings which is then obliterated, enhanced and layered with paint and charcoal. Line has always been a very important design element in her work and the combination of painting and drawing is an instinctive result.
In Jinni Thomas’ work she says, "The passage of time leaves records by means of patination, erosion and deposition. By referencing Antiquity in my work, complex surfaces are constructed by the addition and reduction of mixed media painted passages revealing a life within the silky surfaces that is reminiscent of aging frescoes, richly patterned tapestries and aspects of the ancient”.
Art always returns one way or another to nature, whether it’s figurative or abstract, or not strictly art but design, as in the case of these five artists whose paintings embrace beauty.
CALIFORNIA DREAMING: Form and Color
SANTA FE, NM. “All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey” is not the case for the featured artists at Karan Ruhlen Gallery in July. For this mid-summer exhibit of the season, Ruhlen showcases two California artists, painter Daniel Phill and sculptor Bret Price whose work concentrates on the elements of color and abstract form.
Since 1979, Bret Price has built heating chambers around large pieces of steel, applying intense heat to manipulate metal to create a sense of softness. “The variables of intense heat, size and shape of the raw material produce a wide range of results; from the quiet simplicity of a single pipe bend to the rhythmic complexity that emerges from folding a section of structural steel. “A degree of unpredictability is always present, which tends to tease one’s curiosity and lend energy,” says Price. The show will feature Price’s recent series of work composed of bands of stainless steel joined together in unexpected ways. The shaped rings and bands are welded together to form elegant abstraction in brilliant colors.
Daniel Phill has found endless ways to manipulate the plasticity of acrylic paint, inks and stains in every color under the sun. He begins each painting jumping in “with a leap of faith,” he says, that something will develop from his spontaneous application of color and texture. Phill identifies with many of the principles and techniques of Abstract Expressionism, but also relishes the ambiguity between abstraction, figuration and the illusion of space in his paintings. “The excitement for me is referencing an object by using loose gestures and very little information,” he says. His juxtapositions of radiant colors against muted shades animate not only the two-dimensional surface but also suggest light, atmosphere and depth—a combination that makes visible Hans Hofmann’s assertion that “shapes, colors, lines, calligraphic squiggles and use of space always echo the reality found in nature—its structure rather than appearance.” He eschews the neat and formal, preferring a responsive approach.
Born and raised in Washington State, Phill attended Washington State University, Pullman, and received his BFA in 1978 from the San Francisco Art Institute. He received his MFA in 1983 from Stanford University and currently lives in San Francisco where he works in a shipyard warehouse studio on Pier 70.
Kurt Meer, Stephen Pentak and Pauline Ziegen
Martha Rea Baker, Ellen Koment, Mary Long-Postal