2014 Exhibition Schedule
September 26th - Daniel Phill
SANTA FE, NM. In conjunction with “Wine and Chile Fiesta” Karan Ruhlen Gallery presents an exhibition of paintings by California colorist Daniel Phill.
Gran Cru is French for great growth and cru is a vineyard of recognized quality. As a wine term it is closely connected to terroir in the sense of an “extent of terrain having a certain physical homogeneity…considered from the point of view of the nature of the soil as communicating a particular character to its produce, notably to wine”. It may thus be defined as: “Terroir as a place of production” or an “Ensemble of terrains considered from the point of view of what grows there, from a particular cultivation.”
Phill has spent years cultivating his technique using acrylic paints, inks and stains in every color under the sun. Much like Burgundy wine, his paintings appeal more to the emotions than the intellect and are elusive and sensuous.
He begins with the canvas lying horizontal, jumping in “with the faith,” he says, that something will develop from his spontaneous applications of color and “happy accidents.” Once the initial layers of color have stabilized, he places the canvas on a wall and starts the process of editing and reworking it to satisfy his personal aesthetics. Daniel Phill eschews the neat and formal, preferring a responsive approach. Rather than controlling the viewer’s movement through his intuitive paintings, he thrives on the unexpected and its potential for pushing and pulling the eye from colorful points of energy to reflective pauses and mysterious distances.
“His paintings represent the best of both worlds by alluding to atmosphere and representation while retaining the visceral surface tension of paint on a two-dimensional surface. More importantly, like wine’s endless varieties, Daniel’s remarkable inventiveness is so infinite that no two paintings are ever alike,” says Ruhlen.
Born and raised in Washington State, Phill attended Washington State University, Pullman, and received his BFA in 1978 from 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.
September 24 through 28 Wine and Chile week
October 17th - Martha Mans, Kurt Meer, Stephen Pentak
SANTA FE, NM. Artists are continually looking for new ways of perceiving, interpreting, and translating the reality of nature into the language of art. Karan Ruhlen Gallery will feature the work of three accomplished artists with varying approaches to painting the landscape.
Martha Mans has lived in New Mexico and Colorado where the weather and seasonal conditions create dramatic and changing effects on the mountains, valleys and mesas. She has traveled extensively in Italy and France immersing herself in the culture. “The most familiar of landmarks, wherever you are, take on different elements that can be fleeting and you only see that one time. It’s fun to discover these moments and use them as inspiration for my paintings,” says Mans.
Mans will also be the gallery’s featured artist for the “Seventh Annual Historic Canyon Road Paint Out” on October 18th from 10 to 3 pm. Over 100 artists will participate in this not-to-be missed outdoor event on historic Canyon Road.
Tennessee artist Kurt Meer was profoundly affected by the theories of Whistler. “I have adopted Whistler’s comparison of painting to music,” he says. “Color is like a keyboard where there is a root key or color harmony within which there are a variety of chords created by playing opposites against one another, such as warm and cool, saturated and unsaturated.” Whistler found one means of expressing his theories in a series of works depicting the river Thames at night. For Meer, the Mississippi river is the inspiration. “I’ve come to know its subtleties, and while the rivers in my paintings are imaginary abstractions of water, sky and vegetation shapes, they undoubtedly go back to my memory of the Mississippi.”
New York artist Stephen Pentak’s subject is the great outdoors. His method: a tried-and-true combination of oil paints, wood panel, large brushes and palette knives. He works from his mind’s eye, pulling from memory the landscapes he has seen. The creation and combination of color plays a major role in his work.
October 18th - Canyon Road Paint Out