FOCUS: Abstract Evocative

Filed in Past Exhibitions by on April 1, 2017

April 1 – 30, 2017

Saturday, April 1, 4 – 6 PM

on view in the Main Gallery

Juror’s Statement

Abstract art seems to spring forth from one of two directions: from the soul or from nature, and either way it has its own evocative power. That’s what the title of this exhibition refers to: does the art take you somewhere? Make you think of something or feel some way or another? Is it evocative?

The great artist Howard Hodgkin described his abstract paintings as “representational pictures of emotional situations.” I would say that many of the paintings in this show fit that description, but that many others are the obverse: emotional pictures of representational situations.

Take Mercedes Cecilia’s gorgeous impressionistic paintings of trees and lakes, or Gabe Brown’s landscape-evocative jewels begging us to consider the natural world in these modern times, or Chris Engel’s luscious abstractions with figurative titles that help the viewer to see the source material and to measure the aesthetic distance traveled by the artist, serving much the same purpose as a jazz standard.

Jazz, it turns out, is, for me anyway, a perfect metaphor for much of the work in this show, whether it’s Stephen Niccolls’ energetic and expertly created compositions, Diane Dwyer’s moving and serene improvisations or Carole P. Kunstadt’s weavings of musical scores and devotional texts. Virtuosic solos can almost be heard and can certainly be seen in the lyrical abstractions of Ellen Jouret-Epstein and Paulette Deborah Esrig’s dynamic stoneware sculptures truly evoke the motions and rhythms of jazz dance.

Just as countless jazz composers have noodled with mathematics and compositions, so too do Lucille Colin, a mathematics and fine arts double major in college, who writes that she’s “drawn to abstraction because it is similar to a mathematical puzzle,” and Astrid Fitzgerald, whose beautiful precisions have “a formal basis in philosophical geometry … and most importantly the Golden Mean Ratio.”

How delightful are these artists, providing us with so many beautiful creations and so much emotional or representational resonance? This, to me, is the great promise of abstract art: to take the viewer out of their head and to relate directly to their soul. These 10 artists have all succeeded on this front for me. I hope you, dear viewers, agree.

Juror, Norm Magnusson

Norm Magnusson is an artist and independent curator, who has created and curated exhibitions for museums and galleries around the world. He’s won numerous fellowships and grants, most recently being honored with the Ulster County Executive’s Award for Art in Public Places in 2017, for his ‘historical’ markers with contemporary social and political content on them.

Tags: , ,

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.