This month we have a collection of artists that have made us stop and listen. Art is full of 'stories'. Stories that are asking to be told, stories with ongoing narratives, or simply stories of new. Let's tune in.
One of the privileges we have as a gallery is to witness an artist finding their 'voice'. Wendy Westlake has most certainly found hers. All her work thus far has been leading to this point; as she refined, rephrased, condensed, analyzed and recalibrated. Her paintings have been successful works in their own right, but now all these thoughts seem to have synthesized into a cohesive attitude and form. So much so, the works are literally cascading out in great number and in startling compositions.
There are loud and quiet moments in these new works. Some include collage, others sketch-like workings, intuitive color palettes and, as always, a considered translucency and balance. Westlake is an artist with a lot on her mind, and we are listening.
Parisian artist, Valerie Grondin, has found new expressions in her recent 'Blue Series'. This next chapter follows on from the 'White' and 'Mixed' series where she uses the method of painting acrylic and paper, deconstructing and then re-assembling onto canvas - yet this time, in blue.
Samuel Johnson's work speaks volumes in its simplicity. People are intrigued by his distilled technique of 'artist + clay + firing process' which results in the unique finishes one finds on his vessels. Where is it placed in the kiln? What is the incendiary? Was there something sitting next to it, or on top of it casting a 'shadow'? All these variables change the narrative for each piece, and sometimes you don't need words, it's just the way the pieces makes you feel.
If you talk to Eleanor McGough, you will find that inherent in all her pieces is an idea, or thought, she held in her mind as she painted. When shared, we are able to reflect on our own experiences and opinions, giving us a deeper appreciation of the work and the influences that inform her.
"Night Air" is inspired by the auditory textures created by insects chirping in the darkness. Katydids and crickets are there but we don’t see them - they are a mysterious presence, by sound only. The ghostly outline of the insect in this painting is like a symbol of these creatures that may be nestled deep into the dark shadowy foliage.
"Adapting to the Heat" ” is a hopeful work as we face the facts of our warming planet, that delicate creatures (like butterflies) which are vulnerable to rising temperatures, may hopefully find a way to adapt, and evolve in ways that we can’t anticipate. It’s that famous statement “nature finds a way” that makes her somewhat optimistic.
Rheanna Nelson is a fresh voice from Duluth, yet her work belies her age. The confident brush strokes talk of someone with many years of experience with the watercolor medium. Her scale is bold, neutral palette powerfully emotive and compositions all-immersive. 'Pine' has a humid intensity to it with the sharp needles piercing into the light sky - this is no shy watercolor. Can you hear it?
If any of these works speak to you, call us on 612-254-2838 to make an appointment or just drop in - we'd be delighted to show you around.