This Thursday, July 22, marks the opening of New Days, my annual solo exhibition of new work at the West End Gallery in Corning. I have shown my work at the gallery for over 15 years and this is my tenth solo effort there. Feeling that the tenth show is sort of a milestone, I wanted to present the gallery with a show that really represented the full scope of my work over that timespan. I wanted to have much of the imagery that I’ve featured over the years– the Red Tree, the Red Chair and the Red Roofs, for instance– plus a few new twists.
Probably the most evident new twist is a small group of pieces that feature works on paper done in monochromatic shades of black, white and gray. I basically wanted to take color out of the equation and focus on the design aspect of the work, letting other elements in the work carry the weight of the expression. Elements like line and shading take the place of the deep colors that have been part of my work for some time, giving the work a different feel even though the imagery is very much mine. The best aanalogy I can give for this work is that it’s like a song that you know so well, played by one artist in one way. Then one day, you hear a version of that song played in a very different manner and the song becomes something different. Something new.
Same song. Same tune. Same lyrics.
Just played in a different way.
That’s how I see this group of work. The absence of color, for the most part, gives the pieces a feeling of spareness. As though all emotions aside from that of the main gist of the piece have been pared away, bringing the main emotional point of the painting into sharp focus. The bits of color that are used seem to pop on the surface with more force, no longer having to outshine other colors on the surface.
The contrast pushes their prominence even further out in front, giving no doubt where the focus in each piece lays.
Thematically, I wanted this show to be an optimistic one. I think for the most part, the feel from the pieces is forward looking. There is a feeling in many of them of having persevered and beginning to look ahead to the new day, which always holds the potential and promise of better things to come.
Overall, I think this is a very diverse show for me with many contrasts and in color and textures. It says what I hoped it would and I think it holds together well on the gallery walls.
Many thanks go out to Linda, Hedy and Bridget for their always kind encouragement. If you get the chance, please stop out at the opening this Thursday which runs from 5-7:30 PM at the West End Gallery on Market Street in Corning. You don’t want to miss the exhibit in the Upstairs Gallery featuring painters Tom Buechner, Tom Gardner, Marty Poole and Dustin Boutwell all presenting works based on the same reference photos. Really, really interesting work and a chance to see some of the late Tom Buechner’s last work.
Hope to see you there!
—–Posted by Gary Myers—-