Monday, November 02, 2009
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First a short introduction
I have always been drawn to natural, organic objects and choose to portray them with oil on textured surfaces. I often present my subject in “dynamic still life” with a shift of time through movement or growth-decay. I am an emerging Indianapolis visual artist attempting to multitask without pulling myself too thin. I try to breathe in by experiencing other artists’ art and the created world. I breathe out by painting, drawing, photographing, teaching and blogging. Presently, I am working on a butterfly series (Fluttering Cosmopolitan, at left) that makes use of motion and pattern to walk a line between abstraction and realism. You can view my work as well as read reflections on art at my portfolio site and blog, RachelSteely.com. I'm also on Twitter @rachelsteely where you can follow me to get your weekly artist birthday with exemplary work.
A Preview of Nerve
During the month of November, stop by Wug Laku’s Studio and Garage to see, Nerve, a collection of some of the gallery owner’s personal work. His drawings and paintings are worth an extra trip downtown when his gallery is not crowded with people and conversations, but if one only has time to view them during a First Friday, stop by the opening on November 6th.
The drawings and paintings deserve more than a cursory glance. Do not pass them by as minimalist renderings of form, but envision the works as simplified mirrors reflecting both physical and metaphysical thoughts. Open and honest communication is at their core. Parallel to his work, his artist statement is a simple poem that opens Laku up to the viewer and leaves room for abstract ideas to breathe.
In the gallery’s main area, he has work from 1993, inspired by a county road north of Zionsville, IN (and a Burger King cup). Within this group, he juxtaposes negative/positive space, layered paint, planes of solid color, and value transitions. One can see a simplification of nature–very direct, concrete but beautiful in Butterfly Clover. This piece has three sections. 1) The background is a completely smooth green color. 2) The butterfly is a simple triangle that contains a slight amount of brush strokes. 3) The purple clover is the focal point. Here alone, the color changes in value and the strokes are free and visible. This group is connected to his later work (mostly from 2001) that is found in the red room through the conscious simplifying of nature.
The Red Room
The later work refines the simplification. The work’s referent is less obvious, but not less important. The color palette and texture of the images are limited, yet they are not minimal–only simplified. Three Daisy Jazz (located in the red room) represents the continuity, journey, and conversational quality of the entire show. This medium-sized painting shows process with its un-erased graphite lines, leftover tape, straight and jagged edges, and additive pieces.
Based on my visits to Laku’s gallery over the past year, he appears to enjoy displaying multiple stages of an artist’s work. This both contrasts and unites one body of work to another to showcase the development that defines an artist’s style. Laku continues this practice with two prior bodies of his own work.
While you are viewing Nerve, be sure to check out Nancy Lee’s beautifully designed metal jewelry.
A small disclaimer: Laku has represented my work at his gallery, so I am not a complete stranger to him.
Up Next: A Preview of Site/Index
My next post will be a preview of Site/Index at the StutzArtSpace. The show concerns inspired places such as gardens, farms, art studios, abandoned spaces, and urban settings. Participating artists include: Susan Brewer, Lydia Burris, Leigh Dunnington, Karen Land, Colleen Lauter, Susan Mauck, Carol L. Myers, Kate Oberreich, Jerry Points, Ginny Taylor Rosner, Martha Vaught and Julia Zollman Wickes.