Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Just Seen and Dashed Off: Susan Metzger at Aarhus

Until July 31 Susan Metzger is showing a new body of work at Belfast’s Ã…arhus Gallery. Her new paintings constitute a small but significant departure—the atmospheric bands of color suggesting a landscape’s limitless horizon are still there, but there is also an important shift toward representation of two subjects. One group of works contains an area of focus, of literalness, in which a single wave crashes in a swirl of white. The other series is inspired by images of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning in the middle of a vast watery expanse. I had seen these reproductions tacked to the walls of Metzger’s studio when I visited in January of this year. And here they are now in her newest paintings: dark brooding presences amidst calmness. Erupting from an indefinite area of color that we read as fire, totally black or black/blue/grey columns of smoke arise like tornadoes of foreboding. Metzger’s painting surfaces are still richly textured through multiple layers of gesso, paint, and sanding, and they have gained an additional interest in the transitions from the darkest billowing clouds to the bluest skies. Compositionally there is a new dynamism of interacting colors and shapes which is also reflected in all of the paintings’ titles which include Darkening, Not Stopping, Pooling, and Melting. The horrific, sublime, and romantic are all coexisting in these new paintings which vibrate with the tension between threat and lucidity.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Portland Phoenix: Drawings at Bates

Bates College Museum of Art has organized a great three-women-show of drawings by Amy Stacey Curtis, Alison Hildreth, and Andrea Sulzer. All three artists work in other media as well, so it is interesting to see them here on such related terrain - yet so different!

art current: Jan Rosenbaum at the Caldbeck

Photographer Jan Rosenbaum currently has a show of his beach scenes at Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland.