The call for entries for this “National Juried Exhibition” triggered anticipation long ago and now, at last, it is here. See ‘Red’ in the Focus Gallery at Gallery Underground in Crystal City and from the pieces that I have seen, it will be spectacular.
There is no holding back, hemming and hawing about this review. The exhibit sparkles on merit. Consider the artists that Arlington Arts Examiner has featured before from their respective studios.
Sarah Bentley presents an edgy piece titled, “Sacrifice”. It may be described as “dark” and “disturbing” as a smiling young women slits her wrist adorned by a halo-effect. She works at her studio in Columbia Pike Artists Studios (CPAS).
“I paint in a style that recalls a time when artists were trained academically to paint. My work represents a return to the academic styles, to naturalistic views, to when the everyday layman could look at a painting and find meaning in it, even if that meaning is as simple as “This is pretty and would look good over my couch.” Of course, I strive to imbue my work with deeper themes, beginning with reflections of our modern society represented in an old-fashioned manner, ranging from grief and loss to the pleasures of a fresh harvest or the smaller indulgences of life that a fast paced society so often takes for granted. I look at our modern world, and I look for the quiet spaces that still exist, and do my best to represent that on canvas, from my landscapes to my still lives. I strive to capture a sense that, while our world keeps progressing, there is always a moment for reflection.”
Alex Beck is an incredibly talented painter. His painting features a man in a black sweater relaxing in a red room. Alex is a storyteller of sort. He captures intriguing and unusual settings and subjects as a master painter. On one hand, you respect his painting skills, while on the other hand, his content may be arresting.
“Alex Beck, an award-winning painter and illustrator, maintains a studio in Arlington, Virginia. Known for his uncommonly versatile work in oil, acrylic, and gouache, his commissions and full-time work range from traditional formal portraits of Malcolm Gladwell to complex personal figurative painting.”
Charlene Nield exhibits something more subtle than blasting us with “red”. Her “Frankie and Johnie” places their pinkish tinted images against red floral wallpaper. In this instance, the work speaks as an impression and overall treatment. She is an artist at The Foundry.
Linda Button makes the most of mannequins. For the “Red” show she just pulled out the red ones from Macys? An artist has to have a vehicle and she chose this one, not that there is anything wrong with that.
“My work builds on that of unsung artists: window dressers. It builds on the interaction of a carefully constructed still life with pedestrians, vehicles, macadam, brick, concrete, and glass; indispensable glass, the transparent yet reflective barrier between Inside and Outside.”
For John Hanson’s painting that is the most red among this selection, you may want to play a little music in the background. Try this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhic2cE57iM.
I don’t have a clue about who he is, but he has surely heard the erhu being played by a starving musician somewhere. The music is beautiful and comforting. As with all of the works in this show, the red presents something of a contradiction, perhaps.
“MAY SHOWS at GALLERY UNDERGROUND
Focus Gallery: National Juried Exhibition: “RED”
Dates: April 27 – May 30, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, May 1, 5-8 p.m.
Arlington, VA – In May, the Focus Gallery features our all-media national juried show, “RED,” which explores this powerful color, used by artists to attract attention, express emotion or interpret a feeling. Historically, the color red in art was associated with sacrifice, danger and courage. But messages and connotations change with time and modern red is the color of love, joy, heat, passion, violence or anger. Juried by renowned watercolor artist Frank Eber, http://www.frankeber.com/
Main Gallery: May Members Show
Dates: April 27-May 30, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, May 1, 5-8pm
During May, Gallery Underground also features a new exhibit of members’ work in the Main Gallery, including sculpture, glass, ceramics, watercolor, oil, acrylic and mixed media.”
For more information about events, visit www.galleryunderground.org
Located in the Crystal City Shops at 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202, this visual arts venue showcases the work of established and emerging regional artists. It is sponsored by the Arlington Artists Alliance (AAA), in partnership with the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID), and Vornado/Charles E. Smith.
Gallery Hours: M-F 10 a.m – 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Metro accessible. Parking is available in metered spots on nearby streets and in public garages, which are free all day Saturdays and after 4pm on weekdays.
The Arlington Artists Alliance Gallery
Crystal City Shops @ 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202