Seek Beyond "Black and White"

VMFA College Night

October 25th, 2010

The 2010 VMFA College Night was my first experience at the VMFA.  I spent a lot of time looking at the works in the museum, but also speaking with other artists, talking about the works and sharing ideas.  There was a wide variety of works, many of which I had not seen before.  Below are a few works I selected to discuss further.

This first piece entitled, The Prig, by Kristin Baker, caught my attention for its collage effect.  I have recently been using recycled canvas to create new works using collage.  Her mark making and use of color was also intriguing.  There are key color points throughout her work that creates order in the chaos.  The statement also discussed the eye in the painting that referenced her looking at the painting while the painting looked back at her.  Often times in painting, I was told to look at the painting to see what it needs, so I found it interesting that Baker chose to make this idea literal in her painting.

This second painting entitled Wave by Heide Trepanier I chose not only because of the technique used, but also because of the quote given from Trepanier .  By throwing enamel paint onto the canvas, she creates these active forms in her paintings.  Trepanier also gave importance to the negative space, making it just as prominent as the figures in her painting.  In her quote Trepanier said, “I take the paint, the material, with all of its faults and messes and use it to create odd, sad and sometimes violent narrative.”  In my own work, I employ drips or loose marks to create a similar effect, so to see it used here for a similar purpose gave me some new ideas on how to approach future works.

This last image by Jiha Moon entitled Farewellscape, used a variety of techniques to create this fluid motion with ambiguous forms.  At first glance, it almost looks like a landscape, but upon further investigation it becomes a landscape only found in the imagination.  The paint almost looked like watercolor to me, when it is in fact acrylic.  This ambiguity in the material worked nicely with the ambiguous marks on the canvas.  There are also moments where the mark making is more defined  and there is a clearer sense of where something begins and ends.  This flip flop creates a play on what actually exists in the space.  Just as my mind begins to create forms in the work, my eye catches something else that throws my theory out the window.

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