“I love the way my gallery looks right now; it looks like a New York gallery!” – Tayloe Piggot
J.H. Muse Gallery’s Tayloe Piggot made that comment a few years back; the gallery was then housed in its former West Broadway space. But, far from moving away from aligning herself with NYC’s mega-arts culture, she continues to reach out, looking to translate that city’s contemporary energy to Jackson Hole’s art scene.
To that end, she and arts specialist Camille Obering present “Influences of Nature on Abstraction,” opening at J.H. Muse on September 3. Spotlighting contemporary masters Milton Avery, Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell, the show remains up through the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival (power play!) all the way to October 14, 2009. An opening reception takes place Friday, September 11, 5-8:00 pm.
Obviously, public access to works by internationally known contemporary artists is rare in Jackson. We’ll all feel as if we’re partaking in a MoMa field trip, and that will be thrilling. Folks living full time in the inter-mountain west, as a rule, don’t visit significant contemporary museums as often as urban dwellers This show, says its organizers, depicts work “unconstrained” by “representational” rules—a comment seeming to allude to a belief that here, constraint and representation are the norm.
Emerging art movements often claim to be throwing off restraints of earlier schools, and they are. But no school of art emerges from a vacuum.
Artistic “constraint” is a misconception; artists decide for themselves what feels like constraint. If Clyde Aspevig were asked to paint like Frankenthaler, he may feel some constraint. Aspevig doesn’t interpret and experience nature the same way as Frankenthaler. Poetry is highly structured and disciplined, but often seems less formally conceived than prose.
These artists–Frankenthaler, Avery, Mitchell and Diebenkorn–created something new for themselves and for art history. In creating something new, another set of rules for achieving the effect the artist wants is established. Another guide is written, another opinion. Artists’ efforts to tell the world as they see it are opinions set to canvas, photographic paper, in clay.
Artistic vision is highly personal, but principles invariably apply.
From the age of seven, Picasso received formal, academic artistic training. From those building blocks, his brilliance exploded. Over and over again Picasso studied the human form. Without this deep knowledge, Picasso’s abstractions would lose their magic.
Obering puts the Muse show artists in context:
“Milton Avery (1885 – 1965), often thought of as America’s Matisse, is best known for his conflation of abstraction and representation using a rich and unusual palette.
Richard Diebenkorn’s (1922 – 1993) aerial landscapes of California illuminated the light and line of this area by marrying color field painting and geometric abstraction in a bold personal style.
Helen Frankenthaler (born 1928), known as a color field painter and an abstract expressionist, utilized a technique known as “soak stain,” in which oil paints were diluted and painted onto unprimed canvas or
paper, resulting in stunning and luminescent paintings.
Joan Mitchell’s (1925 – 1992) powerful and energetic brush stroke played out nature’s patterns, light, and depth, making her work some of the most spectacular of the
I’d kill for a Frankenthaler; when I look at her work I feel as if I’m beneath the ocean’s surface—a favorite place to be—floating over brilliant corals, translucent kelps. My sister would like an Avery, please.
For information, visit www.jhmusegallery.com, phone 307.733.0555—or, contact Camille Obering through her website.
Item #2 – Not Too Late For a Little Cayuse!
Cayuse favorite Jack Walker is back, bringing new designs and best sellers, on Friday, August 28th from 5 – 8pm. Meet Jack and view his pure silver and leather hand crafted work. He’s joined for the second year by Jackson jeweler and silversmith Dawn Bryfogle, whose work combines contemporary gemstone styling with vintage sterling treasures. She’ll also be showing her new handmade sterling pieces.