If you plan to shop for new artworks by Jared Sanders or September Vhay at Altamira Fine Art’s August 2nd opening reception…..I’d suggest heading over to Altamira a bit sooner. Much of the show is hung, and pre-sales are phenomenal. Red dot, red dot, red dot…another red dot. While I visited the gallery, several serious “collector types” came through. Mark my words, those folks will return to Thursday’s double opening of Vhay’s “Totem” and Sanders’ “Home Ground.” Thursday’s reception takes place 5:30 – 7:30 pm, and the show runs through August 14, 2012.
Vhay and Sanders, hanging together, are a great match. Their art “temperatures” balance; the artists paint very different subjects, and the subjects connect. They share a pinpoint attention to detail. Sanders paints landscapes, farms and farmland of his youth, while Vhay’s favorite subject continues to be horses, and horses inhabit the type of landscapes and buildings Sanders paints. Vhay has an architect’s background–it was her original passion. Sanders has never, to my knowledge, been an architect. But he could be. We all experience serious barn envy gazing at his perfectly balanced agri-structures.
A majority of the paintings are expansive in size. When she announced her new residency at Altamira, Vhay said she was looking forward to working on a much larger scale. She has done so, and the result is hugely powerful, and peaceful. Her abstract Red Horses are totems, and project, as writers Jamie Sams and David Carson have noted, physical power and unearthly power. I remain awed by Vhay’s great talent for representational work, however. Those paintings and drawings fully display her masterful ability to translate architectual perspective into her animal renderings. A monumental pair of angus bulls are so commanding as to cause a viewer a sharp intake of breath. Her challenge, says Vhay, is to re-order reality by distilling it to its truthful essence–beauty resides there.
Sanders describes his colors as muted, yet often punctuates his fall-like landscapes with bright blocks of color: reds, blues, hints of pale green, and even white. Bleached barns and structural trim pop when surrounded by Sanders’ reds—a mix of crimson and rust. His color palette is faultless. There is an academic aura in Sanders’ portraits of barns, silos and farm houses. Indeed, he fastidiously scouts and photographs potential subjects. Each structure is exactly squared on its piece of land; in some paintings building foundations are just barely visible. When Sanders reveals those narrow gray slabs the effect is to simultaneously anchor and float the structure.
“Jared has a unique command of eliminating visual noise while presenting the viewer a calm, comfortable, often reflective scene,” says Altamira’s Dean Munn. “There’s a feeling of familiarity.”
“Blue and Gold,” a mathematically perfect, arcing portrait of a blue barn set in a golden field, is “Home Ground’s” promotional image. The image alone was enough to sell the painting; a buyer scooped it up without needing to see Sanders’ painting in the flesh. Looking at Sanders’ barn paintings, you sense a hidden presence returning your gaze.
Munn sums the dual show up: “The two artists share a passion for the natural environment – one for landscapes and the other for wildlife. Each presents their world view in a manner of modified realism.” www.altamiraart.com