On Friday, July 5th, 5-7:00 pm, Altamira Fine Art welcomes three of its most electric artists: Bill Schenck, R. Tom Gilleon and Greg Woodard. Each artist has his own new show of works, but you get to experience them all at once, an irresistable prospect. All three artists’ works will be on exhibit through July 13th.
“Technicolor Storm.” What a brilliant description of Billy Schenck’s Pop Western Art. He’s a hot one! His full name is William Clinton Schenck; ain’t that a kick? Schenck’s show, “How I Won the West: The Return of the Punk Cowgirl” features new oils and dot paintings and his new cowgirls harken back to a series he initiated in the 1980’s featuring, as Julie Sasse said, “confident women living independent lives in the American West,” about a decade before the great genre chick movie “Thelma & Louise” debuted.
With this new show Schenck brings us new oil and dot paintings filled with jolting color, stylizations and, as the gallery says, clashes between wilderness and civilization. The collection draws upon “narrative tensions that have attracted mass audiences to Western fiction and movies.” The artist’s tongue-in-cheek humor and prediliction for social critique are in no way muted.
“Tom Gilleon is a master of composition and palette. A Gilleon painting commands a room; there is an energy that is projected, like the sun in the sky.” – Mark Tarrant, Director, Altamira Fine Art
Gilleon is exploring new territory too—his new show, “Ménage á Trois,” has an addendum title “Eternal Triangles.” The French expression translates most often as a romantic relationship between three people, but it can also infer a relationship between any three entities, each of those entities having a connection with the other two. Gilleon’s tipis are triangles, with each side having a relationship with the other two; and one of this show’s centerpieces is a “mesmerizing” triptych of tipis against skies that change in hue from dawn to dusk.
Gilleon will have a consummate nine-panel grid painting of Native American portraits and a massive 5’ x 10’ translucent tipi painting on view. Gilleon is re-inventing himself; and later this summer he will be the first living artist to have a solo show (“Let Icons Be Icons: The Art of R. Tom Gilleon) at the C.M. Russell Museum. Gilleon’s work is hypnotic, his ability to depict tipis and other subjects in an infinity of glowing color combinations forever astounding.
I brought a friend unfamiliar with Altamira to the gallery’s last opening. We looked at many of gallery’s works, but she gasped when she saw sculptor Greg Woodard’s emotional, heroic sculptures that seem to erupt from the earth. His portrayals of Native Americans are writhing and torqued—proud, worshipful and primal.
“I MUST meet this artist!” she exclaimed. I hope she gets the chance, because that chance is here! Woodard’s new show, “Organic,” is an illustration of “the interaction of humans and wildlife, and the collision of the natural world with human inventions.” The show’s works call out to us with their tumultuous textures and rich patinas that set Woodard’s singular, non-conformist bronzes apart.
Woodard, a master falconer, says he allows his sculptures to develop naturally—there are no preconceptions. Each edition reveals its own hue and texture.
“I try to achieve a unique gesture, and use the process that a piece goes through getting cast to my advantage. I’m very involved at the foundry,” says Woodard. “I chase the waxes and do every patina by hand.”
Woodard depicts the interactions between human and animal, and their inevitable affect. As Woodard’s admirers know, railroad tracks are featured in many of his pieces; they symbolize man’s introduction to the West, and also, says the gallery, “the line of sight humans or animals can take to look ahead for food or guidance.” www.altamiraart.com
“Art Across the Universe,” an art and science festival, includes various events taking place at Jackson’s Center for the Arts beginning July 10th. From 5-10:oo pm that day, take part in a Family Public Art “build a giant sundial” project with artist Tyler Aiello and Dr. Tyler Nordgren, attend an exhibit reception, presentation and salon-style chat, and wind it all up with a little star gazing! All events are free. www.artassociation.org