Martha Jones and William Hutton and the "Storyteller" opening reception.
Martha Jones’ On the Death of Cy Twombly 2011 portrays an expressionistic ode to the life and work of prominent contemporary artist, Cy Twombly. The drastic brushstrokes and use of vivid color are reminiscent of Twombly’s dynamic graffiti-style works. Jones has incorporated ominous Latin vocabulary as well as names of great Greek Tragedians such as Homer and Aeschylus. She also alludes to Greek art in her sculpture installations, Cycladic Figures and Red Kouros. The interesting contrast between the intellectual Greek and Latin allusions and the simplistic shapes creates a raw emotional reaction. The labyrinth like compositional arrangement allows the eye to playfully jump from stroke to stroke. The vitality of this work marks Jones’ position in the progression of a new generation of artists on the rise, and the influence of past great artists. As Jones says herself, “I am interested in seeing what results come about when I put objects that refer to the very ancient, to nature, to personal memory and to childhood into the context of newly antiquated technologies.” This idea of old to new sets a sentimental, yet hopeful tone in her overall work. The mythological theme throughout this work allows the eye to get lost in the busy arrangement, thus suspending any pain that can seem inevitable in reality.
Jean Peacock’s wonderful accompaniments to the Storytellers: Tales in Art and Fiction exhibit added much color and dynamism to the group of oeuvres. First Son and The Little Family both are full of wonderful sentimentalism as well as strong emotional empathy. Upon asking Jean what carries her through the artistic journey of creating a work, she replied, “the canvas is like an open door inviting the artist to an adventure. Who knows what’s going to pop up?” This idea of an unforeseen journey is evident in her two widely different paintings. The Little Family evokes feelings of warmth and seclusion due to the use of vibrant colors blended with thick brushstrokes. However, when looking at the characters’ gestural expressions, there is a sense of sadness and void in the subjects’ eyes. The halting arm also adds aggressiveness to the vacant stares.
First Son abstracts both movement and place. The two figures, tall and serpentine like, seem to glide through a sky of blocked colors above a miniscule town. One stares straight on as the other wistfully looks away, either shooing or beckoning her contemporary. The son shines above them both creating a unity in the piece. However, a central line divides the two figures, creating a distance between them, as one is about to embark on a journey. Peacock stated that she completed this work in a somewhat “meditative” state. Despite the soothing, somewhat ominous color scheme, the work evokes strong emotional reaction, possibly enhanced by Peacocks meditative state. Peacock commented that the time when her late son Tim left home for the first time, she formed a somewhat inspirational backing for this piece. The “adventure” quality is clearly evident in the highly perceptive painting. Feelings of sadness and loss, as well as hope and excitement for the unknown are all present in Peacocks amazing images of personal expression.
Thank you again to both artists for sharing their incredible artwork with the gallery for the Story Tellers: Tales in Art and Fiction show.