Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Line of Inquiry and Paintings, Flowers and Flamenco: We Must Be In Benicia

We went to the Open Studios at Benicia and met some wonderful artists. I am finding that I really like to look at works that I find moving and find the line of influence: what other artists keep these contemporary painters company?  Diane Williams, of the I An I Studio on Jackson Street, displayed several gorgeous and powerful large paintings. An early oil, once part of a fifteen-foot triptych, was filed with energy:

And, because of the way I see painting now, I thought immediately of John Singer Sargent's "El Jaleo."  No, the Sargent isn't an abstract and it is horizontal, but take a look at the colors -- the deep blacks, the grays, the hints, here, of orange that explode in the piece by Williams -- and the mood:

The viewer's eye is carried through the painting along the same -- driving -- curves.  The layers of shadow and foreground/background here, and the dancer and her band, form the same kinds of intricate relationships for us to study. 

My husband's clear favorite -- of all of Diane Williams's work on show -- was this painting, which anchors a front wall of her studio space; she calls these forms "Chrysanthemums":

Stunning.  And here, I love this painting, but I am torn trying to find the direct line to this breakthrough.  When I think about other artists who have pursued these rounded bursts of color, I have two people in mind. The first is Joan Mitchell and "Sunflowers":

And the second is Cy Twombly's "Rose" series:

There is a kind of beauty-coming-right-off-the-canvas here, in all three of these works, that means we can keep looking. These paintings are filled with joy.

No comments:

Post a Comment