'Rahway's First Thursday', is tonight, June 7, and it's the last chance to view 'Prismatic', May group exhibit between 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Arts Guild New Jersey is located at 1670 Irving Street in Rahway. The event is free and wheelchair accessible.
'Prismatic' features the work of six contemporary artists who make 'color' a primary consideration in their work.
Included artists are: Lucas Kelly (Bordentown, NJ), Elaine Longtemps (Brooklyn, NY), Fausto Sevila (Elizabeth, NJ),Wes Sherman (Denville, NJ), Andrew Werth (Princeton Junction, NJ), Sara Wolfe (Jersey City, NJ).
Color shapes our world - it effects how and what we see, think, and feel. Research shows that the human eye can distinguish millions of colors. The theory of color is explained by the physics of light, but a big part of how we perceive color is determined by human physiology - the workings of our eyes and brain.
Andrew Werth explores the relationships between consciousness, perception, thinking, psychology and the self in his paintings. "We generally think of vision as being like photography, where an entire image is presented to us at once," he says. "However, vision might be better compared - surprisingly - to touch, since it is only through the continuous probing and movement of our eyes that we are able to construct the world around us."
Using thousands of hand-painted marks, Werth plays with hue and tone (brightness) to create methodically patterned, illusionistic compositions. His paintings challenge the viewer to look at them closely, repeatedly, and from various distances, to see new elements and relationships each time.
Colors trigger various levels of emotional response, from discomfort to calmness and peace. Associations with color relationships are deeply rooted in psychology and brain chemistry.
Elaine Longtemps describes her use of the psychological meaning of color with an example of how color can convey the essence of a piece: "The piece called Hinoki [uses] brilliant yellows and yellow-greens. The hard wood from the Hinoki tree is used to build golden palaces in Japan. It is called Go-Shin-Boku: 'Tree where god stayed'." In part, our understanding of the sculpture is based on psychological color associations. When considering the golden yellows and yellow-greens of Hinoki, we might think 'nature', 'life-force', 'spirit' or 'growth'. Longtemps' sculptures further convey an energetic vibrancy in their twisting and reaching forms.
Artists often use brilliant hues to direct attention to certain elements within a composition, or to establish jarring relationships when colors are juxtaposed against each other.
Lucas Kelly allows colors from everyday life that impress themselves in his memory to enter his paintings. For example, the particularly brilliant orange of a milk crate is mimicked in a number of his paintings. Kelly establishes structures and systems within his paintings - strong, graphic elements that stand against atmospheric swatches of painting, which contradict, or sometimes enhance, a sense of depth and spaciousness in the painting. Also working to this effect is Kelly's use of complementary colors, which create complex spacial relationships in his work.
Fausto Sevila uses a riotous palette of bright, brilliant colors in his huge canvases. Oranges, yellows, and reds clash against toxic greens, purples, and pinks. The paintings originated as a narrative relating to a performance that Sevila worked on simultaneously. Text eventually gave way to splashes of color and imagery, and the paintings took on their own separate identities. These works are large scale, lively, organic records of the artist's process.
In contrast to both Sevila's color usage and working style, Wes Sherman works with restrained, subtle palettes. He paints about "the intersection between the genres of landscape painting and abstract painting". Sherman identifies abstraction as "indebted to landscape painting in its interest in the nature of color and light". Working from historic paintings, Sherman creates a series of sketches and drawings, abstracting the original until his own composition emerges as an exploration of color, space, or paint as a medium.
Sara Wolfe's paintings use a wet-into-wet painting technique that informs her improvisational working process. Wolfe's interest lies in watching how things move and grow, and capturing "the physical experience of existing in the world". Her paintings feel like micro- or macrocosmic views of the world around us. The color palette for each painting is distinct. Although drips, brush marks and splatters happen during spontaneous creative sessions, their presence in the finished painting is a deliberate choice made by the artist.
Rachael Faillace, the curator of this exhibition, says, "Prismatic is a light-hearted celebration of rich, lustrous color and its influence on our senses."For more information on the exhibition or gallery, call 732-381-7511 or visit www.agnj.org. A full-color exhibition catalog for the exhibition will be available at the Arts Guild.