Inspired Abstraction

  • A new exhibition opens at the Carnegie Arts Center this week exploring new work by three area artists. The show will remain on view through July 23, 2017.  Join us for a reception on May 11, 2017 from 6-8 p.m. 

Abstraction has been a vital component of the artist’s toolkit throughout time; it has been used to create universal understanding and to enrich the viewer’s experience.  Through the simplification, magnification, or dislocation of forms artists can retain some or reject all references to the natural world. By moving away from strictly representational modes, the artist opens the door for the viewer to explore individual interpretation, to look more closely, and to think more deeply.

This exhibition brings together three artists from the Central Valley who use abstraction in individualistic ways.  All three artists inspire emotion and retrospection through their use of color and shape, employing degrees of abstraction to force the viewer to look and think more carefully.

The less there is to look at, the more important it is that we look at it closely and carefully. This is critical to abstract art. Small differences make all the difference.

Kirk Varnedoe, Pictures of Nothing: Abstract Art Since Pollock, 2006

Sharon Maney LoManto has been an artist working in a variety of modes and materials for more than 40 years. Her recent works, executed on metal using industrial paints and etched or burnished surfaces, embody abstract concepts such as unity and contemplation. These non-objective works, devoid of references to specific natural objects, are understood completely through their use of the basic elements of form, color and balance. While their modernity (emphasized in the machine-age materials and clean lines) may seem in contrast with the timeless nature of the artist’s message, ultimately the hard edges and metallic colors keep the viewer’s eyes on the surfaces of the paintings. This reinforces the focus on composition and on the ideal – or abstract – principles as opposed to a traditional representation of the world around us.lomanto, Temple-Gate

See more of Sharon’s work here.

Katherine Crinklaw begins her paintings with natural forms – lush flowers and ripening fruit – and abstracts them into simplified shapes that at times only hint at their original sources. Patterns, textures and colors become the main subject. At times the forms are magnified, out of focus or viewed from a unique perspective to help remove us from strict reality. An artist who began her career creating highly specific renderings of landscape and still life subjects, she has gradually moved in recent years toward something more essential in nature. By paring away much of the fine detail, leaving suggestions of the shapes and colors that we may identify with her natural subjects, she allows us to absorb their inherent richness without distraction.Crinklaw, Mixed Zinnias, acrylic on canvas

See more of Katherine’s work here.

Nic Webber uses the contrasts of hard and soft in his sculptures, where hard materials, such as metal and ceramics, create illusions of soft forms. In his recent series, Everything is Not Quite What it Seems, the work is purposely deceptive; utilitarian objects (pillows and teapots) that should create feelings of comfort are rendered unusable or even dangerous. Soft things are made hard and unforgiving; hard things are rendered as limp and useless. Through this abstraction, achieved by the removal of familiar objects from their natural context, the viewer experiences a sense of dislocation and uncertainty.  Assumptions about the “real” world are brought into question and we are forced to examine our thoughts and feelings. Webber, Finding its place

See more of Nic’s work here.

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