The Perfectionistsby Matthew Innis |
20 Realists Making Detailed Paintings
On view: May 3 – 29
Robert Lange Studios upcoming exhibit, The Perfectionists, features the work of 20 world-renown realist painters each creating one extremely detailed painting. Robert Lange says of the exhibit, “There seems to be a common thread amongst realists, that is, they never think a painting is ever done.”
The Perfectionists will come together to display just how real realists can be. Unlike many “messier” artists, these artists are obsessive in their practices, often employing small brushes, magnifying glasses, and time as their greatest assets. All are welcome to attend the May 3 event from 5-8pm where a collection of participating artists will be on hand to answer questions.
Lange said, “This show ended up with such a wonderful range of takes on the theme. There are landscape painters tackling impossibly difficult scenes they have feared to paint and figurative artists creating huge close-up paintings where every pore of a face is on display.”
In the painting Underwood No.5 by Christopher Stott, there is an impeccably rendered typewriter sitting on top of it’s carrying case. Each element in the painting looks daunting to render, where each key needs to be perfectly flat. However, the part that the viewer doesn’t immediately appreciated is that the artist has perfectly balanced the composition both top to bottom and left to right. He has even added a pencil to counterbalance the slide of the typewriter holding the paper to the right.
“When I set up a group of objects for a painting I always consider negative space, repeating elements, shapes, angles, lines, perspective — everything that moves the eye around the canvas. I use grids to help outline the composition. The objects I paint are engineered machines with symmetry and balance often baked right in to their designs, so applying these rules to the paintings seems fitting. The overall effect I am trying to achieve is a sense of order, calmness and stability. Painting these objects transforms them from cold and banal tools to something more human and hopefully pulls a viewer in to think about how they relate to the world of objects around them,” says Stott.
Trompe l’oiel is perhaps the most playful kind of realist work and Anthony Waichulis has become known for his clever paintings of everyday objects. For this show he has painted a single dollar bill that begs the viewer to reach out and grab it. “Of all of the subjects that I have tackled in my two decades of Trompe L’oeil painting, none have commanded more intimate investigations than my representations of currency. I feel a great sense of pride when those representations draw viewers into a comprehensive visual investigation with noses a few mere centimeters from the surface. As such, I could not think of a better subject to tackle for Robert Lange Studios’ upcoming exhibit, Perfectionists. It is my hope that the intricate complexities that I strategically packaged into this minute work will successfully communicate a significant commitment to earning that moniker,” Waichulis said.
Another unique painting comes from Patrick Kramer, who, as artists often do, came up with a creative interpretation of the theme. On a 20 x 20” canvas he has shown the destruction of a piece, where the artist has completed the work and then scrapped it down after deciding it was simply not good enough. The spackle knife sits next to the destroyed image, which in a nice artist’s twist is Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
Artist Natalie Featherston specializes in the genre of trompe l’oeil- French for “fool the eye”. She paints directly from life, constructing the collage models for her paintings using vintage photos, found objects, paper cut outs, embroidery and beads. Her mastery of technical skill draws the viewer into an invented realm of humor and whimsy, where story telling and narrative feature prominently. Of her painting “Spreading Love Across the Seas”, Natalie says, “There’s plenty of darkness in the world, I want to make paintings that spark joy and connect with the viewer in a meaningful way.”
One collector’s comment in anticipation for the upcoming show, “My obsession with realism started with a single purchase. Once I realized that within my home it was consistently the only painting I could not stop revisiting and staring at, I knew I needed more. I absolutely can not wait to see what Robert has put together.” Kathryn Lilliston, Boston MA.
Artists participating include: Natallie Featherston, Christopher Stott, Matthew Bober, Karen Ann Myers, Eric Wert, Brett Scheifflee, Patrick Nevins, Erik Johnson, Kerry Simmons, Denise Sanabria, Patrick Kramer, George Ayers, Anthony Waichulis, David Eichenberg, Jason Walker, Karin Jurick, Susan Harrell, Robert Lange