Santa Fe, New Mexico (PRWEB) September 30, 2013
Kristin Johnson Fine Art is thrilled to announce the exhibition, A Double Feature, paintings by Frank Ettenberg, Jeff Uffelman and collaborative works by Jeff and Hannah Uffelman.
The style of painting Ettenberg has made his own long ago is that of Abstract Expressionism. His particular voice within this great tradition tends toward grandeur and dynamic clashes between darkness and illumination; think of the volatile compositions by DeKooning, or the lyricism of, say, Joan Mitchell.
Frank Ettenberg is interested in creating unobserved painted images that embody qualities of lightness and density and provide the viewer with a rich ground of pictorial and psychic associations. “By means of brushed, sculptural strokes the images take shape, being neither preconceived nor copies from nature. There is a blending of remembered illusions, sensations of different locales and substances, and the play of different styles of painting,” which the artist has appreciated and made his own in the course of his development.
Even as the artist’s imagery often shows dynamic oppositions, clashes between light and dark forces, Ettenberg’s deepest impulses reflect our innermost longings. Ettenberg states: “That we can clear and clean ourselves out, making our spirit ready and receptive; that an inner openness permits us to experience (life) to the fullest depth; that simplifying our mind’s work, resolving intellectual complications, actually allows one ‘s intuition and colorful mysteries to flourish, for timeless experiences to become more evident.”
It is Ettenberg’s hope that these concerns become apparent as the viewer 'receives' these artworks.
Jeff Uffelman states: “Beautiful things, mundane things, crooked things, rustic things. If my intuition chooses something as a subject, I try to make it fit." His wife and collaborator Hannah Finn says of their surreal work: “Painting atmospheric layers, I try to set the perfect stage then, with trust, I turn it over to my partner. I practice stagecraft, he practices magic.” The collaborative work of Jeff and Hannah Uffelman represents abstract visual relationships between shapes and spaces. The husband and wife team accurately record their observations of real objects in paintings in order to engage viewers and offer them a unique understanding of the subjects. Jeff and Hannah explore the concept of abstract and ethereal backgrounds combined with miniature sized images such as light hitting the surface of toasters, glass vases, leather chairs, and the like. They admire the French Moderns like Paul Klee, the floating imagery of Marc Chagall, the unexpected combinations of Joseph Cornell, and of course the surreal juxtapositions of Rene Magritte.
Where the couples’ combined canvases could be described as a form of magic realism, in contrast, Uffelman’s recent painting of eggs titled “Formal Attire” is certainly sharp focus realism, with a somewhat amplified attention to detail. Uffelman’s contemporary realism explores representational interpretations of objects. His has a modern interpretation of Trompe-l'œil, an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that depicted objects exist in three dimensions. His attention is focused on the exact appearance of the arrangement set up in front of him. He selects objects that are not necessarily beautiful but interesting, and those that keep him engaged in the painting process while he studies the abstract patterns.
The exhibition, A Double Feature, explores the idea that Art and life often present us with paradoxes. Great representational paintings are also great abstractions, and purely abstract paintings often have a connection to the real world. People are never one thing or the other, and experiences are often a mixture of joy and sadness. It makes sense that art isn’t limited to one set of definitions or limitations.