January 30, 2008

Symbolic terrain in Cleveland

"Curious Terrain," curated by Tim Knapp. Art Gallery at Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH. Through March 8. Artist include Robert Robbins, Randall Tiedman, JenMarie.

According to Knapp's curatorial statement, when most people hear the word landscape an image likely comes to mind, and that image is often of something outside of them. A place, a photograph, a drawing, or a painting - something previously observed or a representation of a place observed by another. In this exhibition, the three artists presented explore landscape imagery's power to convey complex emotional truths.

In the Cleveland Free Times, Douglas Max Utter writes that visual art wouldn't be possible if the human eye only saw what was there. "Everywhere it looks it perceives the reverberations of earlier encounters; collating, comparing, identifying, much as the ear works with the brain to imagine the shape and texture of sound, or with the sense of smell to associate a taste with an aroma. It's hard not to see images even in random natural configurations, and painting always presents something other than mere surface and substance - if not an image then a question, an absence, an ideal. The three artists at Curious Terrain, on view at CSU's Art Gallery, generate shadowy landscapes composed largely of echoes and mood, based on a moonlit, muted palette. Having that much in common, each goes on to claim quite different territory. Easily the most gripping of the three is long-time exhibiting Cleveland artist Randall Tiedman, known during most of his three-decade career as a painter of human presence and the psychological power latent in physical movement. Those paintings and drawings, while reminiscent of the expressive range and manner of artists like Francis Bacon and Nathan Oliveira, follow an intricate logic of substance and accident to make creative statements of their own." Read more.

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