September 28, 2002
"There are three major Imperatives in 20th century art generally. These modes are the "realIst", the "abstract" and the "Imagist". Powerful modern realist painters include Bauhaus, Beckman, and Hopper. Most modern fine art photography Is realIst. Major abstract art ranges from the calm paintings of Mondrian to the abstract expressionist works of Pollock. Imagist art Involves the use of recognizable images variously arrayed In compositions unlike the real world. Examples would be the dream-like scenes In the surrealist paintings of Ernst or Magritte, or the small assemblages of Cornell. There are seven important vanguard art centers In the U. S. These are New York City, Chicago, LOB Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Philadelphia, and Houston, contributing to the importance of the art center include major museums, commercial galleries, collectors. and a communIty of working artists. There is a strong history of imagist art in Houston and of the artists in this exhibition reflect that tradition. William Farr's intricate and detailed renderings of imagined pieces of anatomy, machinery and other curious objects are woven together to create strange and mysterious fragments of Imaginary worlds."
Graphic artist Dan Mitchell Allison utilizes tour de force imagery to produce works based on his writings juxtaposed with scenes from the American cinema, his photographs, and the evening news.
Angelbert Metoyer employs a powerful and magical blend of African and American symbolism to depict the all-American city of icons, "Hollywood 1141.1."
James Surls, known for his images drawings and prints as well as his sculptures which often take their form and content from the trees and branches they are carved from, is represented by an oversized linocut depicting a self-portrait that relates to shamanism and mysticism.
Dee Wolff similarly explores powerful spiritual forces, but also feminist imagery in her gouache titled "Spirit Tree".
Sharon Kopriva, a painter and sculptor, also employs religious and spiritual themes and imagined landscapes, as in "September Mourning" where she blends Idaho, 9/11 in New York City imagery.
Nancy Kienholz's provocative collage offers a stinging social commentary on American Northwest timber industry practices. The late Edward Kienholz Is represented by a watercolor from a series where he invented his own currency. This particular work is barter for services for the care of Ed and Nancy's golden retriever dog, Smash.
The Art Guys -Michael Galbreth and Jack Massing have delighted audiences with performance and conceptual art that is often full of humor and witty commentary. "101 Appliances Study" is a whimsical interpretation of the state of affairs in a typical American household.
Texas realism is well represented in this exhibition. Frank X. Tolbert II, completed a piece entitled "Mercedes Benz" during a recent journey to Berlin.
John Bruce Berry has created a mysterious vignette in his painting called "Picasso's Eyes".
Michael Roque Collins' fascinating wrapped tree piece depicts the wrapped trees located at "ground zero" in New York City, reminding us of the times that we live in.
New York and Texas artist, John Alexander, is well known for his expressionist landscapes of the swamps of east Texas. His finely executed lithograph portrays one of Texas's most beloved wildlife, the Great Blue Heron.
Richard Stout's lyrical painting of the Gulf of Mexico titled "Shoreline", captures the essence and feel of Texas's unique coastline.
Ann Stautberg captures the Gulf Coast in her dream - like soft color photographs of the coastline.
Long stays in neighboring Mexico heavily influenced painter Lucas Johnson's vivid and intense still life's.
Wayne Gilbert's colorful, triangular canvasses combine floral imagery with unusual mediums.
Ed Wilson's carefully crafted aluminum casting of a Texas oak reflects his concerns with the environment and the consequences of human interaction.
Magdalene Boltz-Topp's finely detailed and hand colored etching of an animal is made ominous by the steel bar cage frame.
Luis Jimenez produces large-scale fiberglass sculptures and fine graphics. His powerful and expressive color lithograph of gang life In the city of El Paso, Texas typical of the social nature of his work.
Mel Chin, typically a conceptualist, has produced a precisely rendered image of a "Billy Club", or baton, used by American police to curb violent offenders but often used illicitly as a tool of brutality.
Virgil Grotfeldt's paintings and drawings are powerful biomorphic abstractions made from unusual materials like coal dust and gold powder. These biomorphic forms allude to life forms in the real world.
A well deserved word of thanks is extended to the many that helped make this exhibition possible. These include Patricia C. Johnson, Dan Mitchell Allison, Nancy Smith, Wayne Gilbert, Magdalena Boltz-Topp, Ed Wilson, yorker Eisele, Kirk Baxter, John Kemp, Charlie Phillips of the Houston-Leipzig Sister City Organization, Sharon Kopriva, and our gracious host in Leipzig, ARTCO Gallery's, Helmut. Stephan. A final appreciation and recognition to Walter Hopps and Caroline Huber for allowing me to visit and converse with them regarding their sentiments about the state of the arts in Houston.
Gus Koprlva, Curator
Redbud Gallery, Houston, Texas, USA
July 31' 2002
Artists include the late Edward Kienholz and Lucas Johnson.