Gallery Hours

First Fridays 6-9 pm

Occasional artist talks

(watch this space for announcements)

and always by appointment.
Call (303) 297-9831

Email: rexford@ patternshopstudio.com


Tuesday
Feb022010

Induced Dreams and Other Paintings

"Induced Dreams and Other Paintings" by Andrew Speer
at the Pattern Shop Studio until April 18, 2010

The Pattern Shop Studio's current show of 14 Andrew Speer paintings completed between 2000 and 2009 is literally stunning. Some viewers stood in front of paintings for 10 or fifteen minutes, as if they had been hit over the head. Each sumptuous piece offers so much richness of color and texture and imagery that you feel you could spend the rest of your life looking at it and never exhaust its possibilities. The seven large (7' x 6') paintings, seldom seen together or exhibited with the space each deserves, simply overwhelm, and then transfix, you. The most common word uttered at the opening reception was "Wow!"

The most common question was "How does he do that?!" This was elicited particularly by three large paintings from 2000: "Paradoxical Sleep," which appears to be 8 separate canvases somehow blended together; "Walking Distance," with 11 blended pieces; and the majestic "Elected Silence," composed of 14 blended elements. The simple answer is that he does it by cutting holes and gashes in his canvases, stretching new canvases for the pieces, and then re-inserting them, usually above or below the surface plane, making the paintings three dimensional and geometrically eccentric. 

Perhaps a better question would be "Why does he do that?" The answer is that for Speer, the physical qualities of a painting--the evident processes through which it was created, the materials out of which it was made and the paint itself, applied in different ways--are the "subjects" of each painting. He'll tell you that his paintings are not "about" or "of" something, they're just, well, paint. They're colors, lines, shapes and textures, echoed in various ways, contrasted, even opposed, yet brought into some sort of transcendent equilibrium or unity. Some people have mistakenly called that "abstract" art, but it isn't abstract at all. In fact, you will seldom see paintings that are any more concrete or personal than Andrew's. Everything he did and felt and thought (and probably dreamed), every whim or accident or discovery, is right there in front of you in layer after layer of paint. You could even argue that these paintings are more realistic than "realistic" paintings because they so accurately capture and share the experience of trying to make the evanescent visible, the intangible tangible. George Eliot once said that "art is the nearest thing to life;" certainly these paintings convey the reality that our inner lives are the sum of accidents, intentions gone awry, battles between reason and unreason, contention between oppositions, and constant struggles to create illusions that will inspire and sustain us.

The paintings done in 2000 establish a baseline of intense physicality, struggles with traditional constraints, and wars between formal and intellectual oppositions. They appear to have been forged by some emotional hammer and anvil and made beautiful at a cost. The paintings done since show a movement away from raw physicality toward meta-physicality. Darkness and light still struggle against each other, but light seems to be getting the upper hand; surfaces are still layered unevenly, but the deeper layers seem less like violent-eruptions-smoothed-over; the contrasts between the rational and the irrational or the organic and the mechanistic are still there, but they're wittier. Recognizable objects appear, symbolic forms like bird wings and flowers and chess pieces crop up, and his palette brightens. Fireworks explode in "Dovecote," snowflakes fall in "Permanent Memory," Moby Dick dives into "Kaddish (for Robert Rauschenberg)," and giant white lilies open to the sky in the gorgeous "Spirit Trap." Apparently, Andrew Speer is experiencing yet another spring, another rebirth in his long, illustrious career. 




Catch Andrew Speer on the wing again at The Pattern Shop Studio.

Open to the public February 5, March 5, April 2, April 16-18, and by appointment (303-297-9831).

Sunday
Jan312010

Andrew Speer

 

The Pattern Shop Studio opens February 5th, 2010 with an exhibition titled Induced Dreams and other paintings by Andrew Speer. A reception for the artist will be held during the First Fridays in RiNo event on February 5th from 6 - 9 p.m. The artist will be in attendance. 

Speer is an Emeritus Professor of art at Metropolitan State College of Denver and is the former area chair of the painting department from 1990 - 2005. His artwork has been widely exhibited throughout the country and critic writing and reviews of his work have been featured in many diverse sources.

 

Speer has received many prestigious awards including Pollock-Krasner Foundation artist grant, was one of nine finalists for the Reader’s Digest Artists at Giverny Program, to name a few.

 

 

Wednesday
Jan202010

Sharon Brown wins Juror's Award at Ice Cube Gallery's "Icebreaker" show!

 

Juror Michael Paglia, art critic for Westword magazine, selected Sharon Brown's three powerful black and white oil paintings of RiNo artists for his Juror's Award at the Ice Cube Gallery's "Icebreaker" show, running until February 20th at the Dry Ice Factory on 3320 Walnut Street. The show, which Paglia said was difficult to jury because of the high quality of over 140 entries, features 70 exquisite works of art by artists in, or associated with, the River North Arts District.  Don't miss this impressive group show, open Fridays 6-10 and Saturdays 12-5.