Monday, September 8, 2008

Edward Evans Paintings, Sept. 12th-Oct. 31st

"White Spaces", acrylic on linen

"Come Together" acrylic on linen

Opening Reception: September 20th , 4-7P

Franklin 54 Gallery is privileged to present the new paintings of Edward Evans. These works continue with the Contemporary Chinese theme this artist has been using for a number of years. The simple Chinese characters that Evans incorporates into his paintings heighten the sensibility of the pieces, as he concentrates on the shapes of the characters. These new works are even stronger and sharper in contrast, the finished paintings are vivid beauties. The fine scriptural writings make them unique and draw you closer for examination, daring us to connect and become immersed in them and enveloped by them; one can hardly restrain oneself from touching the work to feel the embossing that is not there. On first glance, thinking they are photographs or 3 dimensional layers we are pleasantly surprised that these are flat acrylic paintings on linen - subtle illusions come about because of this artist’s silky airbrush technique that has been perfected. Ed’s work is clean and crisp, exact yet not stiff - smooth and inviting. Every part of the painting is given equal consideration and importance, again showing us the influence of traditional Chinese painting. For sure these are handsome pieces, full of character and intrigue.

Impressed with the way the old masters painted their illusions, Evans was attentive to how drapery was used to create various moods and feelings by abstracting from the draping cloth and from paper and metal. Lettering, handwriting and signs also fascinated the artist - symbolic forms expressing a desire to communicate and a hope that people can remain individual while working together. Contrasts and tensions have always been evident in his work – hard edges define shapes while some areas are made soft to serve as a foil and allow flow and human sensitive feeling. “My labor intensive process starts with layering and sanding white paint that is applied to fine linen canvas. Then I spray colors with an airbrush because it lends itself to shading so subtle that images can be highly illusionistic from even close up. Because paintings are meant to be looked at, these legible designs must fit into an aesthetic entity. It is not important to read the paintings, but there must be a mood or spirit of the writing.”

Edward Evans spent his early years in Minnesota and now lives and has his studio in Stroudsburg, PA in the Pocono Mountains. He is the curator at the Southwest Minnesota State University Art Museum as well as other venues and with his wife Connie, is the owner of Gallery 705 in Stroudsburg, PA. Edward’s works have been exhibited widely in museums and galleries in the United States and internationally including Italy and Switzerland and are included in numerous museums, private and corporate collections.