Pointillist show also opens at Confluence
By Ann McCreary
An exploration of abstract art — its contradictions and failure to abide by rules — is the focus of a new exhibit at Confluence Gallery and Art Center opening Saturday (Jan. 14) with a reception from 4 – 8 p.m.
Curators Vern White and Joanne Marracci have brought together some of the best local and regional artists working in this genre for the exhibit, called “Fresh — A Collection of Contemporary Abstraction.”
They also invited a number of representational artists “to cast themselves upon the rocky shores of this wonderful and often misunderstood branch of work to see what would happen,” said White, an abstract artist who works under the name “Vblast.”
“The result is beautiful, new, and interesting,” he said.
“Abstract is a category full of contradictions,” Marracci said. “To me, it appears to be a struggle to create something that, well, sort of looks like nothing, yet there is so much honesty in the process and that leaves its mark.
“The same piece can seem silent and introspective or scream volumes to certain viewers,” Marracci said. “You can participate in it, or stand far removed and disconnected from it. I love its open-endedness; that a single piece can mean something completely different to every person.”
White said he has found his work as an abstract artist for the past 15 years “to be one of the most challenging, frustrating and rewarding disciplines I have ever entered into.”
“Creating non-objective abstract is a holy terror that can eat you alive at times, every canvas a battleground,” White said. “The rules do not apply and every rule is applicable. It is Zen in its very essence.”
The exhibit brings together artwork by more than 25 artists working in a variety of media.
Also opening Saturday in Confluence Gallery’s Community Gallery is an exhibit by painter Gene Barkley called “Into Living Color.”
Barkley is a pointillist — a painter who applies small strokes or dots of color to a surface so that from a distance they blend together.
French painter Georges Seurat is credited with founding the technique of pointillism. It is a lengthy and tedious style that few contemporary artists use. Some of Barkley’s paintings and drawings take over 100 hours to complete.
Originally from Massachusetts, Barkley moved to Manson, where he opened Wapato Studio Gallery and for 10 years represented important local artists. Barkley shows his art in galleries nationwide.
Both exhibits continue through Feb. 19. For more information, call 997‑2787.