Continuing through March 24, 2012
The eight large scale works that comprise "Tilt" mark a new stage in the evolution of Oliver Vernon's work. Whether making a move from Brooklyn, New York to the Sierra Foothills of Grass Valley, California has had a significant influence on his paintings or not, it certainly feels as though the transition has created a more personal, internalized narrative. Vernon has been recognized as being near the forefront of contemporary and new surrealism. He is often mentioned alongside the likes of Mario Martinez, Kate Eric and others who drift from the more classic surrealist sensibilities like Katrin Fridriks.
He tests dimensional boundaries in ways that related to M.C. Escher, while honing his own style of biomorphic characters that are at times reminiscent of Yves Tanguy. These tendencies co-exist with geometric complexities and calligraphic swashes that also bear an obvious reference to his familiarity with contemporary graffiti. In this recent series the shift from Vernon's earlier, more purely abstract ''inner space'' compositions is apparent. These are a rich jumble of weaving and tangling gestures that gel fluidly with the surrealist content. The result is a series of abstract totems that are segmented by pastoral landscapes and which intersect with other deliberate representations of the natural world. This is an open ended, non-linear narrative that feels much more self-referential than previous efforts. Simultaneously, they have display his most challenging use of palette combinations and a masterful rendering of line and shadow, further sharpening his imaginative vision.