Continuing through February 28, 2013
Ned Evans and Charles Christopher Hill have a lot in common. Born two years apart (1948 and 1950), they both live and work in Venice; both earned MFAs from UC Irvine; and both studied art with Ed Moses, Billy Al Bengston and Vija Celmins. Today both artists exhibit internationally; and both of them are known for creating colorful and vigorous geometric abstractions that are strongly influenced by light.
But there the similarities end. How wise of the gallery to install their respective works side by side. One step inside the gallery and viewers can compare and contrast the stark differences among the 38 paintings. While it's true the work belongs in the same genre (vibrant, colorful, geometric abstractions that are often minimal), they are created from vastly distinct concepts, visions and artistic intentions.
Evans, a life-long surfer who lives near the ocean, is as passionate about nature as he is about painting. Influenced by light as it pierces the sky to reflect/refract on water, waves, and sand, he transforms these properties into colorful compositions. Applying his pigment in layers of wet-on-wet brushstrokes (some of which collide and bleed through one another), Evans creates loose, rhythmic, translucent patterns that alternate with dense, opaque boundaries. This creative approach results in a fusion of poetic, undulating shapes that duck in-out-and-under strong, structured forms. Each painting becomes Evans' personal paean to water, air, light and land.
By contrast, Hill's paintings are reduced to a series of fat, red or white stripes (sometimes only three or four; other times many, all over the canvas) that float above a background of flat black, beige, and/or white. But here's the tricky part. Inside of each wide stripe are many different colors, each of which is layered with a thick coat of acrylic varnish before the final red/white pigment is used. By the time Hill completes his painstaking method of painting each work, so much varnish and paint have been applied that the stripes appear to be three-dimensional. And if the inner pigments shine through (as they often do, especially when the stripes are white), they appear to be outlined in black. While some of Hill's paintings are quite large, others are small (just 11 inches square, including their frame). Regardless of size, the accumulated build-up of paint plus varnish gives each work a lustrous, glossy appearance that resembles porcelain.
Published courtesy of ArtSceneCal ©2013