Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bruno David Gallery: Friday, 21 October 2011

CHARLES SCHWALL: Source Confluence
Opening Reception: Friday, October 21, from 6 to 9 pm

Front Room: Mario Trejo: Centered
WOP Space: Bill Kohn: Grand Center Series
Media Room: Brett Williams: Blurs

Bruno David Gallery is pleased to present Charles Schwall, Source Confluence. Schwall’s new paintings investigate his longstanding interest in curvilinear and organic formations found in nature that are connected to growth, water imagery, and the life sciences. Source Confluence explores the origins, metamorphosis, and rhythms of life forces through oil and gouache paintings. The works employ a vocabulary of soft colors distinguished by lightness and subtlety. His abstract imagery combines multiple forms to create forces of expansion and contraction that reveal processes in which organic life appears.

In the WOP Space, the gallery presents a series of works on paper titled Grand Center Series by the late Bill Kohn. In his final body of work, which began in 2002 and continued until his death in November 2004, Kohn returned his focus to St. Louis, painting the landscape of historic and modern buildings around Grand Boulevard in the Grand Center arts district of St. Louis. Kohn created these pieces while working on several large-scale paintings for the 2006 exhibition Centering on the Grand at the CAM (Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis). Kohn stated in 2004 that, “Grand Center as a landscape embodies forces of creativity, decay, restoration, preservation, learning and innovation, interacting over time in the heart of a metropolitan region, whose rich character is often overlooked by its own residents,” which demonstrates his interest in bringing to light the culture and history of the city through his work.

Kohn traveled the world, sharing his vision of many significant places through paintings that were celebrated for their vibrant color and dizzying perspectives. Machu Picchu in Peru, the Duomo in Florence, the bridges of Paris, the Grand Canyon, Khajuraho, and Jaiselmer in India were his favorite sites.

In the Front Room, the gallery presents “Centered” by Mario Trejo. This new work is a continuation of the ongoing series “Catharsis”. This series is a refreshing remix of the artist’s process while reiterating his core artistic values. The title has its root in the Greek katharsos, for “pure”. The binary chromatics, parity of mark making, and consistency of dimensions evident in all of the pieces are what Trejo has imposed on his own process: a purification of form and content. What results from this structure are compositions that radiate a controlled chaos and a sophisticated treatment of volume, perspective, and scale. Trejo uses a black and white palette to emphasize the contrast between background and gesture. The images he has created utilize this method to elegantly occupy the picture plane as if in a photogram or some sort of electroscopic imaging print. This body of work denotes an evolution of the artist’s vision of the mark as the building block of the performance and remnant, and of the void as the arena for battles between the hand and instrument, space and perception, part and whole. Trejo’s fundamental commitment to purity results in work that embodies mystery, metaphysical energy, and optical wonder. This commitment serves as a testament to the artist’s disciplined mind and unflinchingly precise hand.

In the Media Room, the gallery presents a new video work titled Blurs by Brett Williams. Blurs is an investigation of memory and the difficulties associated with remembering. The way we remember past events in our lives is not reliable and cannot fully be trusted. We construct our memories. Williams spent several hours in wonder and fascination looking down into the cold air return grate in the hallway leading to his grandfather’s study. He has strong associations with sound and flashes of images when he tries to remember discreet moments related to the past and his perceived memory. He does not trust his constructed version of the past. Instead, he trusts the rhythms and patterns that emerge from the fog of memory.



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