The Shape of Tomorrow
Exhibition closed: May 17, 2021
The Shape of Tomorrow highlights the work of five artists, all of whom’s work utilizes color and form to offer the viewer a chance to escape into abstract other-worlds. Throughout the galleries, the work of Charles Emlen, Greg Kelly, Tremain Smith, Larry Spaid, and John Howell White take unabashed joy in their included forms and color pallets to provoke the visual senses of the viewers.
This moment in time within our culture is one that is begging for escapism, a chance to revel in shape, color, layer, texture, line, and form — and to fill that need, The Shape of Tomorrow delivers. Tremain Smith builds up the surfaces of her works on panel. By utilizing the ancient technique of encaustic — pigment mixed into wax — Smith’s layers become semi-opaque and create a visual challenge to the viewer. Perhaps if one concentrates on the small moments in her works, they will get lost in the complex and quiet little worlds that Smith’s work inhabits. John Howell White, likewise, layers his monumental unstretched canvases with paint, allowing carefully structured forms and freely dripping brush strokes to clash and create surfaces that pull you in with their depth and layers of color.
While some artists in The Shape of Tomorrow utilize complex layering in their work, others are slightly more reserved in their work. Greg Kelly minimizes his color pallet, utilizing stripes of alternating colors to create dizzying surfaces that seem to undulate and take on a life and movement of their own. Larry Spaid’s compositions are much more rigid, not unlike the giants of modern design. But in Spaid’s quiet restraint is the compelling beauty found in the mastery of his understanding of composition. Charles Emlen’s sculptures often adhere to a monochromatic pallet of repetitious shapes; in these constraints, the gestalt shines. Together, all five artists celebrate the empowering and uplifting nature that color and shape can bring to our lives.