Benefit 2020 Auction Items: Val Rossman’s ‘Going Up and Down’

How do we relate to abstraction? Is it simply that the dance of color, form and composition hits our visual apparatus and then coalesces somewhere in the brain to stimulate emotional substrates? Does that emotional response depend on our past experiences and our character, or is there a universal reaction to abstraction, as postulated by mid-twentieth century Abstract Expressionists? Is it the same way an arrangement of musical notes in a symphony elicits an emotional response, or a particular scent can provoke a powerful memory? All of these involve sensory input arranged in a precise way to jump start our emotions, to elicit thoughts and feelings that exist in a realm beyond spoken language. And since it’s communicated in a sensory language, it’s difficult to verbally express that surge of emotion, that transcendent spirituality that is captured in an abstract painting or symphony or a particular scent.

Going Up and Down
Val Rossman

But some works of art make it worth trying. Val Rossman’s acrylic on aluminum abstract painting titled Going Up and Down, 22″ x 22″, is filled with intermingling squares and rectangles of brilliant, saturated colors, mostly reds with hints of white, blue, purple and yellow. While some of the squares seem to shout, skip and soar out of the canvas, others recede into the background, creating a layered, textured appearance that seems to allude to the title. And yet it’s also as if we are at the threshold of an intricate, joyful, complex dance. It’s a dance that pulls you in to its thumping center, immersing you in a world of rhythm, joie de vivre, and exuberance. Though abstraction may at times seem elusive, one thing seems certain. Having this painting in your midst will certainly make you want to dust off those dancing shoes and start twirling.

Mindy Flexer makes magical realist, figurative, oil paintings. She uses observation and invention to explore identity and family relationships, and the way personal history resides within the larger arc of time. Her current work is about our extraordinary historical moment, when climate crisis threatens all life on earth, and climate justice offers the possibility of global transformation to a just and equitable world. Her visual language of a seamless world of people, animals, and place, is the language of the interconnection of all life on earth. Flexer’s paintings speak about climate in a language personal enough for people to hear it. Her goal is to inspire people to action. She hopes to connect people to themselves and each other, so each person can find their place in the mass movement necessary to create a sustainable future. In this way, she sees her paintings aspart of the great web of healing she deeply believes can save our planet.
Mindy Flexer
Mindy Flexer

Mindy Flexer makes magical realist, figurative, oil paintings. She uses observation and invention to explore identity and…

Mindy Flexer makes magical realist, figurative, oil paintings. She uses observation and invention to explore identity and family relationships, and the way personal history resides within the larger arc…

Mindy Flexer makes magical realist, figurative, oil paintings. She uses observation and invention to explore identity and family relationships, and the way personal history resides within the larger arc of time. Her current…

Ruth Miller's contemporary realistic work pulls inspiration from the urban world around her. Drawing on the realism of nature and social
Ruth Miller
Ruth Miller

Ruth Miller's contemporary realistic work pulls inspiration from the urban world around her. Drawing on the realism of nature…

Ruth Miller's contemporary realistic work pulls inspiration from the urban world around her. Drawing on the realism of nature and social …

Ruth Miller's contemporary realistic work pulls inspiration from the urban world around her. Drawing on the realism of nature and social …

Gelles uses words and images to provide social commentary on who we are and how we think. Her objective is to provoke thoughts, ideas, and discussion. Her photographs of beach huts stem from an interest in mapping how architecture and social organization intersect, especially as it pertains to families and home.
Judy Gelles
Judy Gelles

Gelles uses words and images to provide social commentary on who we are and how we think. Her objective is to provoke thoughts,…

Gelles uses words and images to provide social commentary on who we are and how we think. Her objective is to provoke thoughts, ideas, and discussion. Her photographs of beach huts stem from an interest…

Gelles uses words and images to provide social commentary on who we are and how we think. Her objective is to provoke thoughts, ideas, and discussion. Her photographs of beach huts stem from an interest in mapping how architecture…

Donna Quinn
Donna Quinn
Phyllis Anderson has been painting for nearly three decades, exploring process and outcome, meaning and metaphor.  She approaches her work like a lab experiment, a set of steps to see what will happen. Her painting process usually begins with a thick underpainting using a carefully chosen color (a color of influence!) which is left intentionally visible at the edges.
Phyllis Anderson
Phyllis Anderson

Phyllis Anderson has been painting for nearly three decades, exploring process and outcome, meaning and metaphor. She approaches…

Phyllis Anderson has been painting for nearly three decades, exploring process and outcome, meaning and metaphor. She approaches her work like a lab experiment, a set of steps to see what will happen.…

Phyllis Anderson has been painting for nearly three decades, exploring process and outcome, meaning and metaphor. She approaches her work like a lab experiment, a set of steps to see what will happen. Her painting process…

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