Studies in graphic abstraction
Carbon plus paper: the simple equation that yields a charcoal drawing; the simple equation that September Vhay makes transcendent in her summer exhibition, Essence. By her hand, a leopard appaloosa becomes a massive study in graphic abstraction, each spot a meditation on shape and subtlety. Dark patches, the result of pressing hard on the page, send sprays of charcoal down the paper, scatterings she leaves as subtle evidence of her process.Sans color, the paint horse becomes a homage to composition and value—formal characteristics often overshadowed by their flashy counterparts, color and subject. Not by Vhay: She bears witness to the episodes in nature when expression and composition come into immaculate, ephemeral alignment. As they did in an alfalfa field on her parents’ ranch in Nevada: Vhay watched, through her telephoto lens, as two mule deer fawns frolicked after their mother.
Translating the essence of nature
David Michael Slonim hopes Altamira will become a calm visual oasis in the presence of Wavelength, his new exhibition opening May 21 and running through June 2. True to its title, this collection of new paintings explores the communicative potential of art—both in practice and in presentation—how art can translate the essence of nature.