Red, White, & Black, a group exhibition at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, will be on view
from February 8 – March 20. There will be an Opening Reception on Friday, February
25 from 5-7 pm for the Last Friday Railyard Arts District Gallery Walk. The gallery is
located at 554 South Guadalupe Street in the Railyard Arts District of Santa Fe.
Color startles, it stimulates. Color flashes before our eyes and reels us backward into
memories; it teases out emotions. Color, like almost nothing else, has the power to
move us in unknown ways.
Each year Charlotte Jackson Fine Art provides the opportunity for the public to
explore raw color on its own terms — either a single color or a significant color
grouping. This year the gallery presents a show focused on the dynamic combination
of Red, White, & Black featuring an engaging array of works from artists
Charles Arnoldi, Joe Barnes, Ronald Davis, Constance DeJong, Tony DeLap,
Frederick Hammersley, William Metcalf, Ed Moses, Elliot Norquist, Phil Sims, Jeremy
Thomas, Clark Walding and Peter Weber.
Walk into a winter wood: bare black branches contrast with stark white snow. And
then a flash of red: a berry, a bird’s wing. There is something very fundamental in
this color combination — the trio goes back to the pre-history of painting. Even
beyond their symbolic resonances, these three colors form a unique triad. Black,
absorber of light, sits in contrast with white, reflecting light. The strain and dissonance
caused by the opposing forces of black and white are charged by the warmth and
force of red, pulsing at the far end of the visible spectrum.
Allegory is left far behind in the minimalist works of Red, White, & Black, but a walk
through this exhibition is no less dramatic. Clark Walding’s Thin Ice (2nd Lead) is an
arresting black painting composed of oil, wax, and alkyd on canvas which offers a
subtly of texture that defies its one-color surface. Ronald Davis’ offers a work of
acrylic on expanded PVC, Red-Black Quarters, which draws the eye inward to
where alternating triangles of red and black meet. Viewers will pause at Joe Barnes’
Untitled (Cadmium Red, medium hue) which uses acrylic on canvas to create a striking
study of red. They may then compare this painting with Phil Sims’ large oil on linen
meditation on red. Elliot Norquist also explores red, but his vibrant version is painted
onto a forty inch steel circle. Jeremy Thomas’ sculptures of twisted, elaborated forms
also utilize steel as a medium for powder coated, high gloss color and William
Metcalf’s sculptural Red Arc lifts off the wall in stripes of acrylic red on translucent
polyester fabric. German artist Peter Weber has become best known for his complex
folded felt pieces such as Corner Folding. While the interlocking blocks of tonal reds
in Charles Arnoldi’s Possession successfully possess the viewer’s attention and hold it.
The viewer of Red, White, & Black will be tempted to circumambulate the gallery
over and over again to view each piece individually, pausing perhaps in front of
Frederick Hammersley’s oil on linen Mutual Fund #1, in which he masterfully challenges
the dichotomy of black and white with the up-thrust of red wedge, and
then moving on to explore the ways these pieces interact with one another. For
example, Tony DeLap’s black and white, skew-shaped piece The Real Secret
finds an interesting counterpoint in Constance DeJong’s quietly mysterious copper
and wood, Square 18/3.5 R. Finally, Ed Moses’ twin untitled works of acrylic and
masking tape on Strathmore board create a summary statement for the entire
exhibition with their energetic composition of crossing black and white lines with
their flashes of red bleeding through from beneath.
Red, White, & Black offers a chance for the viewer to be startled and entranced