Sunday, May 21, 2006

ellen phelan look back

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I have to admit that I really wanted to have monday's big feature be RICHRICHRICH but I have started to give that show much more thought than initially planned so I will have pics and a review up in a couple days. I will say that it is a show that is more complex than one may first assume and takes some time to sink in. For now I want to give some teaser pics of the Hilberry show with Ellen Phelan.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The first half is a collection of photographs of friends and family digitally altered. The snapshots are a nice compliment or forethought to the second half of the show - the paintings. I do however feel that as nice as they are, they still are subordinate companions to the paintings. The collection of photos feel like a painter's studio wall of collected images that inspire the artist. I can appreciate the studies and find the inspiration in her paintings but to me the paintings are the meat of the show.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I also have to recommend that you see the show in person because the pics I took look overexposed because of the glazed, foggy layers that phelan uses. The images bury into the dark shadows of burnt umber and sienna tones and mimic an aged polaroid or black and white photograph.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
You can actually get a truer sense of this painting below...
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The compositions of phelan are very classical. Although much of the imagery has a very distant feel of looking at fading memories or haunting dreams, the way in which phelan paints is very contemporary. Looking at small details of the paintings you can find pleasure in her process as seen in the many glazed layers and amazing abstractions that occur within small areas of the canvas.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
This painting reminds me of this (henry fuseli) and this (cecily brown).
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

6 Comments:

Anonymous matt said...

the photos were totally unnecessary and unprofessional print-outs. it felt like the installation of a 1st year art student. taking up room with these, cramped some beautiful paintings into one gallery. a combo of whistler and richter. two or three stand-outs, but sticker shock for all.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous birdie said...

why sticker shock? how much were they?

6:31 PM  
Blogger Lisa Hunter said...

A show that keeps you thinking long after you've seen it must be interesting. Looking forward to your richrichrich post.

12:38 AM  
Anonymous matt said...

sticker topped at $85,000.

spoke with a collector who owns a phelan from about five years ago. he gave it to his daughter. wants it back now.

3:08 PM  
Blogger paulapix said...

Hopefully Ellen can show in Michigan. She is a Detroit Artist and deserves recognition as a "home town" artist. Michigan will shine brighter as well.

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellen Phelan seems to be making very similar work as Gerhard Richter at the same time in the 70's. Why am I so surprised that he is so much more famous, etc.

7:41 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home