Thoughts on Chromaphilia

Maggie Wilder:  Chromaphilia was the name I came up with after pairing Steve Immerman’s glass sculpture with Kathleen’s prints and paintings.  Though there’s diverse media in this show, the overarching passion for the sensate is so clear.  Steve’s glass sculpture is mouth wateringly delicious, and Kathleen’s paintings seem to vibrate right off the wall.  Any thoughts on how this is accomplished?

Elizabeth Tapper:  Formally speaking, both line and color create mass.  Think Rothko, think Rembrandt.  With Rembrandt, his paintings were well-tended fields of dense line, and with Rothko there was only well tended fields of color.  Kathleen’s painting “Burst #4” reminds of us of a dandelion somewhat, but the “object” (dandelion) is completely reliant on the variegated shades of brilliant yellows and greens that surround it.  In the other floral paintings the mass of color field is predominant with just hints of line at the edges of mass.  It’s brilliant.

MW:  Yes, I noticed when I gaze at the paintings, the distinction between the form and color field begins to blur and finally, I’m not perceiving form at all, but more absorbing the total energetic field.

I am intrigued that McCarty made a leap into printmaking, and I love comparing the prints to the paintings.  They’re made completely differently, and the result is the prints are this crisp delineation of object.  Yet what stands out in both mediums is the buoyancy of life forms.  As a master printmaker, what are you seeing in her prints?

ET:  Her serigraphs on wood and paper are nearly flawless.  I admire process that is skillful.  Every medium has its voice, its persona.  I enjoyed the artist’s “separation” of color fields (the painting) and the clarity of the line (the prints).  Each held the image and complimented the other.  The flatness of silkscreen technique seems to emphasize the quality of the line in the prints.  In the paintings, the surface gives us hints into the work of the hand holding the brush. And this feeling, of course, is completely absent in the world of computer-generated imagery.

MW:  What’s interesting to me about all the work in this exhibit, certainly including Steve Immerman’s glass pieces, is that you really cannot get a sense of the power of the work by seeing it on an electronic screen.  I realize the irony that readers will be on our website reading this, where we’ve posted images of the show. I so hope people will come see this work and bask in the radiant color in person.  The scale of the paintings makes the work a small scale environment.  And the glass pieces, are small worlds, volumes of color and form that are incisive specimens of what could be origins of life. None of it can be imagined from a flattened picture, electronic or otherwise.

Chromaphilia is on display through August 28th at Gallery Cygnus.  Hours are 12-5pm, Friday, Saturday & Sunday.