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Gallery Walk Looks at Tiny Images and Landscapes
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Friday, March 8, 2024
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Matt Duffin conceives some unique subject matter: A dog sitting on a swing, a zebra, Mr. Potato Head underneath a lightbulb chatting with red lips and a little red wagon waiting in the spotlight outside a dark doorway.

You can see some of his work in an exhibition titled “On the Move” during tonight’s Gallery Walk at Gilman Contemporary, 661 Sun Valley Road. The walk will be held from 5 to 7:30 tonight—Friday, March 8.

In 2022 Duffin moved to Barcelona, one of the art capitals of Europe.

A native of Houston, he received a degree in Architecture from the University of Houston but never practiced as an architect, choosing instead to become an artist. He started in pencil, then charcoal, then moved to encaustic wax, always maintaining a real of dark recesses and stark contrasts in his work.

“Then I found a ball of wax in an art store and loved the luminous quality of it,” he said. “It was toxic to melt it, though- luckily someone suggested encaustic wax, which obviously is meant to be melted. That was 20 years ago…I’ve been using it ever since.”

His work has been raised by the Guggenheim Museum in New York and others.

In Barcelona he shares a studio with other artists, which means there’s a constant flow of shared ideas. The artists show up late in the morning, stay until 2 p.m., go home to eat lunch and enjoy a siesta, then return in the evening.

“My process stems from a fascination that I have with darkness and the myriad feelings that it evokes—melancholy, tranquility, mystery,” he said.

Duffin told L’Anne Gilman, the owner of Gilman Contemporary, that he loves living in Barcelona because of its sidewalk café lifestyle.

“The locals are not wealthy, and everyone seems to value their social life over working, if they can. There is not nearly the emphasis on consumption/materialism that we Americans tend to spend a lot of our time working towards….the trade-off is that the economy is less robust than in the US and salaries are lower. But no one seems to mind that.”

Gilman is also showing Paul Beliveau’s “Morandi,” inspired by the pastel-toned works of Italian painter Giorgio Morandi. In this case he reels in the shape and volume of books, using sometimes gigantic volumes to build upon each other as a convergence of color and form.

Kneeland Gallery, 271 N. 1st Ave., will feature new works by artists Caleb Meyer, Silas Thompson and Bart Walker.

Meyer, a native of Hailey now living in Montana, has always loved the rugged beauty of the Northwest. A graduate of Boise, he continued his education through an apprenticeship with renowned artist Robert Moore. Meyer compares his time in Moore’s studio to the laying of a strong foundation. “The painting process is like building a house, a painter must understand the principles of design to create a strong painting, and much like a carpenter must understand the principles of architecture to build a strong house.”

Silas Thompson began to treasure the distinct birthmarks and icons of beautiful rivers, valleys and mountains that carve through the high desert and farmlands of the west during backpack trips with his father. His desire to create work that evokes a memory continues to be a driving force, which pushes Silas to be innovative in his choice of subject matter and composition. Thompson’s work also shows the influence of his mentor Robert Moore through his use of textural brushwork and vivid color.

Bart Walker paints the allure of the wild land. He uses oil sketches done in the field to recollect nature’s beauty on the finished canvas. His radiant plein air paintings are reminiscent of the early California impressionist landscapes, alive with deft brushwork and nuances of light. He and his wife Tracy have made their home in the dramatic setting of Teton Valley which forms the inspiration for much of his work.

Broschofsky Galleries, 360 East Ave., is offering a lineup of Western artists that includes Edward S. Curtis, David Yarrow, Andy Warhol and Rudi Broschofsky.

Gail Severn Gallery, 400 First Ave., is currently showing a solo exhibition of new work By Chris Maynard that features compositions made of feathers. Maynard collects naturally shed feathers and gives them new life as he cuts them into positive and negative forms.

The gallery is also exhibiting works on paper by such artists as Hung Liu, Kathy Moss and Daniel Diaz-Tai.

Anderson Architecture above the new Sun Valley Contemporary Gallery at 320 1st Ave. N., is showcasing the works of Sun Valley plein air artist Pamela Street.

Sun Valley Contemporary Gallery, 320 1st Ave. N., is showcasing the works of a variety of artists, including George Hill, a Montana artist who makes portraits of wild animals.

Hemmings Gallery, 340 Walnut Ave., features “Strata” by Jeff Juhlin.

Sun Valley Museum of Art, 5th and Washington streets, is showcasing art that touches on healing.

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