“Staycation” is simply the smartest show of Austin painting talent to pop up in a while — dazzling, fresh, auspicious.
Curated and hosted by the artist-run Mass Gallery, “Staycation” musters paintings by six local talents: Jeana Baumgardner, Anthony B. Creeden, Ryan Davis, Caitlin Halloran, Dan Sutherland and Raymond Uhlir (Mass Gallery artists, in very classy fashion, rarely feature themselves.)
(Article by Jeanne Claire Van Ryzin, republished from http://www.mystatesman.com/news/entertainment/arts-theater/critics-notebook-six-austin-painters-exhibit-fresh/nqQZB/)
Perhaps not surprisingly, all but Baumgardner have ties to the University of Texas. Sutherland teaches painting there. Creeden and Halloran are currently graduate students. Davis and Uhlir are alumni.
Ultimately, though, that UT connection matters little (UT will always be a dominant presence, no matter Austin’s growth).
In the end, what the six share is a kind of rigor when it comes to attention to form, color and abstract composition — rigor deftly merged.
Sutherland — a painter’s painter, perhaps? — is a master of the well-placed gesture, articulated brushstrokes, some overly large, emerging energetically from his arrangements of irregular shapes.
Creeden’s layering of egg tempera, alkyd and oil paint create spellbinding depth and luminousity.
Uhlir alters portrait images digitally, dissolving a face into a liquid abstraction, then rendering it in liquid swirls of color.
Baumgardner plays with perspective and geometries.
And Halloran and Davis are all about big, bold, colorful shapes and lines, playfully and boldly dancing across and around the picture plane.
“Staycation” deserves long and repeated looking — all worthwhile art does.
When: 5-8 Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday through Feb. 27
Where: Mass Gallery, 507 Calles St.
Read more at: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/entertainment/arts-theater/critics-notebook-six-austin-painters-exhibit-fresh/nqQZB/