New Artists Show, Moberg Gallery
July 13 - August 18, 2012
June 18, 2012
Group shows are tricky. Some tie one artist to another in a delightfully organic and seemingly effortless manner, as in the Phoenix Art Muesum’s marvelous Haring/Warhol/Disney exhibit of 1992. Others, however, struggle so much to provide a common thread that the viewing experience is strained with the effort to understand the connection. As such, it is rather refreshing to walk into the Moberg Gallery’s New Artists Exhibit and find that the only tie among the work shown is stated directly in the title: Simply, these are artists who have never before shown at Moberg. This may seem overly obvious or too simplistic, but in this case the work truly speaks for itself.
Upon entering, the viewer is treated to a wall of dotted, paint splotted squares cleverly installed from floor to ceiling. This is the work of Bart Vargas, whose 100-piece installation gives a lovely feeling of energy as it rounds the corner of the gallery. Vargas has shown internationally, and his work was featured in “New American Paintings No. 89, Midwest Edition” for good reason.
Across the space is the quieter, more contemplative work of Gary Kelley. Kelley’s paintings, done in peaceful, melancholy tones, feature famous, deceased Iowans. Not only pleasing to the eye, these works give a history lesson as well, and show Kelley’s admiration for his home state.
Gary Kelley (top), Charlotte Cain (bottom)
Next, the viewer encounters delicate little blocks of intricate, rich color. This is the work of Charlotte Cain, whose time studying with master miniaturist painters in India is evident. The pieces have an ancient yet timeless quality and a spiritual aura about them that draws a viewer in close to examine every minute detail.
The sculpture of Michael Cain, husband of Charlotte and current artist in residence at the Maharishi Institute of Management in Fairfield, IA, is around the next corner. His petite pieces, some mounted, some freestanding, exhibit an interesting play between shape and texture.
Michael Cain (top), David Rose ( bottom)
Finally, and as different as the rest, is the work of David Rose: Large, glossy, abstract photography that is completely arresting. It is difficult to imagine that something as impersonal sounding as digital photography on polished aluminum could be so engaging, but that it is. Rose’s imagery has a deep, layered character that lends mystery to each panel.
In all, the exhibit is a pleasing mélange of styles, subjects, and media. The journey through is an eclectic one, but highly worthwhile.
The New Artists Exhibit will be showing at Moberg Gallery through August 18. Visit moberggallery.com for hours and contact information.