Galleries : Abstractions At Gould Gallery
"I've been thinking about it for a couple of years," says photographer and gallery owner Louisa Gould of the abstract show that opens Friday, August 29, at her Vineyard Haven gallery. Called "Vineyard Abstractions," the exhibit includes Island artists Marjorie Mason, Ovid Ward, Margo Ouellette, Jules Worthington, Edwin Cohen, and Ms. Gould. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, August 30, from 6 to 8 pm.
Because it departs from realistic interpretation to explore form, color, and line on their own terms, abstract art differs from traditional representational art. While representational work predominates on the Island, a number of local artists utilize both forms to express themselves.
"It's hard for the eye to jump from one to the other because the difference is so extreme," says Ms. Gould, explaining her motivation for devoting the show exclusively to abstract art.
Abstract art has existed since the earliest kinds of visual expression in the form of geometric and linear patterns on rocks and textiles. Starting in the early 20th century, many artists began creating art that expressed the social, cultural, and technological changes around them. Once described as "pure" art, abstraction in the 21st century has become less strictly divorced from the representational.
Ms. Gould identifies two veins of abstract art currently in vogue. One uses paint in loose and fluid ways, while the other relies on geometric and linear patterns.
"Abstract art invites the viewer into the work," says Ms. Gould. Abstract works are often untitled, because the artist wants to avoid influencing the viewer's response. By leaving behind the boundaries of conventional realism, the painter who delves into abstraction is free to go wherever the imagination wants, just as animation does in film.
Margo Ouellette, a summer resident whose work will be on exhibit, creates spin art. Often associated with children's art projects, spin art relies on any device that will spray or spatter paint in patterns that are often circular. Even lettuce spinners can produce spin art. According to Ms. Gould, Ms. Ouellette owns one of the largest spin art machines in the world, and she executes work on round canvases.
Ovid Ward's abstracts, which he calls his "Whimsicals," combine sweeps of vivid color with miniaturized objects like airplanes, whales, and balls. Marjorie Mason makes brightly colored linear compositions. In her piece "Tea Lane Series V," she arranged blocks of blue, yellow, orange, and putty color.
As in his blue and green painting "Hexagonal Rhythm," Jules Worthington creates complex geometrics with the illusion of three dimensions. Edwin Cohen combines semi-organic shapes with linear acrylic color in works like "As Souls Change into Water" and "Don't Allow the Lucid Moment to Dissolve."
Although she is best known for her marine photography, Ms. Gould is creating a series of abstract oils for the exhibit.
"Abstract art is alive and well," Ms. Gould says.
Opening reception for "Vineyard Abstractions," Saturday, August 30, 6-8 pm, Louisa Gould Gallery, 54 Main Street, Vineyard Haven. The show runs through Sept. 12.