Four Martha's Vineyard favorites at The Granary
Photo courtesy of Granary Gallery
Four well-established Vineyard artists — all of them year-rounders and regulars — will be featured in The Granary Gallery's latest show. Oil painter Kenneth Vincent, photographer Alison Shaw, watercolorist David Wallis, and wood sculptor Dan West will all unveil new work at the two-week show's opening reception on Sunday, July 1.
Kenneth Vincent, a 10th generation Islander who has been represented by The Granary Gallery for the past 10 years, has become one of its most popular artists. His unique style relies on flattened surfaces, color blocking, and good use of vertical landscape elements like ship masts and jetty markers to break up the planes in his vivid landscapes and create interesting color field intersections.
Mr. Vincent's new work relies less on detail and texture – his oil paintings approach the smooth look of acrylics – and more on complex color, composition, shadows, and silhouettes. "It's a little more introspective work," the artist says. "I've added a couple of people and some animals. It's moodier stuff."
Alison Shaw is similarly a master of color and composition, although her medium is photography. In her latest work at The Granary, she has focused primarily on seascapes from around the Island with varying effects employed. A wave crashing during an autumn storm is captured with such minute detail that one can almost make out every grain of sand in the intricate branchlike patterns formed by the violence of the surf. In others, Ms. Shaw has used either a very slow shutter speed or a panning technique to create a blurred, impressionistic effect.
A testament to her creativity, Ms. Shaw is constantly experimenting and finding new subjects and innovative ways to interpret Island scenes as well as objects. An interesting new series finds her exploring — in vivid color — the various stages in the life cycle of a lotus flower.
David Wallis achieves remarkable detail for a watercolorist. He has taken a break from the still lifes that he focused on last year. This past winter, he painted a variety of scenes on and around the environs of his studio on Stonewall Pond, and he manages to capture the perfect stillness of Island winter life. He turns his back on the drama of the ocean when he focuses instead on a quiet dune — almost photographic in its loving rendering of every twig on some foreground scrub. His painting "Squibnocket House" has as its focal point a marvelous stone wall with varying shades of lichen and moss creating intricate patterns on the surface of the rocks.
For some of his work Mr. Wallis uses handmade pressed paper with ragged edges. He paints right to the edge of the paper and float-frames his work so that the distressed quality of the painting surface aligns with the natural, rough-hewn beauty of his scenes.
Sculptor Dan West works primarily in found wood to create unique pieces, some embellished with copper or other elements. His theme is nature and he has a predilection for sea birds. His former occupation as a boatbuilder is in evidence in his series of sleekly curved cormorants and a large swordfish with expertly fitted fins and tail.
Mr. West often derives his inspiration from natural formations, utilizing the beauty of various wood growths. A seven-foot long piece of uncarved driftwood forms the horizon for a brace of flying seagulls in "Mirage." Two of his most eye-catching new pieces include an octopus fashioned from a tree root and a small cedar bush cleverly transformed into a life-sized hedgehog.
The work of all four artists will remain on display until July 14.
Alison Shaw, Kenneth Vincent, David Wallis and Dan West, July 1–14, TheGranary Gallery, West Tisbury. Opening reception, Sunday, July 1, 5–7 pm. Contact 508-693-0455; granarygallery.com.