Abstract concepts in concrete terms
Five artists make vivid show at VASA
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 10, 2012 06:00 am
5 Takes on Abstraction
on until Saturday, Oct. 27
Opening reception to be held tomorrow evening from 7 to 9 p.m.
Artists will be in attendance
Call 780-460-5990 or visit www.vasa.ca for more information.
The ever-growing membership of the Visual Arts Studio Association has a few new representatives to boast of, two of whom are getting a good chance at showing the city what they are made of with the opening of a new exhibit.
5 Takes on Abstraction features newcomers Connie Osgood and Karin-Ann Bosma, along with longstanding veterans Rick Rogers, Miles Constable and Pat Wagensveld. The first, a former art teacher, said now that she is retired, she is able to finally pursue her dream of being a full-time artist.
“It’s wonderful working with all these people,” Osgood said, celebrating the first anniversary of her joining VASA. “I’m free! I go into my own space when I’m doing this.”
Her works are playful and rich with colour and unique materials like bead gel that adds a textural appearance to the canvas. This abstract series of hers is a diversion from her usual realistic works, and she said that she’s not sure if she’s going to go back.
“I’m deciding where I’m going,” she said. “It’s hard to decide.”
Bosma, on the other hand, seems to be taking a line from Kandinsky who famously fretted over the friction between chaos and control. Here, she paints a grid of dots and then lets the paint fly à la Pollock in drips and splats.
“In my abstract painting I strive for a balance between structure and free form. The balance of control and chaos is what I want to achieve, and in all honesty this too is a reflection of my everyday life,” she admitted.
Also taking the splatter route is Constable who says that the big swaths and swooshes of the eponymous colours in Yellow + Blue = Spring aren’t a total homage to the postmodern master.
“I haven’t gotten to pure Pollock but there is a lot of splashes and throwing on. If I could sell something that was 10 feet long and five feet wide with nothing but splashed paint then I would go that way.”
He also has a few pieces representing geometric forms of imagined urban landscapes, giving the impression of a crystal mine. One, he said, represents the fallen twin towers of New York aside a representation of the memorial fountains that now sit in their former footprints.
Rogers is having a busy month, with this show and another that just opened last week at the Art Gallery of St. Albert. His acrylic works also have a geometric feel.
“My images start from an initial seed concept,” he explained in a prepared statement. “The concept is often a new process for painting or a general idea of what the final image will look like or represent. As the image forms through the process, it mutates and is allowed to grow into something more interesting than the original seed would have produced.”
Finally, Wagensveld gives the whole show its warmth with a series of three gorgeous deep yellow pieces, one representing a rather square object before the next moves into a fist-like shape and the last, a dreamy image seemingly concocted by a paint-soaked crumpled up bedsheet placed on the canvas. The result is a worm’s den or the curvature of the brain, or a bowl of really thick noodle pasta.
The beautiful thing about abstract is that your imagination can run wild, for both the artist and the viewer.
“The simplification, the complexity is not about the subject: it’s about the whole range of history of emotions that come from such places that are raw, intense and open, and still emergent. The medium flows onto the canvas using line, colour and texture unrestricted yet dictated by these emotions.”