Many of our blogs recently have been focused on artists creating works which could be described as being figurative. In this blog, we are going to focus on five of our artists who, either exclusively or as part of their range of styles, create abstract pieces. Abstraction is the departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art; this departure from accurate representation being slight, partial, or complete. Abstraction therefore exists along a continuum, as opposed to being fixed.
What we will be displaying here is just a taste of the many abstract works which we hold here at RSG. To see more of them, either come into the gallery for a visit and look about, or visit our website and search our Catalogue. Click the link and go to Style and search for “Abstract” in the drop-down menu.
Kenneth Ray Wilson
As a younger man, Kenneth was deeply moved by the works of Jackson Pollock. Even with 50 years’ experience as an artist, the influence of Pollock can still be seen in his works, in particular in pieces such as Thank you Jackson #4, which is displayed below. These pieces are infused with the energy and “planned accidents” that are such a important part of the work of Pollock. Experienced as he is in a range of styles, Kenneth states that he finds abstract painting to be the most challenging: ““It evolves as you paint it and it takes a longer time as layers of paint need to dry before new layers are added”.
As Carolyn herself explains, she “finds her voice within the rich traditions of abstraction and creates a cohesive body of work that translates into a language of intense color, sumptuous textures, and organic compositions”. Working instinctively, her forms are the result of applying multiple layers of pigment, with her textured surfaces also resulting from this same process. A long-standing member of RSG, Carolyn’s dynamic abstract paintings are held in public and private collections all across the US. She and her works have been written up and showcased in a wide range of publications, both in the Northwest and more widely across the country.
A native of New York, Anita Kaplan blends her lifetime of experience as an artist and seamstress to create these highly individual quilted, fabric artworks. Recent pieces use her own hand dyed and hand painted fabrics. Her style is to gather images from her environment, her travels, books, surface ornament and modern art in all forms. These images may not emerge literally in her work, but inspire her abstract images with bold line and vivid color. Working spontaneously, she sometimes simply starts from a fabric that sparks her interest.
Leslie Ann Butler
An award-winning artist who has pieces in private, public and corporate collections across the country (including that of former President and First Lady George H.R. and Barbara Bush), Leslie Ann is an artist comfortable in both abstract and figurative work. RSG showcases both of her styles, although our focus today is on her abstract works. She has described creating her abstract works as “entering an altered state of consciousness”. Often, the compositions will come to her during meditation, and she does her best to reproduce the vision in the studio.
Ted has recently joined RSG and we are delighted to be able to display these strikingly-colored, but subtle works which he creates. An artist of nearly 40 years experience, he has worked “within a tradition based on abstract expressionism, but with an eye toward landscape and the power and stability of the horizon line”, which can clearly be seen in these two pieces displayed here. Working with oils on birch panels, Ted’s pieces blur the line between abstract and figurative, creating pieces that feel like landscapes on the edge of memory, as if remembered from a dream.