This blog is written by RSG volunteer Andie DeLuca. We thank her for a fascinating insight into the Gallery’s collection and hope that you enjoy reading it as much as the team here did!
What do you think of when I mention “The Dance”? My first thought was of a classical ballerina, trained since childhood to control every muscle in their body so as to appear weightless, floating, like a thistle on the wind. But then I thought of all the other kinds of dance; modern, jazz, salsa, cha-cha, jitterbug, waltz, and on, and on; so many ways to move our forms to the rhythm of music. And of course, all the dances of nature.
This concept came into my mind as I looked around the Rental Sales Gallery recently, and my eye was particularly caught by the work of one of our new member artists, Haelyn Y. Their large charcoal images of dancers have such movement in them! Just two of these pieces, seen here, make me “hear” the music inspiring the dance:
Eileen S. Kane, who has been with the gallery for much longer, is quite different in her approach to bodies in motion. Her stick-like figures always make me think of the swing, or jitterbug!
But you know, images of “The Dance” are not limited to drawings or paintings of humans in motion. Think of birds in flight, waves of wheat flowing in the wind, or of ocean waves and foam, and flags rippling in a high gale.
The artist in movement while making a painting is one of the meanings of Abstract Expressionist art. Think of Jackson Pollock using his body to spray drops of paint onto a canvas, or our own Selene Robinowitz, who must have used a grand sweeping motion to create her large (48 x 60″) ink piece called Laugh Till You Cry:
Barry Johnson, on the other hand, has a much more detailed approach while referring to the dance in this festive abstract work:
The wave of motion or the dance on the wind can be expressed in many kinds of media, from traditional oil paint to wire mesh, wood, and photography; birds in flight, long stemmed plants, and even a window cleaner at their daily work. Here are a few examples from our gallery:
In heavy steel, Eric Boyer has a way of showing movement. I understand that Eric uses only his hands and a few small tools to create his sculptures.
Here are two pieces by our terrific member artist, Gloria Baker Feinstein, who uses her camera to “catch the wind”; a dance in nature.
Wooden seed pods on long wire stems simulate the motion of seagrass in the ocean breeze:
More birds, waltz in the mist as we return to the gallery’s most prominent mediums, oil and acrylic paint.
In a style reminiscent of ancient Japanese art, here is Pamela S. Greene’s Radiant Momentum, in oil:
This painting, in my mind, verges on an abstracted view of nature, and, as we saw in Barry Johnson’s Pas de Deux, reminds me that many truly abstract works can depict movement as well as more realistic or figural pieces:
And finally, we return to earth; an everyday laborer at his high-flying profession of cleaning the windows on a modern office tower. He swings back and forth, spreading soap and a squeegee in a rhythmic dance, resulting in shining glass and a crystal-clear view for the people inside.
So you see, the dance of life is everywhere we look. Not just on a theatrical stage, or in a dance studio, but in the sky, in the sea, in flora and fauna; even in the glass and steel of modern architecture. We see it in all sorts of paintings, drawings and sculpture. A visit to the Rental Sales Gallery has the potential to enliven your own environment with color and shape, and bring movement into your home.