VARIATIONS ON A THEME
February 12 - April 2, 2022
Art Enables is proud to present work by resident artists Michael Haynes, Paul Lewis, Charles Meissner, and Gary Murrellin this four-person show. Each artist works with a range of subject matter in their practice, but "Variations on a Theme" celebrates some of the frequently recurring content these artists love to explore. Repeated elements are easily identified in these groupings and speak to what each artists' peers and admirers can instantly recognize as their work. At the same time, viewing the works in serial highlights the nuances of detail, technique, and composition that vary from piece to piece and give life to each artist's oeuvre as a whole.
Public gallery hours: Saturdays 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. &. by appointment
Michael Haynes' love of all things transportation has manifested in hundreds of cut-out illustrations of cars, trucks, and buses over the years. Michael uses his signature style—heavy layers of graphite and colored pencil- to create bold fields of color in some places and smudged, scratchy texture in others, lending a weathered and tactile look to the work in which his hand is ever-present. Some vehicles also feature subtle sculptural elements—wheels assembled in layers and truck beds shaped with crumpled paper. While Michael illustrates a wide variety of vehicles as well as human and animal figures, this show features some of his most repeated modes of transportation: metro buses flanked in red and pink, fire trucks with red cabs and grey bodies, yellow vans, and work trucks with a specific pattern of yellow, grey, and blue.
Paul Lewis takes inspiration from pop culture, sports, nature, and current events and utilizes a multitude of subjects in his prolific practice. He has a particular soft spot for beautiful women and often depicts famous blondes from film and television. Two of Paul's favorite Marilyns (Monroe and Munster) are represented here, with Jean Hale and Loni Anderson also in their company. While all the women in this group have the same hair color, the works represent Paul's love of bold color at large. His consideration of the entire page is also evident, with space often broken into vibrant sections with detailed line work. Paul enjoys making multiple drawings from the same reference image—sometimes resulting in a small series of works that feel like studies in how slight alterations can affect the overall impression of an image. In two of these works, the brunette figure is the artist himself—depicted by the side of his golden-haired stars.
Charles Meissner has a prodigious memory and an uncanny ability to tell his stories and life experiences through his artwork. Charles' love of traveling, people, and historical events informs and inspires many of his creations. His impressive eye for perspective and composition is evident in his finely-detailed cityscapes and expansive landscapes, including the characters that often inhabit them. Charles is well known for his waterscapes with sailboats and several other themes, two of which are featured here: cityscapes populated with yellow-lit windows (and the occasional double church steeple) and men and women walking through those locations in pairs. The lines drawn next to the figures' mouths call back to Charles' memories of medical devices commonly used in his youth. This imagery has persisted for decades, alongside other elements that seem to be Charles' mental archetypes of people, places, and things.
Gary Murrell's work is both abstract and persistently figurative, with bodies rendered in simple, circular shapes—often two or three segments—traced multiple times. Gary often draws individual forms, but this exhibition highlights his proclivity toward groups of two, three, and four abutting each other in close quarters and enveloped in fields of color. This series showcases one of Gary's favorite left-to-right color sequences that coincide with the number of figures shown: red followed by green, purple, and blue. Gary's repetitive line work imbues vibrating energy to his pieces while his figures' gentle and friendly presence conveys an atmosphere of calm.