“The real art is in the process and the work in the gallery is an artifact of that process…” R. Weis
Blushing with hues of pink, Richard Weis’ dense canvas, Sensuate (2018, 18" (w) x 26" (h), Acrylic on Canvas), is his take on a Modern Landscape. Compiled of character-like swoops of paint falling onto each other as a harmony is built, the considered chaos flows beyond the edge of the canvas. The harmony lays as a stream of warm tones rushed across the canvas, moving through a space which seems unable to calm them. Chaos falls into the scene as overlapping colors consume the space.
Referring back to Weis’ original testament of his own work being a visual response to other varieties of art, poetry, music and the physical world, he has strung together a melody through acrylic paint. A blend of both disorder and peace, the melody triumphs.
Under the genre of Modern Landscapes according to MOMA, falls Russian artist Vasily Kandinsky. In Picture with an Archer, 1909, Kandinsky explores an overwhelming scene composed of figures within a landscape. On the cusp of abstract art, this example of early twentieth century work explores the dissolution of reality, along with the compartmentalization of figures and objects as splashes of color. There is no identified horizon in this piece, or rather, the horizon is distorted. Therefore, the viewer must construct one.
In a similar way, Weis has replaced characters in a narrative, or observations of the physical world with emotional capsules of color, intertwined and layered. Drawing in a sense of passion through the hues of pink and the glow of orange, he creates a protagonist. By incorporating bold marks of black and trickles of blue, maybe Weis is suggesting an antagonistic force in the work. The battle of the colors plays out for the audience on the canvas.
Something to consider while examining this work may be to imagine that this is simply one corner of a larger reality. The narrative is left open ended. Weis is a process-based artist, therefor his canvases on the gallery wall make up only a small part of the intended artwork as a whole.
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Written by Elizabeth Spadea
for Ellenbogen Gallery
Jan. 14, 2020