Exploring Visual Arts across Madison
Dec 18, 2013
Seeing Red at Overture Galleries
PHOTO COURTESY OVERTURE CENTER
"Sift & Winnow" by Trent Miller is one of several works exploring the color red.
Depending on the context, the color red carries a multitude of connotations. This time of year, it’s often associated with the holidays; in two months, it’ll represent love and be used in everything from valentines to heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. It’s a color known to be energizing and strong. It’s a symbol of passion, ranging from seduction to violence.
Three local artists—Dale Malner, Trent Miller and David Wells—offer their own exploration of the hue in Red, a new exhibition "inspired by seeing, thinking, experiencing and working in red" at Overture Galleries.
"REDuced, Reused & REDistributed," a mixed media installation by Wells, is the largest work in the show. The artist cleverly affixed clear plastic holders to the wall and filled them with drawings and strips of red paper. The drawings are diverse, but organic shapes and natural forms such as leaves and flowers carry through. The vertical strips of red paper provide a linear counterpart to the more flowing imagery of the drawings.
Five paintings by Miller are interspersed through the exhibition, held on the first floor of Overture Center in the area leading to the Capitol Theater. The two large and three smaller works all feature interesting forms that combine structure with draping elements. One, “Sift & Winnow,” features a red, white and gray form that is at once strong yet full of movement. Another, “Back & Forth,” depicts a pair of tall blue forms on a fiery red backdrop.
And in a series of four untitled works featuring, Malner has constructed quads of wooden frames and PVC canvases and covered them with acrylic paint. Varied and expressionistic, the paint is not only red, but a wide range of colors. The combination allows one to consider red as it interacts with others—how it plays with blue, the way it reacts to green.
What’s refreshing about Red is how the artists avoid cliché and common associations with the color and instead use red as a powerful tool for individual expression.
Red runs through March 2 at Overture Galleries. For more information, visit overturecenter.com.