|Detail of Synaptic III|
Shifting, Expanding, Creeping, Growing, Intertwining
The works are all painted in a grisaille palette of mostly greys, whites and blacks, but despite the overall somber tonality, the marks and forms in the works appear to be actively moving in a lively exploration of space. Those forms represent "the dissemination and movement of information and the unspoken word" but are also unseen forces present throughout life within our bodies and in our souls. Portraying all of this is a weighty challenge, but Greg paints twisting and intertwining organic forms in many shapes and configurations that he imagines in various scenarios. This is a powerful collection of works that draw the viewer in to visual exploration of the dark recesses within the sinewy compositions.
Viewing the Exhibition Moving Around the Gallery (be sure to click on the images to enlarge them)
(Note: I'm sorry for the color differences here and there caused by those yellowish photos being taken by my iPhone. Others were taken with a more-pixelated camera.)
|At right, Synaptic I, II and III, 2011- each 48" x 20,"|
At left, The Truth Comes Out, 2012, 36" x 30"
All painted with encaustic, oil, pigment and shellac on birth panels
As we enter the gallery space proper, the three tall Synaptic paintings are on the right and ahead is the slightly more colorful The Truth Comes Out. One of the forces that Greg refers to is synaptic reaction as electrical impulses move through our bodies or across the internet. He is interested in the forces that set off this chain reaction and perpetuate change.
|Synaptic I, II and III, 2011|
|The side wall of the gallery showing left to right - The Quest, diptych,|
On Many Different Levels I and II (boxes) and The Truth Comes Out
Seeing these works on the screen,may give the impression that they are actually sculptural, and although they do have some areas where encaustic paint is built up, these are two-dimensional paintings. Hieronymus Bosch is an influence, but where Bosch depicted humanity to comment on social and religious life, Wright's forms are abstractly organic and vaguely familiar but not identifiable. He refers to them as "Baroque-like compositions of beautiful complication."
|The Truth Comes Out, 2012, 36" x 30"|
encaustic, oil, pigment and shellac on birth panel
I think The Truth Comes Out is my favorite piece in the show. It seems to portray an undersea world of seaweed, billowing bubbles, limitless underwater depths and some kind of strange egg shapes. The mostly grey palette has a few cool greens added that enhance the illusion of or allusion to the sea world. Or could this be an imaginary glimpse into the inner workings of the body, not pink and red as we know it, but cooly grey and white with touches of green?
|Closeup of The Truth Comes Out|
|On Many Different Levels I and II, 2011, each 6" x 6" x 6"|
encaustic, oil, pigment and shellac on wood
These boxes are painted on five sides with a continuously expanding portrayal of forms moving through space and interacting with each other.
|The Quest, diptych, 2010, each panel 30" x 24"|
|Left panel of The Quest|
The forms in this diptych almost take on human shapes tumbling through space, but the forms retain their anonymity as they "morph, combine, and reimerge into something other than their original state."
|Left, Reaching Out, 2010, 36" x 30"|
Right, Lucid Moment I and II, 2011, each panel 40" x 36"
All three painted with encaustic, oil, pigment and shellac on birch panels
|Lucid Moment I and II|
|Lucid Moment I from a closer perspective|
In the Lucid Moment paintings the scale and shape of the forms change to become larger, more frontally presented and less rounded. Connections between the forms are emphasized by chains of thin links making them into a continuous unit. These works, Wright says, are "about finding clarity or reaching a climax."
|Reaching Out, 2010, 36" x 30", encaustic, oil, pigment, and shellac on birth panel|
|Reaching Out, detail|
This spiderlike or crablike form appears to have burst out of its surroundings as if it is moving forward toward the viewer. The beautifully-textured background seems rock hard while the form itself looks soft but powerfully graceful. Does this depict what Greg refers to as "an awakening in the soul?"
Moving around the gallery, we come back to a short movable wall that faces a window into the hallway on one side and the gallery on the other.
|On the gallery side of the wall, is a diptych called Convergent, painted on|
two 18" x 18" panels
|While on the window side of the wall, a quadtych of four 10" x 10" panels in|
The Story Continues promises more to come.
The small panels of The Story Continues contain dramatic contrasts within the individual works, and the central breaking apart of the image reinforces the expansiveness portrayed in Reaching Out. Hidden forces are present in every aspect of our lives and Greg Wright has visualized them for us in a dynamic and fascinating show. I hope people near Boston will be able to see it in person.