Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gregory Wright - FORCES

Greg Wright, a friend and skilled painter, is currently having a solo show of 18 works in his series, "Forces", at Galatea Fine Art in Boston's South End, running until May 31st.

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

Synaptic III

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

Dimensional Illusion
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.


Milisa Galazzi said...

Great post Nancy. Thank you so much for honoring Greg and his work in this way! Congratulations Greg on a wonderful new body of work.

Laura said...

Thanks for the thoughts and images Nancy! I love the new, more neutral palette Greg is using and appreciate seeing it here since I can't make the exhibition.

Margaret Bertrand said...

This is fantastic work - a product of a fabulous imagination and skillful painting. Greg, I hope you are feeling better and able to be up and about soon!

Cherie Mittenthal said...

Great Post Nancy! Great looking show Greg, we look forward to seeing you this summer! Healing thoughts your way!

Anonymous said...

Nancy what a terrific post. Thank you for sharing images and information about Greg's work. I have to get into see this show, it looks lovely. What a great job you do with your blog!

Nancy Natale said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone! I was glad to write this post not only to show readers the wonderful work that Greg put together for this show, but to photograph it for Greg himself since he has not yet seen it in person. I hope he'll be able to get into the gallery and enjoy his own show since he's put together such an experience.

Unknown said...

Gregory Wright is one of those painters who awes me in such a way that I think I should hang up my brushes. I've never seen his work in person, but I hope to see this show in a few weeks. Congratulations to Greg on a great show.

Tamarise Cronin said...

Wow, Nancy, just catching up now and loved reading your synopsis of Greg's show. Fantastic.

malen lernen said...

great to see what's going on in the artists world around the globe. thx for sharing all the nice pictures !

Verla said...

This is cool!

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