“Grove” opens in Retzlaff Gallery

Claire Stephens’ new exhibition, “Grove”, is now on display at the Retzlaff Gallery in Southern Oregon University’s Art Building.  The opening Thursday night was attended by both SOU students and members of the community, who seemed enthralled by Stephens’ rather unique display.

“Grove” is a painting of a birch forest on a collection of twelve 4-foot-by-8-foot Plexiglas panels. The panels are arranged in three rows of four and spaced a foot behind each other. The combined effect creates a sense of depth, as the viewer sees through each panel to the one beyond.

“Grove is a study of how three dimensions are represented in painting,” Stephens says in her artist’s statement. “I convey a sense of three-space through the modeling of the trunks, but the viewer is also forced to confront the extreme two-dimensional reality of the painting due to the transparent ‘canvas.”

“This painting is a response to the natural world,” the statement reads. “I find myself in line with Gauguin’s attitude towards representation in painting: I respond to my experience of nature rather than attempt to accurately represent it.”

In addition to Stephens’ exhibition, Andrew Morgan’s works are now on display in the Thorndike Gallery. Morgan, who graduated from SOU in 2004 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, explores the connection between emotion, aesthetics, and memory in a series of abstract paintings.

“These paintings claim memory as their subjects,” says the artist’s statement. “Specifically the mood or residual sense of places. These paintings are best approached as sensations equivalent to the memory of the subject.”

Stephens’ “Grove” and the works of Andrew Morgan will be on exhibition until Feb. 25.



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