The New Traditionalists

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Posted January 14, 2010 in Arts & Culture

Two years ago the dA highlighted six male artists in their “New Traditionalists” show—and now, Jaclyn Dierking and Terry Taylor Castillo have created an incredible companion exhibit under the same name, this time featuring six exceptional women artists who embody the ideal of paying reverence to the Renaissance Masters while incorporating modern pop culture and contemporary landscapes into their work.

 

Yolanda Gonzalez’s brilliant series of four nudes painted on wood pallets highlight the direct connection between the tools of creating art and art itself – almost suggesting that the images that eventually emerge from an artist have already been imprinted into the invisible world, even into the objects we handle, and are simply waiting for an inspired hand to pluck them out. 

 

Transporting a traditional figure into a darkly playful realm, Athena Hahn’s “gameboards” triage—Balloon, Candyland and Chutes and Ladders—focuses on the unspoken language in what should be a merry moment in time. On the “surface,” we see a woman under stormy skies letting fly a red balloon, or a girl contemplating squares in Candyland, and yet these figures are obscured by foregrounds of text, streaming thoughts, perhaps even song lyrics, that seem to dim the shine on the day of innocence. Susan Joseph also highlights text in her moody, monochromatic visions of smoky birds flying through and dissolving random letters into symbolic clutter.

 

Joy McAllister’s majestic landscapes, Reflection and Emerging, implore us to delicately scale nature’s pure spirit, and Gina Stepaniuk’s blue-green seaweed-like The Shape of Things floats us into the calming, yet unpredictable waters of a world in constant motion. 

 

Finally, there are Leslie Brown’s women, sassy, brassy redheads engaged in chatter and mischief, living it up in worlds composed entirely of themselves and their connections to one another—which seems like a wonderful place to live, indeed.

 

“The New Traditionalists” at the dA Center for the Arts, 252 S. Main St., Pomona, (909) 397-9716; www.dacenter.org. Thru Jan. 30. Free.


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