Saturday, July 16, 2011

Adam Swanson at Ochre Ghost

Thursday evening I managed to make my way to the Ochre Ghost Gallery here in Duluth to catch the opening for Adam Swanson's new show titled Friends of Consequence. The turnout was strong, and the space filled with lively discussion and energy.

Clearly Swanson's work is evolving into something very special. The vibrant colors have become even more vibrant. Having following his painting since his arrival in Duluth 2-3 years ago, I am becoming even more fascinated with what he is doing. Initially, I'd been struck by his themes -- windmills, penguins, bicycles. But now it's the color that so resonates with the eye and the manner in which that color gets applied to create impressionistic vividness.

The Ochre Ghost show included three very special self-portraits, each with one of his iconic symbols placed subtly within the image. Are these themes now being placed behind him as a form of saying good-bye to the past, facing a different horizon ahead?

The following day a black bear from outside town made a visit to the Ochre Ghost, and left a deposit on the steps there. Eventually it was captured behind Greysolon Plaza. I was half wondering if the bear had come into town to see Adam's painting of a black bear riding a bicycle pictured here.

Meantime, be sure to take in an art show sometime soon. Openings are great because you get to meet the artist. If it doesn't fit your schedule, just drop into a gallery or two now and then, even if you can't bring something home at the moment. So much to see, so little time.

Click images to enlarge.

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