Kimberly Piotrowski, Stephen Reynolds, Pamela Wilson, and Stella Zee.
Curated by Cheryl Cooke, Mike Mettler, and Charles Thurow, the show’s title came from W.B. Yeats’ poem about the creative process, “Among School Children.” In it the poet questions the possibility of capturing objective reality and suggests that we must trust the artist’s intuitive, personal reality: “How can we know the dancer from the dance?” The four artists in this exhibition demonstrated this premise. They worked directly from intuitive and gestural processes not knowing what painting is about until it was completed. Although many of the paintings in the exhibition suggested natural or landscape forms, they all included strong emotional connotations.
The four painters in the exhibition represented a broad spectrum of work. Stella Zee’s paintings, for example were based on light, which she associated with particular places. These places were symbolic of renewal or tranquility, such as gardens or parks. Kimberly Piotrowski’s work also started with remembered landscapes, but in the case of this artist it was clearly a world of harsh urban environmental realities in all its attendant power and horror that was depicted. The other two artists supplied additional dimensions. Pamela Wilson’s simplified, almost monochromatic abstractions used the subtle texture of the painted surface to suggest atmospheric conditions. In contrast, Stephen Reynolds combined complex colors which spoke to inner emotional states.