Just across the street (well technically in the parking lot behind) from my art building is the Weatherspoon Art Museum--a truly phenomenal art museum specializing in 20th century and contemporary art. I ducked into the Weatherspoon just a bit ago with three of my painting colleagues--to check out the new Ann Gale show. The doors just opened today.
Here is what I am thinking about now:
1. What does it mean (and how does that translate into visual terms) to take one's studio inclinations all to way to their fruition--zero half-heartedness, ALL-THE-WAY, do not be swayed by the idiocies of time and fashion. Singular, committed vision.
2. Oil paint can be made into anything.
3. Anything can be made in an infinity of ways.
4. Does the human body actually impact the space directly around it in a tangible, perceivable manner?
5. If the answer to question #5 is yes, (Which I think Ann Gale believes, and I am inclined to agree. Well, I want to be able to agree.) does that impact lessen incrementally as space moves away from the body?
6. Is the divide between body and environment permeable and in flux?
7. Might the last three questions be a physical analogy to the body as spiritual entity--and spiritual entity actually residing (in part) in the physical body?
8. Is the human body in full actually not perceivable?
I'll be honest, I've never been interested in painting the figure all that much (well, at all in truth--apart from figure drawing classes as an undergrad which I enjoyed immensely). But Ann Gale's paintings are figure paintings that are so much more than figure paintings--they are positing of human vastness bound up in a voraciously plentiful compendium of the most amazing maneuverings in paint you're going to see just about anywhere.