Let Art Be Art
PILGRIM OF TIME: the passion and paintings of Victor Troutman
The retrospective exhibit will run October 13 through November 10 with an Opening Reception on Saturday, October 13, from 6-8 p.m., and a Closing Reception on Saturday, November 10, from 2-4 p.m. The exhibit will consist of 50 works loaned to the Jeffersonville Township Public Library by the estate of the internationally acclaimed painter, who passed away in 2017.
Victor Troutman lived in both Kentucky and Indiana, and spent his final years in Jeffersonville. A completely self-taught artist, his award-winning work was exhibited during his lifetime in the Speed Art Museum, the University of Louisville, the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, and many galleries, including the Swanson Cralle Gallery, Optimystics Gallery, Lionheart Gallery, and Gallery JanJobe.
A practicing artist since the 1960s, he stopped painting for twenty years due to debilitating depression. His healing path led him to art therapy, where he confronted the conflicts and challenges that were his perceived obstacles to happiness. When Troutman began to paint again, he unleashed emotion and imagination as his brush told his story. Victor’s paintings became deeper, richer, and many-layered – a virtual fountain of color, symbols, line, and forms.
Victor’s son Michael V. Troutman, who is also a visual artist, recalls: “My father’s art came from suffering and solitude. He lived a hard life of multiple near-death experiences and lost many things and people that he loved; so in isolation, he limited his involvement with the outside world to preserve the memory of moments he found most precious, not necessarily documenting their details but capturing their sentiment. He was a very emotional man who felt deeply.”
“My father, never wrote an artist statement for his exhibits. He was a visual artist, not a verbal artist. He arranged compositions and colors, not words and their sounds. He did not believe in limiting perspectives and interpretations. His own interpretation of his art was only his personally and just because he saw it a certain way didn't mean his perception was the only one or the best. Viewers sometimes inform him of what they saw in his works. They made a personal connection, an individual narrative that no one else could ever tell them they did not see. There is a saying that ‘to translate is to deceive’ and my father knew this well. Having often discussed art with my dad, I know the statement he was making by not creating an artist statement.”
“But if, by chance, my father wrote an artist statement, I imagine this is what he would say:
"The power of suggestion is such that if I were to tell you what I think I'm doing or what you should think about what I'm doing then what is really here may never be seen. I may make multiple statements and each one may change your perception. Make and share your own perceptions. Some may be the same and others may be unique. No matter how you try to justify or condemn what you see, all explanations and accusations will fall short of being the truth. The truth is a state of simultaneous realities we are sharing. An illusion we constantly construct and destruct. Contradictions are the only permanent structures. Art has multiple definitions, none of-which invalidate each other.
Let art be art. Do not drag it into a world of arbitrary justifications. Validity is void in the world of arts. An artist is an artist and if they want to make a statement with their art then they will do through their art, not their words. As no one instructs me of what to paint, I do not dictate to you what you should see. I paint what I feel. I cannot tell you that you should feel the same. Doing so would only perpetuate stale, trite thoughts and imitation, and false interpretations. I may present myself a certain way but that does not mean that I will be perceived in that same manner. We are all individuals with our own personal experiences. Those experiences create personal filters that cause us to associate certain sentiments with certain terms and images. Take responsibility for your own thoughts and feelings for what you think, feel and experience."
Troutman experimented with many styles, from abstract to impressionist to surrealist to representational. His artwork is a reflection of life, ranging from the hardships and struggles of the everyday to the highest aspirations of love and the sublime. Each work tells its own unique story, and Troutman always invited the viewer to find his/her own meaning.
Schedule of Events:
Opening Reception – which will include refreshments, a remembrance of Victor Troutman, and live music and poetry performance by Ron Whitehead and The Storm Generation Band featuring Sarah Breit – will be held at the Jeffersonville Township Public Library, Main Library at 211 East Court Avenue, Jeffersonville, IN 47131-1548 | P (812) 285-5630, on Saturday, October 13 from 6-8 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Art Gallery. This event is free and open to the public.
Closing Reception will be held at the Jeffersonville Township Public Library, main library, on Saturday, November 10 from 2-4 p.m. in the North Program Room and 2nd Floor Art Gallery. At 2:00 p.m., at the Main Library at 211 East Court Avenue, Jeffersonville, IN 47131-1548 | P (812) 285-5630 | www.jefflibrary.org
“Naked Women & Naughty Words: Censorship & Self-Censorship in Public Art” Clarksville Branch | 1312 Eastern Boulevard, Clarksville, IN 47129 | P (812) 285-5640
A distinguished panel of guest speakers will lead a special discussion and additional paintings by Victor will be shown at that time. From 3-4 p.m., refreshments will be served and guests may visit Victor Troutman’s work throughout the library. This event is free and open to the public. Troutman’s paintings will be available in the second-floor gallery of the main library building as well as the North & South display cases during normal hours of operation.
Victor Troutman (1944-2017)
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Entire contents copyright © 2018 The estate of Victor L. Troutman. Used with permission.