prosaic

Photography

Vignette: Julius Friedman (1943-2017)

"Peony" by Julius Friedman, photography

"Peony" by Julius Friedman, photography

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photograph by Sarah Davis.

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photograph by Sarah Davis.

Once when Julius Friedman was delivering an informal lecture for Louisville Visual Art, he noted how the cover of his most recent book at the time, “Images & Ideas”, was a shot of the condensation on his shower door, and how he had once waited 2 hours for a car to move off a particularly fascinating oil and water puddle in a parking lot so he could photograph it.

Friedman’s images are characteristically so expertly constructed and expressive of a stringent graphic discipline that the randomness at the root of this anecdote seems surprising, but I think the lesson is that an artist does indeed see the world differently; at all times observing their environment on a fundamentally different level than the average citizen.

Art is communication, so if the ability to share that point-of-view is the most important measure of an artist, then Friedman must be counted as a Modern Master. His commercial work, most notably the posters that made him famous in the 1970’s, are brilliant in capturing the appeal of art in terms so vivid as to command the attention of all levels of society. In effect, he established a brand for the arts in Louisville, designing iconic images for so many important arts organizations: The Speed Museum, Louisville Visual Art, the Louisville Ballet, the Louisville Orchestra…the list goes on and on.

"Erica de La O 1" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photography printed on aluminum (2010)

"Erica de La O 1" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photography printed on aluminum (2010)

He did no less in his personal work, exploring technique on an esoteric level that always translated to fun and fascination for the viewer. He photographed Louisville Ballet dancer Eric De La O exhaustively but never exhausted the subject, producing dozens of potent images over several years. He photographed flowers, a prosaic and common subject that in Friedman’s hands become an astonishing example of his own relationship with nature. The same observation applies to his Becoming Wisteria series, images of model Alli Wiles positioned among the wisteria on his 200-acre farm.

"Toe On Egg" by Julius Friedman

"Toe On Egg" by Julius Friedman

In 2016, Frazier Museum in Louisville hosted a vital retrospective of Friedman’s work, showing more than 200 posters and also incorporating The Book, a project in which he deconstructed a collection of discarded books and which was his last published work. There was also a dazzling installation of color photographs on aluminum that, in and of itself was impressive enough to represent his creative vision, but what most excited the artist was an immersive screening of his most recent film work, flowing, abstract images of water in nature.

It was just water running in a stream – or it was simply peonies, or a painter’s palette, or an old book, but Julius Friedman always made us see the commonplace in a new light.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Website: http://www.imagesol.com

Nathan Felde, Fred DeSanto, and Julius Friedman (c.1970) outside Images studio. Photographer unknown, courtesy Tad DeSanto.

Nathan Felde, Fred DeSanto, and Julius Friedman (c.1970) outside Images studio. Photographer unknown, courtesy Tad DeSanto.

"Untitled #10" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photograph printed directly on raw aluminum (2015)

"Untitled #10" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photograph printed directly on raw aluminum (2015)

Book cover for "Images & Ideas" by Julius Friedman

Book cover for "Images & Ideas" by Julius Friedman

"Fresh Paint" by Julius Friedman, photography

"Fresh Paint" by Julius Friedman, photography

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photo courtesy of John Nation.

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photo courtesy of John Nation.

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. 

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Drawing

Vignette: Barb McDevitt


“Art enables us to finds ourselves. As an artist I try to interpret what I have seen in hope that others can see my vision.” — Barb McDevitt


"TAJI" by Barb McDevitt, 16x20in, pastel (2016) $700 |  BUY NOW

"TAJI" by Barb McDevitt, 16x20in, pastel (2016) $700 | BUY NOW

Although she paints plein aire, Barb McDevitt also finds old architecture quite compelling. She sees the survival of venerable buildings from the past as inspirational, discovering the rich, earthy color of the brick, or the originally bright, albeit now somewhat dimmed colors of the signage and storefronts among the more modern buildings in the city.

“The TAJ was an old building bought back to life again,” says McDevitt. “I wanted to capture that rebirth. Conversely, The Phoenix Hill Tavern was a place of good times for many generations only to suffer a death by way of retirement. There is irony in the idea that a building with that name would not be born again from the ashes.”       

These prosaic images tie present and past together in simple, honest, terms, but visual motifs are always loaded with more than the surface meaning; memory, history, and the passing of an age are at all at work in these paintings because those aspects are important to McDevitt. In her own way, like many other artist, she is a local historian and preservationist.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA, Graphic Arts, University of Louisvill
Gallery Representative: Jane Morgan Gallery, Framer’s Express (Louisville)
Website: http://barbamcdevitt.webs.com/

"Spring Floyds Fork" by Barb McDevitt, 14x11in, pastel (2015) $350 |  BUY NOW

"Spring Floyds Fork" by Barb McDevitt, 14x11in, pastel (2015) $350 | BUY NOW

"Coffee Talk" by Barb McDevitt, 12x16in, pastel (2016) $500 |  BUY NOW

"Coffee Talk" by Barb McDevitt, 12x16in, pastel (2016) $500 | BUY NOW

"  The Death of the Phoenix" by Barb McDevitt, 20x16in, pastel (2016) $700 |  BUY NOW

"The Death of the Phoenix" by Barb McDevitt, 20x16in, pastel (2016) $700 | BUY NOW

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Vignette: Jessica Olberz Singleton

"Spinning Sun" by Jessica Olberz Singleton, 24x24in, acrylic on canvas, $85 |  BUY NOW

"Spinning Sun" by Jessica Olberz Singleton, 24x24in, acrylic on canvas, $85 | BUY NOW

When a layperson ponders what makes an artist, they might begin by considering that is simply a matter of perspective, and also the ability to hold a perception and explore it; a search for insight and understanding of our existence within the world around us. It is the thing that makes an artist stop and investigate a rain puddle, or find the gentle passing of time marked by nature as prosaic, and then find some way to capture that impression through creative expression.

In her artist’s statement, Singleton explains, “I remember my shock and amazement the first time I saw the clouds move. I was five years old. I learned to slow down, be still, and look more closely. Taking that time today, I see and hear things that seem to come out of nowhere. Just last week I found a tiny, perfectly preserved frog skeleton beneath the seat of my car. It fits on a penny with room to spare. What are the odds?”

“Nature brings me to my senses and my senses remind me that I am in (and of) this world. And, so, inevitably I bring nature into my studio to spend more time with the leaves and the flowers. In my studio, I enjoy the sensory experience of mixing colors and moving them over the paper or canvas and watching how, with time, something new emerges.”

"Diamonds" by Jessica Olberz Singleton, 10x14in, watercolor and ink, $50 (unframed) |  BUY NOW

"Diamonds" by Jessica Olberz Singleton, 10x14in, watercolor and ink, $50 (unframed) | BUY NOW

The importance of memory and sensory experience in Singleton’s work relate to time itself; the most underappreciated material in an artist’s toolbox. It plays a role in any artist’s process but is rarely acknowledged.

Singleton is also a photographer and a yoga instructor, and her painting includes mandalas that tie more obviously into health and wellness, but all of the artist’s work is inextricably connected to the harmony of nature. It clearly represents an important aspect of her spirituality, and in 2011 she opened The Trilliquin Center, where she teaches varying levels of yoga, including Gentle, Iyengar and Restorative Yoga, as well as art workshops and community events. 

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 40
Education: BA, University of Louisville, 2000, majored in Fine Arts with a concentration in Drawing, minored in Psychology and Women's Studies.
Website: http://jessicaolberz.com

"White Mandala on Plaid Wash" by Jessica Olberz Singleton, 12x16in, watercolor and gouache, $80 (framed) |  BUY NOW

"White Mandala on Plaid Wash" by Jessica Olberz Singleton, 12x16in, watercolor and gouache, $80 (framed) | BUY NOW

"Four Circles" by Jessica Olberz Singleton, 10x14in, watercolor and ink, $50 (unframed) |  BUY NOW

"Four Circles" by Jessica Olberz Singleton, 10x14in, watercolor and ink, $50 (unframed) | BUY NOW

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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

Are you interested in being on Artebella?    Click here    to learn more.

Are you interested in being on Artebella? Click here to learn more.