themes

Painting

Vignette: Devan Horton


“By questioning and altering our perceptions of beauty, these works open our minds to accept the nontraditional.” – Devan Horton


"Puff Ball Mushrooms" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Puff Ball Mushrooms" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

The closer we look at nature, the more it can seem alien to us. The word mushroom conjures up a simple shape, earthy in texture and pungent in aroma, with little or no color, yet Devan Horton’s paintings present a range of beauty and organic form far away from that cliché.

“Nature has always inspired my work in both concept and form, therefore the majority of my pieces are environmentally centered and are about naturally occurring phenomena and behaviors. With that said, the direction of my work has seen an evolution. Where the focus was once on live subjects such as swarms of animals, insects, and plants in order to portray an active idea, I slowly transitioned into making work about dead matter and elimination.”

Horton refers to her subject here as “dead matter,” yet there is such vibrant life in these images. However inert the reality, the artist’s viewpoint imbues the organic forms with the same living pulse that she explored in her previous work.

"Orange and Blue Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Orange and Blue Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

"Pink and Green Mushrooms" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Pink and Green Mushrooms" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

“Today, my work discusses themes of rebirth by portraying new life growing from the source of fallen trees. Pulchritudinous is a series of fungi paintings that displays the sheer variety of species and beautiful patterns that hail solely from our local area. Fungus has never been revered for being beautiful, but by taking a closer look at these magnificent recyclers, the viewer is forced to see the intricate patterns and wide spectrum of color that was there all along. Even the word Pulchritudinous is an ugly term at first sight, but quite literally means “something of great physical beauty”. By playing with techniques that make objects appear more attractive, all of my work revolves around a change in perspective by viewing that which we look at negatively in a new light.”

Horton currently has solo exhibition at Perennial Gallery, 625 Madison Ave, Covington, Kentucky, through August 20, 2017

Age: 23
Hometown: Covington, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Painting, Northern Kentucky University, 2016; while in school participated in a study abroad to Rome and Florence Italy.
Website: http://www.devanhorton.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hortondevan/

"Split Gill Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Split Gill Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

"Turkey Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Turkey Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

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

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Painting

Vignette: William Pichette


What portions of our self do we edit, manipulate, and hide from view for the greater good of likes and followers? – William Pichette


"Under Control" by William Pichette, 8x20in, acrylic on printed canvas (2016), $210 |  BUY NOW

"Under Control" by William Pichette, 8x20in, acrylic on printed canvas (2016), $210 | BUY NOW

William Pichette is a painter who sees the inherent qualities of his medium as integral to expressing the themes in the imagery. In his own words: “The thrill of the acrylic paint medium comes from how quick you must work to create. The paint dries very fast but each attempt at progress easily hides the previous attempts. Hiding ourselves proves more difficult. Once we reveal our truths through action and speech, it is not so easily undone. In a world where compliance and filtering our daily expression is the norm, muting the brilliance of our emotion is preferred, and it would be an outrageous offense to demonstrate weakness, vulnerability, honesty—humanity—I cherish in sight of visibility.”

Pichette often sets his figures against patterned backgrounds, the human a silhouette initiating a conversation with negative space, full of emotional suggestion, signs and portents.

“My pieces are inspired both by how we see and how we are seen. How do we see ourselves behind closed doors, looking in vanity mirrors, and through the lenses of our Instagram and Snapchat feed? What portions of our self do we edit, manipulate, and hide from view for the greater good of likes and followers? Those raw bits; the understanding of ourselves we hold so true that we would hate for others to see. Those nuances draw my focus; typically not blemishes and physical flaws of our outward appearance, but parts of our body none-the-less. They are the fights with mental illness and turmoil of thought, our agitation and need for direction, the imprints of the souls of others and the scars of love lost.”

Pichette just participated in 2017 Group Exhibition, Queer Voices, at Open Community Arts Center, Louisville, KY.

Age: 25
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Education: Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Ethnic Studies (Asian-American Studies), University of Texas
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Shquiggles/

"Impressionable Young Minds - Christine" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2016), $140 |  BUY NOW

"Impressionable Young Minds - Christine" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2016), $140 | BUY NOW

"Wanderlust" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2016), $140 |  BUY NOW

"Wanderlust" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2016), $140 | BUY NOW

"Impressionable Young Minds - Will" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2016), $140 |  BUY NOW

"Impressionable Young Minds - Will" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2016), $140 | BUY NOW

"See and Be Seen" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2015), $110 |  BUY NOW

"See and Be Seen" by William Pichette, 8x10in, acrylic and ink on canvas (2015), $110 | BUY NOW

"Turbulent Thought" by William Pichette, 18x18in, acrylic on wood board (2016), $375 |    BUY NOW

"Turbulent Thought" by William Pichette, 18x18in, acrylic on wood board (2016), $375 | BUY NOW

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

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Drawing

Vignette: Michael McCardwell


As The Eyes Close We Lose Sight – from Michael McCardwell’s “The Death Snake.”


"The Death Snake" by Michael McCardwell, 18x24in, ink and colored pencils (2017), $350 |  BUY NOW

"The Death Snake" by Michael McCardwell, 18x24in, ink and colored pencils (2017), $350 | BUY NOW

Michael McCardwell’s drawings are dense in their collective linear construction yet loose enough to clearly communicate the fantastical imagery. The artist plays with our expectations by drafting forms that are highly suggestive of spaceships – science fiction forms from a bygone era in which stalwart heroes with bulbous ray guns occupied the galaxy. His forms conjoin to form larger, interconnected spaces, and at times, a long, snake-like shape. It all seems very playful.

Yet can we be absolutely certain of what McCardwell has on his mind? The use of clearly defined line and shape in virtually every square inch of the field is also a formal academic exercise in composition, and in “The Death Snake,” his statement considers mortality in stages reminiscent of Shakespeare or Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Either way, there is an almost giddy emotional quality to these pieces, and perhaps the one certainty is that, even in the darker themes, this artist seems to find joy in his work.

"Orange Cross" by Michael McCardwell, 18x24in, ink and colored pencils (2017), $350 |  BUY NOW

"Orange Cross" by Michael McCardwell, 18x24in, ink and colored pencils (2017), $350 | BUY NOW

Besides being a studio art and humanities teacher for 27 years at Henry County High School, McCardwell has taught art at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System campus in Shelbyville, Spalding University in Louisville, at the former Shelbyville branch of Lindsey Wilson College, and taught basic skills such as reading, math and English at the Kentucky State Reformatory in La Grange. He was twice a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow.

McCardwell has work in private collections in the United States, Europe and Japan, and has been accepted into juried shows in California, Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Hometown: Shelbyville, Kentucky
Education: BFA Murray State University, Kentucky, 1971; MA (Drawing), Morehead State University, Kentucky, 1974

"Shadow" by Michael McCardwell, 18x24in, ink and colored pencils (2017), $350 |  BUY NOW

"Shadow" by Michael McCardwell, 18x24in, ink and colored pencils (2017), $350 | BUY NOW

"YHWA" by Michael McCardwell, 18x24in, ink and colored pencils (2017), $350 |  BUY NOW

"YHWA" by Michael McCardwell, 18x24in, ink and colored pencils (2017), $350 | BUY NOW

"Picture" by Michael McCardwell, 18x24in, ink and colored pencils (2017), $350 |  BUY NOW

"Picture" by Michael McCardwell, 18x24in, ink and colored pencils (2017), $350 | BUY NOW

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

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Drawing

Vignette: Sarah Johnson


“Iconography has given me the opportunity to undergo a reflection and transformation…”
— Sarah Johnson


"The Holy Trinity" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

"The Holy Trinity" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

At this point, it is fair to say that all art speaks to tradition; even the most radical work usually sees Dadaism as an ancestor. There was a time when virtually the only way to make a living as an artist was to create religious imagery – the church was one of the only paying customers, and private collectors rarely wanted secular art, except for portraits. Iconography is not always religious, but the use of recurrent symbols and themes in churches arguably laid the foundation of how we think about such things. Sarah Johnson here picks up that tradition in designs that show fealty to the rigid, highly symmetrical compositional formula that were essential in this work, but with a soupcon of individual interpretation in the details of character.

“I have the opinion that art is supposed to reflect to its audience a message,” says Johnson. “I believe art has a very significant role to play in our daily and personal lives as well as having the capacity to influence our entire culture, spiritually and politically. The best examples of that kind of art have one thing in common: it touches the soul. I have a strong desire to share my belief and perspective and Iconography has given me the opportunity to undergo a reflection and transformation and to learn a time-tested medium. I aim to continue in my study in Iconography.”

So Johnson’s images are unabashedly ecclesiastical; a personal expression of spirituality rooted in the long and rich historical traditions employed by some of the greatest artists the world has known: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, not to mention untold numbers whose specific identity has been lost to time.

Hometown: Maysville, Kentucky
Age: 32
Education: Studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati
Website: http://www.sarahcatherinejohnson.wordpress.com

"Christ Pantocrator" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

"Christ Pantocrator" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

"Archangel Michael" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

"Archangel Michael" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

"Saint Andrew" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

"Saint Andrew" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

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

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Print Making, Mixed Media

Vignette: Susan Moffett


“The rhythm of this work is integrated with the presence of music and dance in my life.”
– Susan Moffett


A photograph of Susan Moffett in her studio.

A photograph of Susan Moffett in her studio.

Music is so often, if not always, an integral part of the life of a visual artist. Besides being a highly respected printmaker and teacher, Susan Moffett is also a “Caller” for contra and square dances, and now is playing the fiddle. If we might characterize such pursuits as folk music crossed with precision of execution, it would be perhaps be a fair description of the work we see here.

The tradition and protocol of printmaking includes labored technique, process, and the notion of limited editions of prints pulled by the artist to their exacting standards, but we find Moffett abandoning those for what she calls the, “the freedom and spontaneity of woodcut monoprints. Instead of a traditional series of perfected prints with a consistent image, I opt to use the block prints in an intuitive exploration of organic forms, creating rhythm within and relationships between the prints. Small prints are repurposed in relationships of color, density and repetition, to make a larger installation.”

Although Moffett is too educated and sophisticated in her sensibilities to be labeled a folk artist, there is an elemental quality in these latest images. Yet, because they are densely textured and highly detailed, they are also complex. We often find such tension at the heart of art that is compelling, a balance of contrasting themes and aesthetic that seems the honest, organic result of genuine discovery. 

"Moonlight in the Forest" by Susan Moffett, 19x14in, relief monoprint collage, $375 |  BUY NOW

"Moonlight in the Forest" by Susan Moffett, 19x14in, relief monoprint collage, $375 | BUY NOW

Moffett is Professor Emeritus of Fine Art at Indiana University Southeast where she taught Printmaking, Drawing, and Art Appreciation for many years. She teaches private drawing and printmaking lessons. 

"Seasonal Rhythms" by Susan Moffett, 42x54in, relief Monoprint Installation, $2,250 |  BUY NOW

"Seasonal Rhythms" by Susan Moffett, 42x54in, relief Monoprint Installation, $2,250 | BUY NOW

Moffett is a founding member of PYRO Gallery in Louisville, where she is currently exhibiting with Wendi Smith and Marilyn Whitesell in Ex-Faculty; New, Renewed and Repurposed through November 26, 2016. She has exhibited throughout the United States as well as abroad in Ireland, Poland and Australia. Her work is in numerous public and private collections including:

Selected Collections
• Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, Evansville, IN
• Hyatt Regency, Louisville, KY
• Brown-Forman Distillers Corp., Louisville, KY
• The Kentucky Foundation for Women, Louisville, KY
• Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, Louisville, KY
• University of Dallas, Irving, TX
• The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
• Owensboro Museum of Art, Owensboro, KY
• The University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Hometown: Dallas, TX
Age: 66
Education: MFA, Northern Illinois University, 1977; Texas Tech University, 1973
Gallery Representation: Pyro Gallery (Louisville) Ro2 Art (Dallas)
Website: http://www.susanmoffett.com

"Seasonal Rhythms (detail)" by Susan Moffett

"Seasonal Rhythms (detail)" by Susan Moffett

"Cool Flow, Fall," by Susan Moffett, 14x20in, relief monoprint collage, NFS

"Cool Flow, Fall," by Susan Moffett, 14x20in, relief monoprint collage, NFS

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

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