October 2005

Abstraction x3

Marilyn Ellis, R. W. Tartter & Gretchen Beck

October, 2005

Marilyn Ellis finds the string theory fascinating and vital in abstract painting as well as in music, physics and art. The vitality and resonance of classical or jazz linger on in the mind in music as in art. In physics, the string theory either on the microscopic or cosmic levels has a vital life. It affects the universe from nanas to stars. Art can also be abstract as strings become line and color. Man's ability to think in the abstract at times makes him closer to the reality of the world around him than a photographic copy of a figure or a still life. Marilyn's art, mainly oil on canvas, is full of color and line against a color field. Her background dates from the Abstract Expressionism of the fifties and sixties.


R. W. Tartter is using molten metal to create abstract shapes on or around a color-coated surface. He is fascinated with negative shapes, and he has always been concerned with involving the viewer with more than the surface that is painted. He plays with the interaction of texture, color, and light, but unlike other artists, he is not concerned with set parameters. He likes to color outside the lines, to use a geometric shape as a starting point, but go beyond into the surrounding spaces. Tartter's controlled metal paintings set up a structure in which the background plays an equally important role. Influence by the abstract expressionists and minimalists of the 1950's and 60's has lead him to discover a new form of painting.


Gretchen Beck directs the Art Department at Concordia University in Irvine, CA. She also curates the university art gallery and teaches drawing, painting, printmaking and public art classes. For the imagery she produces as an artist, she conducts research in Niger, West Africa. Her art involves the study and depiction of different aspects of the Nigerien landscape, the Djarma and Fulani cultures and the art forms these people create. To support this work, she receives faculty research grants that Concordia University offers. Through her imagery, Beck portrays concepts of ritual and tradition within the social structure of Nigerien culture. She exhibits and presents her art in galleries on college and university campuses throughout the country.


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