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Pushing the Abstract Envelope

May 31, 2012
The Maui Weekly

New exhibit opens in Schaefer International Gallery.

The seemingly random vs. the predetermined; intuition and perception vs. physical reality: these are the concepts that come to mind when considering abstract art. From Saturday, June 2, through July 22, Schaefer International Gallery at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC) will present a 40-year retrospective of work by North Fork, Idaho, artist S.A. (Sharon) Jones.

"Sharon has devoted 40 years of her career to the conceptual process of creating abstraction with emotional expression and intellectual control," said MACC Gallery Director Neida Bangerter. "The exhibit plays a significant role in teaching us how to use the abstract visual experience to share our own interpretive ideas, freed from the demands of realism. Part of our goal is to promote a broader perspective by bringing national and international artists to the gallery. This exhibit is wildly fun and will be inspirational to many artists in the community who are exploring areas of abstraction in their own work."

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In works such as “Twister” (1998), S.A. Jones asks us to push the envelope of our psyches, opening space for our conscious and subconscious minds to collide and challenging us to reflect on our existence in the natural world.

In her visual language, Jones asks us to push the envelope of our psyches, opening space for our conscious and subconscious minds to collide and challenging us to reflect on our existence in the natural world.

She began as a minimalist, using both random and controlled arrays of position and color, then morphed into variations of geometric, organic, decorative and realistic elements. Jones' use of systems as either the subject matter, the organizing principle or as a way to describe aspects of forms is central to her work.

The artist said that she can identify two persistent sources of fascination: "The first has been with the accumulation, painting by painting, of the diverse elements of a broad abstract language. The second has been thematic--the systemic playing-out of progressive sequences and formations," said Jones. "Because of the use of systems, the paintings often have a rather cosmic feel, as if there is a hidden reason for where elements are positioned and why they are there."

When viewing this exhibit, keep in mind that abstract art is often unrelated to what we know and are comfortable with... systemic abstraction is an artistic inquiry to rethinking the natural. Be prepared to free your soul from the demands of realism--and enjoy.

MACC's gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and before Castle Theater shows. Admission is free.

 
 

 

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