Exhibition: Tension and Release

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2021 at 11:00am

Walker Fine Art Gallery
300 West 11th Avenue, Suite A
Denver, CO 80204

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Featuring:

JONATHAN HILS
BARBARA SORENSEN
MELANA BONTRAGER
BLAIR VAUGHN-GRULER
BRIGAN GRESH
LEE HELKIN

The conflict of tension and release is at the heart of the creative process; the interplay of these opposing elements adds intrigue and energy to the works of art. The six artist's techniques in TENSION & RELEASE vary in medium and style, but synonymously address this idea of tension through natural, digital, mental and emotional realms. In their execution of finding balance between contrasting forces, we are presented with fragmented, collage-like compositions, inspired by the repetition of form and multiplicity of iterations.

Using a variety of found and digitally altered images, JONATHAN HILS' works collage disparate data and augmented visuals into densely abstracted and painterly objects. This series speaks to the fractured, yet repetitive nature of our current digitally reliant existence, where augmentation and repetitive manipulation is at the heart of "reality". Hils is interested in the visual influence that digital augmentation and associated technologies have on our psyche.

BARBARA SORENSON'S latest series "Ionian Ripples" mimics the sculpted curvature of Grecian cave systems. This work emphasizes the elegantly draped individual ripples as a single form, rather than a monochromatic cluster. The iridescent metal's naturalistic curves mirror the waves that eroded the cave walls overtime.

MELANA BONTRAGER has always been intrigued by layers in the soil, patterns in rock, and the visual interaction between natural objects. Similarly to the human response to life circumstances, these natural visuals represent a response to forces outside of them. The landscapes Bontrager creates are life metaphors, embodying tension in shape and line, just as the human experience often embodies the co-existence of many conflicting emotions.

BLAIR VAUGHN-GRULER is increasingly compelled by the repetitive mark. Each hand-drawn mark in her work must live as uniquely itself, while also aspiring to replicate its neighbor. This notion, combined with Vaughn-Gruler's expression of her relationship with the geometry of physical reality expressed through proportions, shapes, spaces and edges define her current series.

LEE HEEKIN's work is an exploration of the grid and its relationship to life's constant struggle between chaos and order, confinement and flux. Combining various materials with repetition of form to create fragmented landscapes, Heekin raises inquiries surrounding separation and connection as our world shifts and changes with human natures' opposing forces of autonomy vs. connection. Her resin-casted collages address preservation and the tension between staying inside organized boundaries and resisting those constraints.

BRIGAN GRESH's work in this exhibition speaks simultaneously to gathering & departure. Drawing from personal experience influenced by historical context and current global conditions, Gresh depicts, through abstract representation, the physical, mental and spiritual feelings of assembly & exile. This series represents the energies of the perpetual cycle that is living; it's an expression of the feelings inside of movement that eventually emerge and sustain our worlds.

An opening reception will be held on Friday, May 14,2021 from 5-8 pm at the gallery in the Prado building on 11th & Cherokee Streets in Denver's Golden Triangle Museum District. The reception is free and open to the public, and the artists will be in attendance. Visitor attendance will be limited due to the local COVID-19 restrictions. Please visit our website for sign-up session details. "Opening details subject to change.

The exhibition is on view through Saturday, July 10, 2021 during regular gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm, or by appointment. For further information call 303-355-8955, email: lgaron@walkerfineart.com, or visit: www.walkerfineart.com.

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