“SoWa Artists Guild: Two Views of Chroma,” on view through September 27 in the Heftler Visiting Artist Gallery at Endicott College, presents a group painting exhibition from the South Boston collective. Its basic premise: juxtaposing simple color schemes with more complex ones.
The premise itself is somewhat successful, but the finely executed work on display transcends the organizational idea anyway.
“Two Views of Chroma” fills the gallery with both simplicity and challenges, the notion of color opposition eventually becoming less important than the technical quality and insights found in each work. “Two Views of Chroma” ultimately becomes multiple views of chroma.
The exhibition marks yet another inviting exploration in the out-of-the-way Heftler Gallery. The vibrant artistic neighborhood south of Washington St. in Boston is not that far away, and this condensed sampler makes it more inviting than ever. Each of these works lures the viewer into wanting more from these artists.
Singling out a few of the 28 works on view definitely does not indicate preference. A large abstract by Paul Walcott, “Six Inches off the Ground,” dominates the room. This intense lyrical work— acrylic and mixed media on panel—appears both formidable and delicate at the same time. Jennifer Jean Costello’s oil on canvas “Imbalance II” creates a dramatic narrative, buried in a haze of angry color and gigantic confrontational energy. The cleaved abstract itself is arresting on first sight; the confrontation, almost overwhelmed in the swirl of color, reveals itself on closer inspection.
Nell Lush’s large oil/mixed “Canale,” a formidable abstract with multiple implications, and
Marcia R. Wise’s “Into the Light,” a bright oil on canvas, achieve depth and energy. Steve Lush mimics Stuart Davis with his oil “Ella and Louis,” filled with references and ideas.
Nedret Andre’s oil on canvas “Cnidarians” makes an underwater scene seem like a magical, airy experience.
In the same way, Anne Harney’s striking “Low Tide” also evokes the water, at least in its title. But with its inviting turquoise background and gold accents, this unusually composed horizontal also turns the ocean into a different kind of atmospheric experience. Hung with Charyl Weissbach’s ”Lyre Series 3” (encaustic, gold leaf, marble and silk), the two works do actually illustrate the chroma theme.
B. Glee Lucas’ cocktail bar “Blood Line”—an intense oil on canvas, a beautifully worked study of transparency and reflection—adds a stylized, ’50s sensibility. Its proximity with Stephen Silver’s delicate oil “Landscape 762” makes an apt presentation of the exhibition’s organizing principal as well.
“SoWa Artists Guild: Two Views of Chroma” runs through Sept. 27 in the Heftler Visiting Artist Gallery in the Manninen Center for the Arts at Endicott College. Admission free. Call 978-232-2247 or visit www.endicott.edu.