Show Preview | Knowlton & Kellar

Santa Fe, NM
Sorrel Sky Gallery, October 6-31

Martha Kellar, Jewels of Light, oil, 11 x 14.

Martha Kellar, Jewels of Light, oil, 11 x 14.

This story was featured in the October 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  October 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

If one boils it down, vision begins with the contrast of light and shadow. David Knowlton and Martha Kellar, the two artists showcased this month at Sorrel Sky Gallery in Santa Fe, highlight that contrast on scales large and small. “The title of the show, Light and Shadow, really captures the essence of what art is about, how the eye perceives the world that surrounds us,” says gallery owner Shanan Campbell Wells. “Without light, without shadow, there would be no art. Although Knowlton and Kellar interpret light and shadow differently, they both recognize its power, drawing the viewer in through their distinctive techniques and compositions.” The show opens with an artists’ reception on Friday, October 6, from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Preferring back roads and “blue highways”—the small roads that connect rural America—Knowlton sojourns into the quiet landscapes of the West from his Wisconsin home. “I lived in Santa Fe from the late 1970s to the early ’90s,” he says. “I am still enamored with the Southwest, especially southern Utah and Arizona.” The long horizons found along those back roads find their way to Knowlton’s canvases in simplified combinations of shape, shadow, and color. “My paintings are very
precise,” he says. “I pare things down to the essentials, and I pay a lot of attention to the negative, open spaces.” Knowlton brings up to 18 new paintings to the show. “A lot of my imagery is of isolation,” he reflects. “I don’t see that as depressing. I feel very comfortable in that space and being alone in that space.” The works in this show capture a broader view than his past works, as though the artist has taken a step back from the structures in the scenery, whether architectural or earth forms. “There’s more landscape in them, more space,” he says. “It might signify a sort of longing, of not being confined.”

New Mexico painter Kellar brings up to 20 works, “mostly still lifes, some figurative works, and maybe a landscape,” she says. Regardless of genre, Kellar’s works feature beautiful things. “I am kind of a magpie. Color catches my eye first, then shape.” When she’s unable to paint en plein air, the artist composes still-life tableaux centered on a single captivating item, and then adds to that—flowers she grows herself, assorted colorful fruits, pottery, or textiles. “I have a large collection of old Asian and Middle Eastern things,” she says. “There is something that is just so gorgeous about them. But they are not perfect. They have the beauty of the handmade, the rustic.” Having had a year to work toward this show, Kellar adds, “I hope these paintings show a year’s worth of growth as an artist. I will continue to learn for the rest of my life.” —Laura Rintala

contact information
505.501.6555
www.sorrelsky.com

This story was featured in the October 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  October 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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