Show Preview | Palette

Denver, CO
Abend Gallery, June 15-July 8

Jessica Pisano, In Flight, oil, 7 x 12.

Jessica Pisano, In Flight, oil, 7 x 12.

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

Guided by an interest in examining the building blocks of creativity, Abend Gallery and Gallery 1261 asked artists to paint directly on their palettes, bringing together the beginning and final stages of an artwork in one place. This unique exhibition, Palette, opens in Denver on Thursday, June 15, with an artists’ reception from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s the first show in the galleries’ new combined space in downtown Denver, located at 1412 Wazee Street.

The show was assembled by Dina Brodsky, a contemporary realist painter and curator in New York City, and it brings a fresh crop of national and international artists to the gallery walls. Brodsky says the show started with the idea of exploring the intimate and tactile relationship between an artist and his or her tool, and of seeing a work progress from its point of origin—the palette. The exhibition includes artists she deeply admires and a number of new artists she discovered from her close curation of Instagram. “A few artists painted as an opportunity to experiment a little outside of their usual work,” she says. This is the second time Brodsky has curated a palette-focused show—the first opened in New York City last fall. “We were overwhelmed with the amount of submissions last year,” she says. Each of the 75 artists in this year’s show has a unique view of the palette’s ideal shape, color, and rotation, which creates variation despite the similar surfaces. Among the participating artists are Steven Assael, Jennifer Gennari, F. Scott Hess, and Yunsung Jang.

Brodsky discovered participating artist Dimitri Desiron on Instagram. “The shape of the palette really does make for a different approach to your painting,” Desiron says. “I chose the traditional oval wooden palette because of its beautiful shape that differs more from a typical canvas.” His work, GLEAM, is a representation of his favorite building near his studio in Antwerp, Belgium.

Some artists chose to interpret the idea of creating on a palette in a nonliteral way. Irish-born artist Sue Bryan met Brodsky at the palette show in New York City last year and was invited to participate in this year’s exhibition. “I don’t use a palette in the traditional sense of the word,” Bryan says. “I chose to interpret the definition of the word ‘palette’ figuratively, as in the variety of techniques or range of colors an artist may use.” She built up tones and textures using charcoal and carbon in her work FOUNDLING, which is mounted on a wooden panel, or palette, to finish her interpretation.

James Adelman, an artist based in Brooklyn, likes the freedom of creation within a set criterion in a show like this, almost leveling the playing field between the artists. “The consistency makes for common ground between artists who may otherwise have little because it’s fascinating to see how different minds approach the same creative challenge,” he says. As a painter, he enjoyed the intimacy of painting on a palette. “Everything I needed was in my hands,” Adelman says. “I could cuddle up with one or move and sway about the studio with them, like dancing.” —Katie Askew

contact information
303.355.0950
www.abendgallery.com

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

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