Evergreen Fine Art, May 7-June 4
This story was featured in the May 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art May 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.
“I feel that for a painting to be successful, it has to have an emotional impact on the viewer, and I find that in most cases this is achieved by the way light is affecting the subject,” says Colorado oil painter Pem Dunn. This month Evergreen Fine Art unveils a new series of Dunn’s masterful works depicting this natural drama in a solo show called Light Shows of Nature. An opening reception and gallery talk take place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, with the show running through June 4.
Viewers can look forward to seeing 20 new paintings showcasing the sun in various regions, times of day, and seasons. “Light creates the mystery, especially in the morning, evening, and during a passing storm,” says Dunn, who the gallery says is one of its most popular artists. “I especially like the light encountered at different locations.” Where is the most beautiful light to be seen? According to the artist, in Patagonia and Antarctica. But then there is the way the light slices across the Tetons in Wyoming; through rivers and canyons from Yellowstone to the Rio Grande; and in the artist’s own backyard in Evergreen (as shown in DAWN IN THE FOREST).
For that piece, Dunn says, “The sun was just rising over a ridge, and the very first rays of light are shining into the winter forest. It’s a good example of how these beautiful moments are fleeting, and then they’re gone.”
Gallery director Doug Kacena says this notion runs throughout the series. “Dunn reminds the viewer of the impermanence of his subject matter,” Kacena says. “His subtle works incorporate a technique of glazes and layering to truly capture the soft, transient glow of light.”
Reflected light, as seen in COLD CLEAR WATER, is just one of the myriad effects he accomplishes through glazing, and not solely for visual enchantment. “I like to paint in transparent layers so that you can see below the surface. I want the viewer to be able to experience the light reflecting off objects below the water,” says Dunn. —Jessica Canterbury
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