Santa Fe, NM, June 26-July 9
Marshall Noice is drawn to beautiful places like lightning to a mountaintop. He finds it difficult to explain why one location attracts him more than another—sometimes it’s the quality of light falling on the land, the juxtaposition of colors, or a particular grouping of shapes. But when a scene strikes an emotional chord, Noice cannot rest until he’s captured it in oils or pastels in his own inimitable style. “My paintings are not concerned with a precise rendering of a particular scene,” he says, “but are a simplified, abstract exploration of what I see. My goal is to capture the subject’s line, shape, color, and form in a simple and direct manner.”
Forty paintings, about 30 in oil on canvas and 10 in pastel on handmade paper, are presented at Waxlander Art Gallery this month in Noice’s one-man show, New Horizons, which opens with an artist’s reception on Friday, June 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. The new body of work features depictions of Montana and New Mexico landscapes and continues the artist’s longstanding tradition of creating bold, color-saturated renderings of the natural world. His work is all about relationships—one color next to another, patterns of shapes. The paintings in this exhibition push further into abstract territory than previous work as Noice strives to reduce nature’s majesty to its essential elements. Using an increasingly simplified palette, he invites viewers to share experiences he’s gathered through decades of outdoor observation and to arrive at a fresh appreciation of the land.
Since the late 1970s, Noice has been immersed in a professional art career. He attended the University of Montana, taking primarily art classes. But, he says, it was when he was fortunate enough to spend time as an assistant at Ansel Adams’ workshops in Carmel, CA, that he learned almost everything he knows about light, composition, and the landscape. “I learned about making photographs filled with a sense of light,” he says, “and I became aware that an area of great contrast in a composition draws the viewer’s eye first.” Noice went on to study photography at Canada’s well-regarded Banff Centre, followed by a 23-year career in commercial photography.
Throughout his photography career, Noice also painted in his own studio, “simply for the joy of it.” In 1996, he turned full time to creating fine art. So many years of viewing the landscape through a camera lens, shooting black-and-white film, has fueled his love affair with color. “It’s instinctive, a homecoming of sorts,” he says, “my natural habitat.”
Bonnie French, director of Waxlander Art Gallery, says Noice is a favorite among collectors. “The Montana landscape holds a special place in Marshall’s heart. He has an amazing feel for the changes in the trees as they move from season to season, from day into night. The subject matter in New Horizons will represent these changes and more. He’s always experimenting and growing, and we know he will surprise and delight us once again, producing pieces unlike anything we’ve previously seen. His artworks are powerful, with strong compositions and color—they make dramatic statements in any setting.” —Rosemary Carstens
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