Santa Fe, NM
Waxlander Gallery, June 24-July 7
This story was featured in the June 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art June 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
If you attend the June 27 opening reception for Seasons of Color, Marshall Noice’s annual one-man show at Waxlander Gallery on Canyon Road, you may be surprised when a genially earnest gentleman approaches you as you regard one of the many oils on display. “Can you tell me, in just a few words, how that painting makes you feel?” he’ll likely ask, genuinely interested to hear what you have to say. And, just like that, you’ll have met the painter himself. “I haven’t done anything like that before,” says Noice, with a modest laugh, of the conversational gambit he’s been planning. “But I’m going to. I’ve actually been rehearsing.”
Noice has good reason to be curious. Already a widely respected and avidly collected painter of loosely rendered landscapes in vibrant, saturated tones, he has departed significantly from his usual approach to color during the eight or so months he’s been working on this show in his studio in Kalispell, MT—although, adds gallery director Bonnie French, “the essence of Marshall is still there” in these new works.
Indeed, so distinctive is Noice’s style, the canvases couldn’t be mistaken for the work of anyone else. But, the 62-year-old artist explains, “I’m digging deeper, trying to determine how I feel about one particular color in relation to another, especially one adjacent to it on the color wheel.” Those adjacent combinations of hues, such as red and red-orange or blue and blue-violet, which are technically termed analogous colors, are generally thought by theoreticians to produce monochromatic-feeling images. They supposedly lack the harmony of paintings featuring complementary combinations of colors opposite each other on the wheel, like green and red or blue and orange. But by “pushing the chroma”—the intensity—of his paints, Noice finds himself plumbing depths of emotion the likes of which he’s never experienced before.
His RIVERSIDE SHADOWS, for example, orchestrates shades of deep blue with blue-violet and violet in portraying a stand of trees through which a pale blue-white stream is glimpsed. Overall, the effect is deeply peaceful—apart from subtle notes of red-violet in the undergrowth that introduce, says Noice, “just a hint of tension that keeps the painting from becoming too easy.”
By contrast, DEEPER SKY joins up two adjacent pairs of analogous colors—red and red-orange, and violet and blue- violet—to blazing, startling effect. “This one makes me feel excited and energized,” says Noice. “It’s like a shot of visual espresso.”
Indeed, these works are electrifying for both the artist and his audience. Their color saturation and abstracted imagery often make an emotional impact on the viewer well before the imagery itself fully becomes clear. “I’ve been pushing myself to create images that are closer to pure abstraction, where references to the landscape become more obscure,” sums up Noice. “Everything else that is going on in the painting now competes for dominance with the subject matter.”
That kind of questing, questioning spirit, combined with his innate talent and decades of experience, continues to excite Noice’s collectors, and French expects an enthusiastic turnout for the first-night reception, which is open to all. “Many come into town for this show, knowing it’s the same time every year,” she says. “It’s a big party any time Marshall is here.” —Norman Kolpas
Featured in the June 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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