Santa Fe, NM
Waxlander Gallery, June 21-July 4
This story was featured in the June 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art June 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.
How fitting that Marshall Noice’s solo exhibition entitled Beneath the Sky opens on the first day of summer. His annual show at Waxlander Gallery, which includes an artist’s reception on Friday, June 24, from 5 to 8 p.m., features nearly 40 pieces that, like the season’s long days of light, are saturated with vivid color and luster.
The show’s title speaks to Noice’s plein-air process of creating small pastel sketches on-site in the open air, under the bright blue dome. But, Noice confesses, “Creating a literal translation of what I see is not a high priority.” Rather, his primary interest abides in interpreting a scene and the emotions it evokes, not the limiting need to render a particular landscape in painstakingly accurate detail.
“I’m interested in seeing if the first thing a viewer notices are contrasts, light against dark, thick against thin,” Noice continues, “and, after viewing for a while, which references to landscape may emerge from the more painterly qualities. I want the abstraction and representation to be on equal footing with each other.” The artist’s most recent paintings explore familiar subjects, with his much-loved terrain and trees of New Mexico, Montana, and Colorado taking center stage. Yet, this movement by Noice toward a greater dissolution of form is what viewers may notice most in his newest body of work. For the first time, he also displays a few monotypes—
essentially, unique printed paintings. “The process is difficult to control,” explains Noice, “and the finished pieces allow for even greater abstraction.” Fans of his pastel sketches find a number of significantly larger pieces, some as big as 5 by 8 feet, employing this medium.
The bold new direction these latest works showcase particularly delights Bonnie French, Waxlander’s longtime director. “The paintings and technique are more abstract but still quintessentially Noice,” she observes. And, she adds, “Marshall is like sunshine, and he makes everyone around him feel comfortable.” Indeed, the artist’s warm presence will be palpably felt both in person and on the gallery’s walls. —Lynn Dubinsky
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