Sunday, August 18, 2019

Rhythm and Light at Wilder Nightingale

Ebb and flow
Wagon  Ruts

When Peggy and I sat down with Rob Nightingale to plan our third two person show at Wilder Nightingale Fine Art we had no particular theme in mind and hoped something would pop up as we tossed ideas around. The only thing I knew for sure is that I didn't want to be bound by subject matter or geography. Couldn't do that if I tried this year. Peggy on the other hand would be showing work with a decidedly southwestern bent and a strong emphasis on New Mexico. How to reconcile those countervailing approaches was a challenge. But as the sage once said, "If you can't rationalize it dazzle them with baloney." And that, dear friends, is where I shine.

The only givens were that we would both show a dozen or so new works and that they can't have been shown before. And mine would all be toned black and white for which I am entirely unknown. Already you can tell I'm writing in my wise ass voice.

The conversation meandered on and all I wanted was no boundaries. Finally, Rob asked, "What should we call the show." We agreed that the title would begin with Immel + Immel like the ones in 2015 and 2017. Then it dawned on us that this was becoming a biannual affair and maybe we were developing an Immel + Immel brand. One hopes. The inaugural event in 2015 was called Immel + Immel "Monument" to celebrate the designation of the new Rio Grande del Norte National Monument which wraps around Taos from the Orilla Verde on the Rio Grande on the south and west and north to the Colorado border and east to the John Dunn Bridge in Arroyo Hondo.

The 2017 soiree was Immel + Immel "Our New Mexico." I'm guessing that was about the Land of Enchantment.

Guardian of Santa Barbara

Which leads us to Immel + Immel "Rhythm and Light." What does that even mean? Got no clue. Rob and I just thought it sounded cool. One can weave a narrative that Rhythm and Light refers to the patterns, flow and energy that are part of any successful painting or photograph. And that the juxtaposition of light and dark provide the key shapes and the inherent design of the art. If that's too much artspeak for you, too bad. Or as Peggy writes, "We wanted to have the work relate but not necessarily in terms of subject matter." She adds, "We are both taken with the effect of light on our subjects in terms of color, values, key and design relationships. Both of us feel that the mood of the piece is determined by the qualities of the light."

Fall on the Cimarron

"Whether in nature as exemplified by rows of crops in a pasture, trees on a mountainside or the facade of a building punctuated by doors and windows, patterns and rhythm create compositional interest."

Whew. She's even better at tripping the light fantastic than I am.

According to Peggy she's been working in small series of three or four paintings that might be subject oriented or might be about color and design. She may explore a color theme like a complimentary purple-yellow scheme in several pieces, for example. But her work continues to be of the Southwest and especially near home in Taos. She is particularly interested in the relationship of man to nature and is known for her mastery of architecture in the landscape. Recently much of her work has focused on the sky, clouds and the light patterns that the sun creates in the clouds. That's evident in Ebb and Flow, Guardian of Santa Barbara and Solitude shown here.

Clarkdale Store
Water Wagon

My interests hew in that direction, too. I am drawn to vestiges of man's fleeting presence in the natural world. The abandoned and forgotten resonate with me. Always have. There's a sweet melancholy to it. In this show there are examples of that kind of landscape photography but also street photography that intersects with environmental portraiture. And, finally, there's some more experimental work that's more abstracted and that employs darker tones, vignetting and applied blur. I'm fascinated by the the ethereal and timeless look this creates. Water Wagon above is an example of that new direction. From this series will be a cluster of 4"x6" prints matted and framed to 8"x10."

All of my photographs will be black and white. That's been my playground for more than fifty years.

Immel + Immel: Rhythm and Light opens on Friday, August 23 and runs through September 15. The opening reception will be held from 5pm to 7pm, Saturday, August 31. We hope to see you there.


Blacks Crossing said...

Rhythm and Light will be your best show yet, Steve Immel, and it will be great to see your work as well as Peggy's incredible paintings in the flesh on 31 August. Every artist and architect fully understands how light influences their work, and how rhythm creates drama and movement. Light varies from place to place and season to season, and you both use it to great effect.

Terry T. said...

Wow, should be a winner of a show as always. We’ll be there.