lowder, part one | PART TWO
(1944 - )
Watercolor on paper under beeswax mounted on wood panels
80 in. x 88 in. (203.2 cm x 223.52 cm)
Signed and dated, upper right, verso: "Ray Kass 1997-'98"
Gift of Howard and Christina Risatti
The assemblage "Borrowed View" exemplifies the artist’s practice of making polyptychs composed of individual drawings made from nature. He often first draws on panels of glass or plastic, and thereby identifies the forms, patterns, and contrasts of dark and light shapes that he will eventually paint onto individual sheets of mulberry paper. In his studio, he finalizes the painting’s format and assembles the finished composition from the elements he has created. He seals the surface with beeswax, which acts as both a protective shield and a modifier, blending the painted images and imparting a rich, smoky character overall.
American Paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, cat. no. 104, p. 240.
(1939 - )
Oil on canvas
83 1/8 in. x 55 1/4 in. (211.14 cm x 140.34 cm)
Signed and dated, lower right: "david parrish 81"
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase
David Parrish’s work is related to Photo-Realism, but it can more accurately be described as photographically derived, that is, suggested by photographs taken by the artist. Whereas painters have traditionally used drawing to create compositional studies, Parrish uses photography, experimenting with the camera to find the right balance of elements.
Parrish attended the University of Alabama, graduating with a BFA. In 1961 he went to New York City, later returning to Alabama to live in Huntsville, where he worked as a technical illustrator for NASA. In this capacity, he grew accustomed to depicting industrial and aeronautical machinery. In the 1970s, he began to apply his expert draftsmanship in his personal work, painting highly detailed images of motorcycles.
Parrish made "Royal Chevy" by projecting a color slide onto a canvas and lightly sketching the composition in pencil. Using this sketch as a guide, he elaborated upon the composition, applying oil paints with a fine tipped sable-hair brush.
(Appleton, Minnesota, 1944 - 2002)
Requiem for a Planet, to Moran and Hopper
Oil on canvas, steel
40 in. x 90 in. (101.6 cm x 228.6 cm)
Monogrammed, lower right: "DB"
Gift of the artist
For artist David Bierk, paintings of the past had a specific resonance within contemporary culture, and he quoted historical images in his own work to address the larger human condition in the present day. Bierk's "quotations" of imagery from the Old Masters are reprised originals of a different character. With vigorous brushwork and layers of glaze, he intensified the images and gave them a new existence.
In 2000 Bierk created "Requiem for a Planet, To Moran and Hopper" specifically for The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, referring to two paintings in the museum’s collection: "Dusk Wings", by Thomas Moran and "New York Office", by Edward Hopper. These works, created about one hundred years apart, are iconic depictions of the American landscape, one rural and bucolic, the other urbanized. Bierk physically separated Moran’s pure landscape from Hopper’s city scene by surrounding the earlier work with wide, dark, steel plates, which provide a rich setting for the glowing beauty of nature. This is the world made anew each day, pristine and unspoiled by man and his needs. Hopper’s image, on the right, has no such literal framing element, but in a sense, as Bierk revealed, the built environment of office window and street isolates the female figure like a confining frame. The painting’s title, "Requiem for a Planet", further explicates Bierk’s theme. There is danger in overtaxing the resources of nature, he implied; to do so is to compromise its ability to support our very lives. The melancholy image of the woman behind the window resonates with our own feelings of loss and disconnection from a natural world that is slowly devolving into oblivion.
American Paintings from the Montgomery Musuem of Fine Arts, cat. no. 103, p. 238.