Last Chance to See Defying Ordinary
This Saturday, October 18th, is the last public showing of Denying Ordinary, Paintings by Jaye Schlesinger at Art Space Vincennes, 521 Main Street, Vincennes, IN. Jaye describes her work as “photorealist” painting. Her subject matter for this show includes mostly ordinary objects.
As paintings, she regards these works as “object portraits”. When we think of a portrait, we normally think of depictions of people. The most meaningful portraits take us beyond the person at face value; they penetrate beneath the surface to the person’s inner character. In this little 12 by 12 inch gem, Jaye makes this abundantly clear. We can see each object having a completely different character. We can see different visual characteristics. The color of the match head immediately draws our attention. The grays of the roofing nail and the puzzle piece are visually heavier, creating an axis line down the center stabilizing the composition. We see in those two objects a contrast of materials, zinc coated steel and gray cardboard. The material of all the objects and their implied textures range from plastic to wood to shiny bright metallic steel and lighter aluminum and shell-like button. Their shapes are oriented with deliberately contrasting configurations that seem formal, like a carefully arranged grid of specimens in a scientific display of flowers or stones from nature. Given that the artist intends for us to notice differences in character, we can regard this as almost a study, if not a slightly humorous one. Even the square format of the painting, implies objectivity that supports this interpretation. The painting is like a low key pun that wittingly might or might not be understood by each viewer.
What all this implies is that we can regard these ordinary objects with a higher degree of consideration. From where in the world did all the materials for these things come? The wood for the match? The substances that create the flame? What chain of events, or processes made the plastic for the tab, the aluminum, the safety pin? How difficult would it be to make these objects ourselves? Such considerations alone are amazing, but the observation involved in painting these objects is also amazing. We see them jumping off the wall, and we are tempted to touch them. Yet, on very close examination, we can see brushstrokes, daubs of paint in some of the highlights and subtle mixtures of colors and tones elsewhere. Jaye leaves evidence in each painting that informs us that they have been painted, which drives home visually the notion that these images truly defy ordinary.
On Friday the Gallery will be open 12 – 5 pm; Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. If you haven’t seen this show yet, you will be glad to have stopped in to see it before it closes. If you have seen the show, come back for another look and bring a friend! We have had excellent feedback
Jaye’s paintings and an accompanying catalog are for sale. If interested in a purchase, please ask the gallery attendant. Prices are listed on sheets in Gallery 1 (labeled over the door as you enter it.)