Inviting in, inviting out
2 en route ...
Through Oct. 8
Karen Glanders' inward glances and Artur Silva's more externally directed ones form the dual show on view at Editions Limited. Both Indianapolis-based artists - Glanders has lived here most of her life, and Silva is from Brazil - have a solid grasp of what they're trying to do, and a decent talent in carrying it off, but the similarities end there.
Work by Artur Silva (pictured) and Karen Glanders is on view at Editions Limited.
So let's talk about Silva first. Artur Silva's paintings are responses to being in the world, in the interactive sense. His portraits of people, as he explains it, are intended "to give the viewer more deciding power over the figure." To achieve this, Silva paints his subjects as if floating in a white background, so that the context is left to the imagination - and not a distraction from individual essence. Silva adds, "The work becomes a snapshot of a person's life with little or no judgment." On an aesthetic level, Silva's figures are concise; almost, but not quite, stylized, straddling the line between caricature and realism. This minimalist approach is a unique one, and recognized as such by New American Paintings, where part of the series is featured in the August Midwest issue.
Silva also includes graphic works incorporating stenciled imagery and energetic near abstractions of figures and iconographic material. Less political than previous pieces, Silva's work is still suggestive of his sense of humor. ("Venus de Milo After Her Malpractice Lawsuit," with the chest whited out, is one such example.)
Moving on to Glanders, one has to make a leap from the intellectual curiosity that Silva's work suggests to a more introspective, feelings-based perspective. Glanders would seem to be on a path to self-discovery, which mingles nicely with a spiritual quest (they can be thought of as one and the same). Religious iconography is both obvious and subtle: In "Boat Lessons," an ethereal waterscape is punctuated by a lone red boat, floating empty in the fog, a leafless tree standing in the distance, scratched into the paint to suggest an emergence out of the ether. While one could easily read "journey to self" into this introspective piece and stop there, Glanders intends a Christian interpretation: The tree could be symbolic of Jesus, come back to watch the apostles while they fished.
The religious content, though, does not render the work inaccessible; indeed, some of our most famous works of art are religiously inspired (and even paid for by their institutional patrons). Glanders' introspection is a personal and inviting one.
New works by Artur Silva and Karen Glanders are on view at Editions Limited Gallery of Fine Art, 838 E. 65th St., through Oct. 8. Call 466-9940 for information.