Drawing is a means by which many artists come by their ideas. Indianapolis-based artist Greg Hull, who is known for his conceptual sculptures and installations, may or may not derive his three-dimensional inspirations from the two-dimensional sketch; but certainly, he possesses the ability, that of rendering everyday objects and scenes with facility and skill.
Work by Greg Hull is on exhibit at 4 Star Gallery.
The long-anticipated exhibition of Hull's work, on view through March at 4 Star Gallery, is of a more traditional variety. I, admittedly, expected something monumental - Hull, after all, is an artist who knows how to turn bridges into works of light-filled art. His "Aurora" project spanned the periphery of the Indianapolis Museum of Art's rooftop, and he once installed gently flapping umbrellas at 4 Star Gallery. So it came as somewhat of a surprise to see a roomful of graphite drawings when I entered 4 Star Gallery this time around.
Hull's exhibition of graphite drawings based on sketches and photographs made during the artist's visits to Scotland and Ireland, funded by a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council, is cleverly titled Constellations. His "Tintern Abby," much like his "Finnaphort," is a fine architectural landscape. His "Standing Stones" series, on the other hand, is more fluid and yet possesses the same concreteness: These are most definitely stones.
But Hull is more playful and mysterious with images that hone in on a particular detail of a place: "Isle of Skye," for example, would appear to be a mossy moor of piled stones as nearly abstracted forms. "Irish Sea," on the other hand, could be viewed more directly as an abstraction. With no grounding shoreline, the water lightly breaks, creating a lovely tension between realism and the play of spontaneous lines. We know what this is but we don't need to. "Laying of Stones" is abstracted as well, but more mysterious: A dense, dark foreground gives no clues as to what begets this darkness, while behind it is a bank of stones. One can see, even here, the artist's desire to move beyond known realms and challenge our conceptions. Certainly Greg Hull has earned his conceptual place.
Constellations, drawings by Greg Hull, is on view through March at 4 Star Gallery, 653 Massachusetts Ave., 686-6382.