These Elegies runs from May 4 through May 28
The paintings of Michael McDowell will be featured this month at Fig Tree Gallery in the exhibit entitled, “These Elegies.” The show will open at Art Hop from 5:00 to 8:00PM on Thursday, May 4th. Additionally, there will a musical performance by the Youth Orchestras of Fresno at the Art Hop event.
Definition of Elegy, according to Merriam-Webster (Plural: Elegies)
1: a poem in elegiac couplets
2 a: a song or poem expressing sorrow or lamentation especially for one who is dead
b: something (as a speech) resembling such a song or poem
3 a: a pensive or reflective poem that is usually nostalgic or melancholy
b: a short pensive musical composition
The majority of the paintings in this group contain visual elements of the elegy. I like the idea that mourning &/or sorrow can be poetically synthesized to create something positive. This seems to be one the beneficial and therapeutic aspects of the creative process.
It interests me that paint can be applied in a series of layers similar to layers of skin, where the build-up of paint often resembles a wound. In some way this becomes part of the content of the painting, a sense of catharsis &/or “healing.”
The symbols integrated into these paintings have been generated with specific purpose. My hope is that they reveal themselves to the engaged viewer.
Written text is included in some cases to serve as a replacement for visual symbols, as I enjoy the contrast between visual and written material. I find this interplay to be stimulating to both left and right hemispheres of the brain.