POSTED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2010:
A Different View
Grothaus provides a new way of examining Tulsa's cityscape
Art in the City. Grothaus’ work is an innovative and abstract reinterpretation of the city of Tulsa as seen from an aerial viewpoint. The source materials used to create her mixed-media works are varied and include plastics, drafting film, acrylic paint, cut media, leaves and even repurposed electronics.
FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL COOPER
Continued enthusiasm for the development and expansion of the Brady Arts District is felt by Tulsans across the city. From artists eagerly awaiting new and improved spaces to create and exhibit their work, to those who support Tulsa's efforts to establish itself as a city with a thriving arts scene, the ongoing expansion of the Brady District is a welcome change by all.
Coincidentally, in tune with the city's plan to liven the heartbeat of its artistic community is the Tulsa Artist Coalition's November exhibition, Grid | Swell, by local artist Grace Grothaus. The show opened on Friday, Nov. 5 and will continue through Nov. 27.
Forever inspired by the grid-like structure of the Midwestern cityscape, Grothaus' work is an innovative and abstract reinterpretation of the city of Tulsa as seen from an aerial viewpoint. The source materials used to create her mixed-media works are varied and include plastics, drafting film, acrylic paint, cut media, leaves and even repurposed electronics. Many of her pieces are backlit as well, which only enhances the sense of depth within her work.
Grid | Swell will feature close to a dozen works from her Tulsa series made throughout the past two years. The exhibition will be hung around several large key works with a number of smaller pieces measuring at seven inches by seven inches. Though they are on a different scale, the smaller works reveal expansive aerial views of Tulsa and give Grothaus a chance to work in great detail. The variety of size will also offer varied price points making for an affordable show.
Not a newcomer to Oklahoma's art scene, Grothaus was selected as a featured artist for the Oklahoma Visual Artist Coalition's Art 365 exhibition, which will open in March at Oklahoma's City's [Art Space] at Untitled Gallery. Her work for Art 365 will be constructed from a similar palette of source material to create visual reinterpretations of Oklahoma's landscape. The subject matter of these works, however, is expanded to analyze all of Oklahoma where as her work for Grid | Swell is derived exclusively from images and inspirations of Tulsa.
Her exhibition at the TAC will be the first time Grothaus shows this Tulsa series together in its entirety and its convenient juxtaposition with the Brady District makes an inspiring and energetic exhibition that exposes Tulsa as a city with a promising future.
In addition to preparing work for Grid | Swell, and various shows across the state such as Art 365, Grothaus also works as the Education Assistant for Philbrook Museum and chaired October's Momentum Tulsa 2010. To add to her impressive resume of artistic accomplishments, Grothaus has recently been kept busy pressing through the selection process for Bravo's new TV Series Work of Art: Next Great Artist. The show is a reality competition show in which talented artists compete for a solo show at a prominent Brooklyn Gallery and $100,000.
Grothaus was nominated by OVAC to participate in a casting call at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and so far has moved on through the selection process as a semi-finalist with a number of other hopefuls across the country -- including a handful from Oklahoma. The finalists who will travel to Los Angeles for a final selection process will be announced early next year.
Out of the Brady District and onto trendy Brookside, the work of Tulsa born artist John Brainard will open at Aberson Exhibits on Thursday, Nov. 11 from 6-8pm and will continue through Dec. 4.
Brainard graduated from the University of Tulsa in 1976 before moving to New York City for 30 years to work as a freelance illustrator-turned-graphics-art-director for NBC. Through the years Brainard had a number of opportunities to visit Paris and six years ago he relocated to the City of Lights to continue his career as an artist.
Brainard's work is comprised of abstract pieces collages that invite acrylic paint, photography and found assemblage objects into their surfaces. Brainard was deeply inspired by his surroundings for an extensive series of small works titled Les Reves du Balayeur (The Streetsweeper's Dreams).
To make these pieces, Brainard shoots his own digital photographs of antique or distressed walls and prints them on heavy watercolor paper. His next step is to mount the paper on aluminum to give the pieces a rigid and strong base. After preparing his surface, Brainard is free to manipulate the photograph with paint, collage and assemblage objects found on the streets of Paris. In the exhibition at Abersons, Brainard will feature 28 of these small collages, each measuring 13 inches by 17 inches.
Also in the exhibition, Brainard will show a series of much larger abstract collage paintings also inspired by his surroundings in Paris.
One consistent source of inspiration the city offers him are the swirling shapes of the rod iron railings that line the rooftops and balconies of Paris. Brainard has been implementing this feminine curve into much of his work since 2001 when it began speaking to him as an interesting shape. The graceful sensuality of these curving lines are well complemented in Brainard's paintings by the distressed elements of collages he also incorporates into these larger works.
While his works read as abstract, for Brainard there are narrative threads that inspire the continued production of his work. "My work is my visual response to the world," Brainard said. Through his work he is not attempting to tell literal stories, rather imply feeling inspired by his surroundings.
More information is available at abersonexhibits.com.
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A33541