“Riverscapes and Waterways” is currently on view at Skidmore Contemporary Art. The solo exhibition features the paintings of Clay Vorhes…his third one-person exhibition with the gallery.
Here is some info provided by the gallery:
Clay Vorhes grew up in Sacramento, surrounded by the unique landscape of the Sacramento River Delta. The land is low and wide. Various bodies of water crisscross the region, creating fascinating patterns of earth and water. From broad rivers to narrow irrigation channels, water flows over and through the land. Seen from an airplane, these patterns look like abstract drawings.
See image: Clay Vorhes, Desert Waterways, 2016, Oil on canvas, 36″ x 36″
These riverscapes were based on sketches Vorhes did in and around Sacramento, Napa and Santa Fe. They combine real and invented places. Most began with an actual location. As the painting progresses, invention takes over. Shapes assume a life of their own and line becomes lyric, poetic and free-wheeling.
These landscapes are lyric and highly musical. Vorhes explains “Music plays a big role in all my works. I always try to create tempo by thinking visually through sound. My favorite historical painters all have their own tempo. Some have a nice staccato, others a march; some very melodic and others symphonic. Some come at you like Wagner’sRide of the Valkyries, others like the Nutcracker’sDance of the Sugar Plum Fairies,and still others like the Stone’sGimme ShelterorCan’t Ya Hear Me Knocking. Music affects my compositions as well. There are elements of busy brushwork, balanced against a slow dragging brush stroke, versus the layering of thin paint glazes.” Each canvas is like an unforgettable song that lingers in your memory.
Vorhes sees himself as a romantic landscape painter, in the tradition of the 19thcentury English painters, Turner and Constable. Like Turner he is interested in a dramatic glow of light and color. From Constable he inherited a deep love for the simple beauty of our everyday world.
See image: Clay Vorhes, Golden Inlet, 2016, Oil on canvas, 24″ x 48″
As a modern painter, he was also influenced by the great tradition of abstract art. These landscapes reflect the passionate, lively brushstrokes of the Abstract Expressionists. His sense of abstract design was inspired by his long love for the California painter Richard Diebenkorn who could see the abstract in our everyday world.
On view: Dec 10 – Jan 7, 2016
What: Opening reception
Where: Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station 2525 Michigan Avenue, B-4 Santa Monica, 90404