Current Exhibitions

Clay Vorhes: Trapeze Paintings

January 16 through March 6

"These paintings are about the contradictions of history in painting. I am attempting to use as much variety as possible in their creation. The best paintings through time utilize an “opposites attract” principle in regards to the notions of the extreme and I am trying to mimic that concept.

Although objective in appearance regarding the figures, I try to incorporate as much abstraction as I can. The blending of objective and non-objective elements in a single painting is something that fascinates me. As such, I try to pursue that end as far as possible and still produce a credible work. I see lots of abstract elements in everyday life. Diebenkorn’s search for the abstract in reality is something that occupied him and I try to adopt his philosophy. Elmer Bischoff did the same, albeit from a different perspective.

I try to infuse as much color as possible and still make my work plausible. The variety of color and texture is something I admire in the work of the Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, Fauves and especially the California Bay Area Figurative painters. I look to them for guidance...I want my paintings to look like paintings, not taxidermy.

One goal of the Trapeze series is to explore all of the possibilities of painting. The use of multiple, complex planes intrigues me and I try to work with as many planes as possible. Incorporating Cezanne’s use of the picture plane is illuminating. Multiple vantage points, viewpoints, sizes and scales are many of the elementals I wish to explore…much like Thiebaud does in his Sacramento Valley landscape works. At the same time, I am trying to flatten the picture plane, much like Matisse.

Besides the above mentioned, my influences for this series are de Kooning and the Abstract Expressionist painters for their immediacy and aggressive paint handling. I also reference the Cubists Picasso and Braque with their pursuit of multiple viewpoints and M.C. Escher’s stairwell works. The structural components of the Bay Area Figurative paintings are something I aspire to. Bonnard is referenced for his use of color and inner radiance. Kandinsky has inadvertently snuck in with his use of a basic line developing into complex planes. The figures are inspired by the Impressionists and Bay Area Figurative painters, as well as Vuillard, Hopper, and de Kooning.

On an emotional level, these works are about life. The tightrope we all walk irrespective of age, race, creed, religion, economics and everything in between. While painting these works, I experience the fun and elation of success, the bitter agony of defeat, the fear of failure and the reality of failing. Getting up and trying it all over again, accompanied by the joys and horrors of the living experience. I hope the viewer will experience the butterflies in our stomach before that and all of the stresses…the good and bad in between. I hope the works reveal all of the experiences of humanity…that which makes us who and what we are."

Lou Bermingham
Into the Deep: Visions of Infinity
January 9 through February 21

After years of creating paintings, drawings, architectural glass panels, and installations, Lou Bermingham had a dream in which he saw over 200 images flashing across his dreaming memory. When he woke up he painted the first one he could remember and
have been influenced by this vision ever since. His artwork is therefore influenced by dreams, Aikido training, Egyptian, Asian, and Tribal artwork, and natural imagery found while exploring caves. For this exhibition his abstract visions link to the ancient gods Isis, Osiris, and Athena and their visual rhythms and esoteric motifs. He believes art making is an alchemical process which allows the artist to transform base visions into vital energy needed for the rebalancing of ourselves, our consciousness, and our world.

Mary Louise Anderson: Spontaneity, Harmony & Peace
January 16 through February 28

Mary Louise Anderson sees, appreciates and translates the environment around us through watercolor, oil and mixed media. She draws inspriration from North Coast Rivers, beaches and forests.

Humboldt Arts Council Permanent Collection Gallery

View changing selections from the HAC Permanent Collection including works by Morris Graves, Romano Gabriel, Melvin Schuler, Bruno Groth and Glenn Berry.