By Sarah Gianelli EBS Associate Editor
The Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture ushers in two new exhibits in September beginning on the first of the month with “Cut Loose: the Ramblings of a Meticulously Unrestrained Soul,” a series of acrylic, oil and watercolor paintings by Bozeman artist Anne KM Ross.
A self-proclaimed “recovering perfectionist-procrastinator and urban homesteader,” Ross transforms “light bulb moments” into complex pseudo-abstract works of art. Her pieces have a dreamlike quality while remaining recognizable enough for the viewer to discern the visual narrative they also contain.
Emerging from a past of stifling, self-imposed rigidity in her art, she now plays with the duality of tight control and unrestrained, free-spirited work. “Cut Loose” aims to find the middle ground between unleashed spontaneity and calculated, meticulous efforts. Ross’ process entails precision-oriented preparation, a mapping and shaping of the canvas, and before any piece is complete, simple physics is given free reign. During this stage, Ross becomes a curious observer of the dripping, swirling paint, and nothing can qualify as a mistake.
Aspects of the work that were carefully painted are often lost or obscured, but to Ross, this changes her work for the better. The artist says it opens doors via new shapes and themes that emerge, adding layers for deeper contemplation, and allowing her to resolve the piece in her mind more masterfully than was possible before.
Over the years, Ross has discovered that obsessively fixing and perfecting her art results in overworked pieces, which tend to be stagnant rather than energetic. For Ross, this is a profound metaphor for life. Her passion for art is fueled by finding new fascinating painted effects—whether sprayed, squeezed, carved, or brushed on, each approach provides a different tactile experience, which for Ross equates to a new discovery to be made.
Ross’ work will be on display in The Emerson’s Weaver Gallery through Nov. 17.
On Friday Sept. 8, a new glass exhibit featuring the work of Tad Bradley will open in The Emerson’s Jessie Wilber and Lobby Galleries. “Biological Explorations” is a series based on the artist’s fascination with the human body and the complexities found outside and within. The work draws from the modern-day imaging that allows us to see inside the body, as well as the senses we use to understand our external environment, and in doing so reveals the microcosm and the macrocosm, and the different scales of exploration therein.
Bradley plays with these ideas as well as hyperrealism with his rendition of eye charts which far outsize what you would find in an optometrist’s office. On the other hand, the plates that make up the “Rorschach Revisited” series are to exact scale as the original plates first printed in 1921 that inspired the series.
Although Bradley’s background is in architecture, the artist says he sees striking similarities between the human body and a building or work of art or architecture. “The body needs to have alignment, balance and precision…a building demands the same,” he writes. “Art allows exploration of any subject matter within any medium…architecture is simply at a different and habitable scale.”
For Bradley, glass invites viewers into its depths, and in doing so, encourages exploration and analysis. “One of my goals in creating this work was to analyze how we as humans experience the world, interact with one another, and stand alone as individuals,” Bradley writes. “I hope that the work creates curiosity, questions and conversation.”
“Biological Explorations” will be on display through Nov. 26.
An opening reception for both exhibits will be held during Art Walk on Friday, Sept. 8, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Visit theemerson.org for more information
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