Contemporary Cape Cod Artists Book Review - A Beautiful Display of Conceptual Art

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Contemporary Cape Cod Artists on Abstraction, from Deborah Forman and Schiffer Books, presents forty-five Cape Cod Artists, who provide a varied range of interpretation and application of abstraction, the concept of canvas, and the inspiration that motivates.

 

Forman, an art expert who over the last forty years has spent countless hours interviewing the scores of artists who make Cape Cod their home, narrowed the focus as she has in previous books and chose artists dedicated to the art of abstraction, with its many interpretations and applications and dedicating pages of this specialty book to highlight their work, inspiration and finished product.

In her introduction, Forman explains the concept of abstraction, which in reality should be without boundaries, and yet as she states, "Looking for something familiar, something they can latch onto, some people have difficulty with abstract art. They prefer images that evoke a reality for them, a figure, a still life, a landscape. We are so visually grounded to the life around us that we look for it in a piece of art as well. Many find comfort in identifying an object or person they can relate to."

Which, of course, is the reason many pause with a simple passing curiosity over the peculiarities that compose Abstract art. The idea of subjectivity, that in and of itself, can be unnerving much like encouraging child to color outside the lines.

Digital photography, a collage of metal teethed wheels, rotating counterclockwise, a canvass of dripping colors, each blending into the other, intricate geometric multi-colored designs, the application of abstraction can be seen in a myriad of designs.

Contemporary Cape Cod Artists brings to the pages forty-five of these artists who don't see a traditional canvas necessary in order to create the abstraction art. Looking through the 208 pages, which provide more than 400 examples of abstraction, it becomes obvious that like beauty, abstraction art is in the eye of the beholder.

Grouping artists together under the inspiration that motivate them. Sections include: A World of Differences, Blooming Colors, Space Travel, A Multitude of Directions, Focus on Form, Nature's Many Moods, Going with the Flow, A Brush with Life, and Moving On.

Artists include James Balla, Willima Hemmerdinger, Grace Hopkins, Duoling Huang, Vicky Tomayko, Michelle Weinberg, Howard E. Barnes, Kate Nelson, Erna Partoll, Betty Carmell Savenor, Michael Carroll, Peter Macara, Carol Odell, Sara David Ringler, Milisa Galazzi, Jane Lincoln, Duane Slick, Helen Miranda Wilson, George Xoing, Bailey Bob Bailey, Naomi Marks Cohan, James Doherty, Tom Odell, Anna Poor, Mike Wright, Jen Bradley, Ernie Bynum, Joerg Dressler, Elizabeth Embler, Joyce Utting Schutter, Luanne E. Witkowski, Barbara E. Cohen, Marty Davis, Irene Lipton, Sarah Lutz, James Musto, Kathleen Sidwell, Sarah Dineen, Betty Carroll Fuller, Bao Lede, James Wolf, Michael Giaquinto, Gina Kamentsky and Jan Lhormer.

An introduction accompanies each of the artist, which provides personal insight into their own art history, how this passion overtook them, background, and a brief review of the artists own application of abstraction.

Some of the work presented doesn't fit the modernists imagined definition of abstraction, a undefinable, nontraditional and for canvas works, no realized form. And yet what is presented defies that concept. Varied interpretations, some with no form other with clear defined boundaries which doesn't seem to fit the concept of abstraction, or at least the narrow interpretation of "abstract."

The genre it seems has an interpretation within an interpretation, much like the Russian Nesting dolls, all are dolls and yet each is different even as each is the same.

Thumbing through the gallery of artists displayed many works jump off the pages including Erna Partoll's ink drawings, a collection of vivid, eye-popping colors, sectioned under Blooming Colors, that may be easily interpreted.

 

In Focus on Form Bailey Bob Bailey uses acrylic on panels, woods, plastics and aluminum tape to presents his interpretation of Abstract art.

Mike Wright, who also is sectioned under Focus on Form, uses painted wood and implements a color palette that would seem to be derived from the local surroundings, the blue of the sea and sky, the fire red of a summer sunset, golden yellow, orange and blue representing any summer day. The symmetry of the work is meant to invoke a calm, much like island life.

Nature's Many Moods presents the work of Luanne Witkowski, who admits her work "is grounded in landscape." Utilizing mixed media she creates seascapes, and as nature can bring all four seasons in one day, the seven pieces represent the seasons of Cape Cod.

The eight pieces provided by Barbara Cohen, who is sectioned under Going with the Flow, utilize an wide use of modern concepts to create her art. Neon lights and oil on sailcloth are featured with neon lights represented through photography and the oil paintings are the interpretation of the neon lights.

A Brush with Life includes the artist James Wolf who sees a traditional canvas with undefinable expression. The eight pieces chosen show a variety of watercolors on paper each with as he says "I'm influenced by too many things." His work, The Conscious Rhythm of My Thoughts, from 2012 shows the truth of that statement as the canvas, different palettes, with small uncolored pauses, black streaks of mental deletions, defined, without real definition, the rhythm, the movement of thought as the world of messaging passes through the light source daily.

Contemporary Cape Cod Artists on Abstraction is the third in a trilogy by Deborah Forman with Contemporary Cape Cod Artists: Images of Land and Sea, and Contemporary Cape Cod Artists: Images of People and Places the first two. She is also the author of Perspectives on the Provincetown Art Colony.

Contemporary Cape Cod Artists on Abstraction, originally published in 2015, is available through SchifferBooks and at fine book store everywhere.

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