Author Terry Tempest Williams once said, “A shadow is never created in darkness. It is born of light.” The same could be said of the work of Kim English and Lane Hall, two artists with an exceptional understanding of how to interpret light and shadow to illuminate their subject matter. From scenes of world travels to the high desert’s spare beauty, the art they present this month at Total Arts Gallery provides a feast for the eyes.
Lane Hall has been known for his award-winning watercolors for decades. When he began experimenting with other media, he discovered the visual power of using black graphite on gessoed board with occasional watercolor or colored graphite enhancements. His 12 works in this show reveal an intensification of his unique style—sharper contrasts and bolder strokes. Evocative as a Zen master’s haiku, Hall’s imagery conveys the essence of an experience of nature as it subliminally links to the human condition. Each piece compels the viewer to linger.
The artist’s work requires a close reading of the landscape’s abstract shapes and harsh light. Its seemingly simple components at first may appear featureless, but the longer one gazes, the more is revealed—subtle variations in texture and color, the stark juxtaposition of jagged rock and rugged terrain against infinite sky. “Shadows are particularly fascinating and mysterious,” Hall says. “They contain an infinite range of values.”
Hall’s new style speaks to a multitude of tastes. It is traditional yet contemporary, realistic yet impressionistic, simple yet complex—blended together for a distinctive, compelling result.” — Rosemary Carstens