Phil Gallagher Exhibit, October 2014

Posted on November 9th, 2014

     It has been fascinating to watch the progression of Phil Gallagher's artwork at Main Street
Artists Gallery over the last five years: from symbolic Hawaiian petroglyphs to abstract
segmented color fields to stylized Porsche engines to metal sculptures of animals and
torsos.  The upcoming October show, however, goes in a totally new direction that is a
challenge to categorize.
 
     Some of the works are quite large, others long and narrow but all are detailed in a 
surrealistic fashion that requires study and exploration.  This leads to the discovery of
surprising figures, organic elements and a tumultuous sense of movement portending
either chaos, hallucination or some impending apocalypse.
 
     The viewer can find faces, torsos, airplanes, tunnels, tiny plant-like objects, organic
elements all swirling in a tornado of energy and in rich swaths of brilliant color.  It is
tempting to create one's own story from this soup of organic symbols, giving reign to
the subconscious and finding narratives in these dense compositions.
 
     The artist calls this new style "gesture drawing" - where figures simply happen without
forethought.  They may be recognizable or not and are open to multiple and constantly
changing interpretations.  
 
     Also featured in this show is the somewhat simpler triptych from which the current 
larger, more complex, pieces evolved, culminating in what the artist calls "a new direction
with punch" : organic, random, like nature, yet with an underlying order.  
 
     Unlike traditional landscapes or figure drawings, Phil's new work stretches the
boundaries and blazes fresh trails in combining both figurative and abstract art
resulting in these extraordinary pieces that lend themselves to careful study and are
sure to leave the viewer in awe.  They are a testament to the artist's creativity and his
tireless exploration of new and unique ideas.
 
     Also appearing in October were works by Chicago artist Jaroslava Kuchma, returning to
MSA with a striking display of photos re-purposed through the use of string and pattern
weave structure, an unconventional art form.
 
     Finally,  in observance of Halloween, Trish Atiken from Genessee will present her assemblage of handmade and very fanciful hats.
 
The opening  was held Friday, October 3 from 5-7 PM.  Complimentary wine and
appetizers served, as always.


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