Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Color of the Wind: Carol Dameron's "Barcelona" at the Morean Art Center.

    Carol Dameron's paintings and drawings are in the first gallery at the Morean. Most are set in what looks like Dutch landscapes, complete with luminous skies, canals and windmills. There are figures in many of them, often interacting. These are not literal representations.

Carol Dameron, "I Have Come Often to this Forest."

Carol's educational path began at the Sophie Newcomb College at Tulane University. From there to the Louvre and the Centre Americain in Paris, the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Dijon and the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. This was followed by four years of painting afield in Portugal. 

Carol Dameron, "The End of Indifference"
  In the above diptych, "The End of Indifference",  there is a house on the left, the violinist, dressed in a red robe, at his feet a blue dog rejoicing to the music (?). In the right hand frame, two girls dance, one dressed in blue, with her hair down, the other in yellow, hair in a bun. Note they are mirrored by a spectral version of themselves in the background, to the left. Are they dancing on the water? They look away from us. There are formal resonances throughout this diptych. Look just to the right of the foreground dancers. There is an "axis" with two forms, one on each side. In the background, the small and lager island. Here the figures interact.

The paintings reflect her range of experience and fluency in European Classical techniques. The show is titled "Barcelona", from time spent there. The landscapes and figures are allegorical, which Carol described to me as "a story within a story". They are from her Second Allegory Series. 

Carol Dameron, "Amsterdam"

I detected a lot of dualisms in the work exhibited. They are not isolated points of reference, nor just possible paths. but more like magnetic poles creating a tensioned field within the frame. The wind is present, and rendered visible in one way or another. It seems like a suggestion of the passage of time or the data stream.

Carol Dameron, "Sing Upward: Drone Strike Sing-Along"
In Sing Upward, we see the familiar Dutch landscape and water. On the left is the violinist, who appears in several other paintings, but here he is a wraith. We can see through his body. The foreground has a field-reversal quality to it. Most of the figures are frozen in an individual terror, mouths agape, staring at the sky. Note the figures are out of normal perspective/scale. Those in the foreground are smaller in relation to the two in the center (save for the violinist). In the upper left, the drone flies into the picture.  {Close-up below}.

Close-up, the drone.

The drone is also ghostly, spectral, crystalline, similar to a UFO.. On the ground, the people are terrorized, but they do not huddle together, let alone embrace. They suffer alone. Look along the horizon, and two trees are obviously windblown, as if by the weight of history and mortality.

Do not be concerned with "getting the story". The artist's paintings and drawings give any viewers a  core, and attractant around which they can spin stories of their own. Barcelona is an unusual show. We do not see many allegorical paintings these days, these are unusually good and technically superb.

 --- Luis

At the Morean Art Center.

1 comment:

  1. Because I'm at the Morean every Wednesday, I've had the opportunity to study and enjoy this fantastic work often. These paintings are very large and powerful, not to be missed.