Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Peter Hoffer and Patrick Adams at Gallery KH

Peter Hoffer

Patrick Adams

Peter Hoffer and Patrick Adams : “Surfaces” --Gallery KH -- through July 20

”The images I paint are observed and are meant to reveal the landscape in its essence. Yet I find that its essence can only be found, paradoxically, by revealing myself as well” So writes Kentucky artist, Patrick Adams, and the same could be said of every landscape that has ever been painted, which always differ according to the ideals, feelings, and character of the person behind the brush. It’s just that some kind of naturalism was a dominant ideal in 19th C. America, while evident self expression became more fashionable fifty years ago. Look elsewhere for a quiet, bucolic, natural retreat. An Adams landscape feels like a massive construction site, with all of its open vistas and upheaval, and the roaring energy and tumultuous optimism of an ABX painting. In clever contrast, Gallery KH is also now featuring a different kind of self assertion with the introspective landscapes of Canadian painter, Peter Hoffer,. In a melancholy mood, the artist seems to have wandered into some scruffy trees to get away from his busy life, but personal anxiety has followed him right into the bushes and erupted with flecks of colorful static on the surface of the image, which has also been coated with a thick coat of clear resin so it reflects the viewer like a mirror. Yikes! Is there no escape from our neurotic selves and the modern world? Of the two artists, Hoffer seems the more innovative with techniques, dark claustrophobic views , and materials (he paints on boards, often letting the wood grain show through). But sometimes his work feels more like a gimmick than a dark mood, while Adams is consistently exuberant about how we are tearing up the planet.