Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rainy Day with Charlie

I had come to the mountains to camp and ski with my son's youth group. The rain and cold had kept us from hiking in the woods so we decided to urban hike along King Street in downtown Boone, North Carolina. After picking up some dark chocolate at Mast General Store we headed for the Turchin Arts Center. In an upstairs gallery I discovered Charlie Brouwer's installation "Hope Remains Part II" The big tree in the middle filled the room with a strong presence (the artist's? ) but it was the 30 monochrom drawing /paintings that captured my attention. Each image was uniquely designed and carried a layer of meanings; a working man figure, trees, leaf outlines, and words. Each work was mounted to the wall with simple white tabs and thumbtacks. I liked this approach and will borrow it for my own paper works. Each picture seemed at first hastily drawn but on closer examination betrayed a master's eye. The paper seemed to stretch and bend internally, pushing itself off the wall at times- giving it another layer of life. Brouwer has lived long enough to find heros like Joseph Beuys who echo his own love of nature and mankind. I enjoyed my travels around the room looking at each drawing. I recognizing many leaf shapes and found from time to time the working man figure. Although the words at time seemed too close to greeting card quotes, I found the artist's honest sharing and depth of hinted at wisdom refreshing. Not a bad substitute for a real walk in the woods. Thanks Charles.

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