Nov 30, 2011

REVIEW | Landscapes: Katie Maratta & Randy Twaddle, D Berman gallery, Wimberley

Landscape: Katie Maratta & Randy Twaddle, D Berman, Wimberley

This past week, as the hoards of shoppers crowded the malls and shopping centers on Black Friday, in America, I found myself standing in the D Berman gallery, looking at the curiously intriguing landscape pieces of Katie Maratta and Randy Twaddle. I found myself not feeling the same uninterested impression as I would with the mass produced landscape paintings from cheap motels. The structure of the exhibition and placement of the art pieces set the mood for the viewer to feel a sense of nostalgia for the beautiful mundane. The works of these two Texas artists depict scenes of everyday landscapes that most people would never take a second glance at; conveying the importance as well as re-innovating a genre a of the visual arts. 

At first glance, the presentation of Landscapes: Katie Maratta & Randy Twaddle, appeared as any other exhibition. However, unlike any other show or displays of landscapes, the different sizes and multitude of small art works by Katie Maratta combine with the white walls of the gallery intrigued me to take a closer look. I feel that the placement of Maratta's pieces in the front of the gallery draws the viewer from the outside and continues to pull the viewers attention to the rear of the gallery where Randy Twaddle's interesting pieces conclude the exhibition. With the exception of the actual size of the gallary and the some what messes front desk, the show itself  successfully brought these new forms of landscapes to the people .

Katie Maratta, Untitled, graphite, 2011

Creating successful compositions, Katie Maratta takes scenes from all over the state of Texas with the horizon as her subject matter. looking at Katie Maratta's pieces I felt as if I was taken out of the gallery and placed on an open dirt road. I imagine I'm walking down the dirt road and able to see structures such as farms, homes, restaurants, cars, fence lines, as well as open ranges where animals roaming. The small size of the canvases and scales of the detailed images cause the viewer to feel as if they are viewing these structures from a distance. The sizes of the images varied from one to the other ranging from a few feet long by an inch or so tall canvases to smaller than note card compositions. The detail of each piece shows the dedication that Maratta's chose to work in a smaller scale then her contemporaries who chose to work with much longer mediums.

Katie Maratta, Untitled, graphite, 2011

Randy Twaddle, #21, ink and coffee on paper, 2011
Randy Twaddle's ink and coffee drawings are a unique twist to the landscape paintings that we are all familiar with. The manner in which Twaddle chooses to create his landscapes with the silhouettes of distribution and telephone lines from above is an interesting perspective to a classic genre. As with Maratta's drawings I feel as if I was placed in a random location staring up at distribution lines and trying to figure out what forms and images are being created in the sky out of the coffee clouds. These awesome looking drawings and their identifiable lines and interesting shapes create successful and unique compositions that cause the mind to run wild with imagination. 

Walking into the D Berman gallery, I was surprised that i was fascinated with the unique landscapes of contemporary artists Katie Maratte and Randy Twaddle. The success of reintroducing a genre from the visual arts in a new perspective has caused me to re-evaluate the issues I have with contemporary art. The organization of the gallery helped the exhibition fulfill its goal to draw in viewers and bring the works of these artists to the public. Their positioning in the gallery not only intrigued people to take a closer look but to stay and appreciate, in full observation, the detail and complexities of the pieces.

-Eddie Richmond


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