MAGICAL REALISM: DIANE WHITE CONJURES STORIES FROM POTTERY
Sante Fe, NM— Diane White was a professional potter before she decided to try her hand at oil painting. She’d amassed a beautiful pottery collection over the years, so choosing subject matter for her canvases was easy. White’s paintings are far more than just representations of boxes, cups and vases, though. In her upcoming exhibition “Magical Realism”, showing at the Matthews Gallery from August 16 through 29, she tells the tales of these beloved objects in fantastical ways.
“To me, the objects I portray have a history and presence that I try to capture on the canvas,” White says. At first glance, viewers often miss the legends that are hidden in her compositions. It’s easy to get carried away by her balancing act of colors, values and textures, an ability she mastered while studying traditional still life techniques at the Denver Art Students League and Loveland Art Academy. However, White’s work offers an additional challenge to the careful eye. “If the viewer looks away and then back, will the painting be the same?” she asks. White follows some of the tenets of the literary genre called magical realism. Founded by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and other notable writers, the movement perches on the intersection between the visible world and a secret universe we must discover. White’s objects might appear to exist in a natural setting, but hidden within her serene works are extraordinary happenings and narratives.
Autumn leaves rise from a red bowl and transform into butterflies before our eyes, marching warriors emerge from a dark band of color behind a vase and steam rises from a dish emblazoned with a dragon as though the mythical creature is about to come to life. The vessels White paints quite literally cradle the legends of the cultures that created them.
“I never want the paintings to feel contrived, so I work to seamlessly integrate the ‘magical’ elements into them,” White says. “I feel that my work connects traditional still life painting with evocative glimpses into the spirit of the objects.”
In the end, White’s goal is to make a remarkable connection with her viewers, an undertaking she undoubtedly actualizes. “Both traditional and contemporary art collectors are drawn to Diane’s work; it is quite remarkable,” said gallery co-owner Linda Matthews in an American Art Collector article about White. “She has created a unique genre of painting that transcends normal labels.”
The public will have an opportunity to take part in White’s unique method of storytelling at the artist reception for “Magical Realism” on Friday, August 16 from 5 to 7 pm. The exhibition runs at the Matthews Gallery from August 16 through 29. Please contact Jordan Eddy at firstname.lastname@example.org for any additional information.
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