Christine Gray @ UTC’s Cress Gallery
The UTC Cress Gallery recently exhibited work by Christine Gray. In addition to visiting the gallery exhibition, I also had a chance to attend her artist lecture, and browse through her website at www.christinegray.com.
She is an amazingly talented artist. Her paintings demonstrate that she has mastered the oil painting technique in all areas, such as handling/texturing of the media, color mixing, and composition layout.
In her lecture she talked about her work process and the ideas she wants to communicate with her paintings. She mainly focuses on hierarchies/planar interaction, narratives, iconic images, and stylistic misinterpretations.
Christine Gray gives still life, which has a low hierarchy in artistic society, a new energy by introducing narrative, with scenery and characters. She provides her audience with a story, set inside illusionistic space, that would make one want to peek behind all of the layers and dig for more. She says that “painting is about searching … when you look at a painting, you search for meaning”. The iconic images in her paintings are like mind exercises for the audience, and most of them represent objects searched for by humanity, or tools used to search for valuable commodities. Each painting engages the viewer in more than usual ways.
One of the most amazing facts about Christine’s paintings is that she builds all of her still life structures out of paper – even the landscapes! I can only imagine how long it takes her to complete those, before she starts on the painting. Although, something I’m pretty sure she touched on, is that she does not always finish her still life models. She does not want them to fully dictate how the painting looks in color theory or compositionally.
Christine Gray’s work is on exhibition at the Cress Gallery between October 13 and November 24, 2009. Upcoming exhibition dates are listed on her website. I highly recommend to experience her art in person, instead of just visiting the website.