Barbara Krakow Gallery is proud to announce the first two person show uniting the works of Bronlyn Jones and Robert Bauer.
The gallery has shown the work of Bronlyn Jones for well over a decade. The past few years have been quite exciting as Jones’ pieces have been exhibited internationally and collected deeply. Robert Bauer, also a renowned artist who has been in numerous shows across the country, has been known to Barbara Krakow Gallery not only as a talented and widely exhibited artist but as Jones’ husband.
Jones works from abstract forms and Bauer works from figuration. The key word in the preceding sentence is “from”.
“There is an essential ambiguity I am drawn to and I accept” (Bronlyn Jones, 2013)
Jones’ works are based in geometry, but the materials and processes used are organic, sensitive and specific. In her paintings, she chooses the grain of specific sections of wood from large sheets. Her choices involve thinking about references to landscape and also the abstract formal patterns of the grain . Paper is laid down carefully on the wood. Gesso and paint are applied evenly, sparingly and specifically. Some edges are painted particularly and other edges are allowed to wander. Positive and negative are balanced, whether in the image (paint on paper on wood) or in the physical form of the choice of space between panels (two paintings each have a 3/4″ full separation between them while two other paintings have a 1/8″ space that is only half as deep as the panels). Proportions may be intuitive but, over careers’ worth of works, both artists have found their preferences consistent and specific.
These themes of chance, choice and control are deeply part of both artists’ works, as well as being deeply ingrained in their ethos in life. Time spent experiencing, looking, seeing and observing their works is well rewarding, aesthetically and emotionally. In a world full of bombast, a bit of quiet inquisitiveness is a gift.
The ‘feel’ of the two artists’ works, while starting from different places are consistent. Works are of different sizes but, except for a few unframed paintings by Jones, all works by both artists are in custom designed frames hand painted by the artists. They apply multiple thin coats of paint for a consistent and clean, yet, on closer inspection, hand-made appearance.
Bauer’s tempera paintings on gessoed paper are portraits of specific individuals. The rendering is detailed, respectful and specific. However, they are not just portraits of people, but portraits of the process of rendering three dimensional subjects in two dimensions. Bauer allows his process of grids, layers and erasures to be visible within and surrounding the images of the faces. The choices of what, how and when to call something ‘finished’ are as key in Bauer’s works as the smudges, erasures, incidental marks and wood grain are in Jones’.
Both artists also have deep involvement with drawing. For this exhibition, along the main wall, are a series of ink on paper drawings by Bauer. The landscapes depicted, drawn from direct observation, photography and collaged imagery, are made by a progressive layering of ink washes to build up elements in space, all the while using negative and positive space to equally define form. In conversation with this group and installed adjacent is a series of similarly formatted drawings using long horizontal lines created by Jones. As has been part of her practice for years, she draws with a combination of a straight edge, graphite and an eraser. The marks on the surface are a subtle balance between the forceful linear active marks, the passive marks resulting from the residues inherent in graphite drawing and the specific and subtle gestures of erasure.
It has been said that understanding begins with the questions we ask and yet the most interesting questions are often questions without closure…
Reception with the artists Saturday, March 22, 3 – 5pm