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|ON THE ROAD IN NASHVILLE
by Todd Camplin
I have been staying about an hour north of Nashville for about a week for my artist residency
in Kentucky. So, Nashville art scene was calling to me all this time and I had to answer the call.
I even watched the television show Nashville to prepare myself. So, today I visited art galleries
with my television producer friend. We basically barnstormed the scene, but I still got a decent
pulse on what the galleries are showing.
|Tinney Contemporary was our first stop where we saw paintings by Jeanie Gooden and Lyle
Carbajal. Gooden works resembles a common abstract style that resembles a weathered wall.
However, Gooden manages to craft some Cy Twombly marks in some of the work and other
pieces she has sown into the surface. Normally I don’t respond to work like Lyle Carbajal, but
his collage figures with childlike constructed sensibility drew me closer. I was reminded of
Jean-Michel Basquiat's work. Both Carbajal and Basquiat use simple marks to make figures
and faces come alive. Carbajal raw old wood frames might have been a bit much.
|We walked down to Rymer Gallery, nearby, to see Whitney Wood paintings on canvas and
paper. One of the more striking shows of the day, Wood worked on large canvases that mixed
washes separated with sharp lines and thick dashes of paint. The composition meandered
around to give your eye very little to rest upon. I was able to stop my darting eyes by walking
in close and looking at all the little details. The works on paper feel like a portrait of an abstract
object, which immediately peaked my interest. Because each piece used negative space
around the object, I could spend more time investigating the painted part.
|One unique place was the old style Arcade. Not a place for video games, but a two-storey
|The Frist Center for Visual Art, Nashville art museum, was advertising a Norman Rockwell, so we
skipped it. But it turns out 30 Americans is up right now too. It would have been great to see
this group of very talented African American artists. I will have to try to catch it before January
12th. A few other visits around some less interesting spaces and we were out. From what I can
tell, it looks to be a small art scene that has emergent properties. I see a lot of potential, but
also a lot of sameness, with hints of artists with their own voices. I will have to immerse myself
in the scene again soon to take another snapshot of this more than Music City.