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at Barry Whistler Gallery until January 21st
by Todd Camplin

Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson wrote the iconic song Blue Christmas which was most notably
performed by Elvis Presley. Often times you see blue is associated with the celebration of
Hanukah. Blue can mean color or a feeling, blue can be royal, in the Renaissance it meant
the spiritual heavens as well as the sky. Blue is a cultural icon of American taste, expressed in
a pair of jeans and in the invention of a music form called the Blues. So, in the spirit of the
culture and climate of the holiday season, Barry Whistler Gallery has launched an
exhibition titled Tangled Up in Blue.
Around this time of year there is a glut of group shows. It seems that wrapping up art and putting
it under the tree isn’t the first gift people have in mind. So, many galleries choose to help people
that are out and about looking for something unique by showing a great deal of their stable
artists. Some are unthemed, but the better shows are driven by a concept. At first glance,
picking a simple theme like the color blue might seem a thin concept, but as I pointed out
before, blue has a great deal of baggage in meaning. Not to mention that all the selected
artists use blue in these particular pieces to convey their own personal meanings. Otis Jones’
Eight Lines Blue #2 is just one of many works he makes in various colors, but somehow, this
abstract painting had just a little more punchiness in the context than the rest of the
works in the show.

Lorraine Tady uses blue frequently in her work, so she had three pieces in the show. Tady’s works
on paper have beautiful lines and shapes that remind me of blueprints for a building or plans
for a complex machine. The blue shapes seem to cut and fade into the paper. I love the size
of paper she uses. Her choice of size pushes her drawing outside the realm of anyone calling
these works doodles. Mark Williams and Martha Groome also have several pieces in the show.
Their paintings have a similar look and feel, but Groome is purely clean and sharp in line
and color, while Williams appears to squeegee his colors and shapes onto the surface.
Tom Orr had a piece that stood out, even though it was in a far corner of the gallery. It looked to
be an installation just for that space. The blue lines of light played off the plastic laying against
the wall. The optical effect of layering the material was also a play with your eyes. Tucked in
another corner of the gallery is a piece by John Wilcox. This abstract work is a simple, subtle,
somewhat informal, but highly attractive painting in the color blue. Other worthy artists to
mention in the show are Danny Williams, Andrea Rosenberg, Max Ernst, Luke Harnden, Terrell
James, and Ellsworth Kelly.
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Lorraine Tady
Isafjordur (OVS, Westfords, Iceland), 2016
Light Lines, 2011
Electroluminescent wire and plastic
72 x 144 x 24 inches
If you still have the blues in 2017, you still have a chance to see the show at Barry Whistler Gallery,
which will be up until January 21st.
Installation View
Installation View