Abstract art exhibit featured at Spheris Gallery| 10/5/09 10:00pm
Featuring collage-like pieces defined by abstract use of color and expressive brushstroke, Doug Trump's "Mixed Breed," the newest exhibit on display at Spheris Gallery in Hanover, brings an interesting and diverse form of art to Main Street. Trump used pencil, ink, charcoal and paint to create dynamic collages of squares and rectangles that engage the viewer with action and physical dimension.
To add texture and energy to his works, Trump layered paints, sanded away at surfaces and drew agitated ink lines across the canvases.
"Paintings are physical things, and I'm really concerned with them at that level," Trump told The Dartmouth. "My paintings are mixed media' in terms of drawing being an essential element to what is going on, as well color and the physicality of the paint."
Although Trump said he has been interested in studio art since childhood, he explained that he initially set out to be a writer after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972.
"After a number of years of writing, something was still churning in me, and I intuitively wanted to engage with a more concrete art form," he said.
A trip to Europe, Trump said, helped motivate him to take up painting in addition to writing.
"What struck me was that there was something very actual and real in the action of painting; it is something you can pick up and look at, and it is immediate," he said.
Several of the titles in the Spheris exhibit offer insight into Trump's inspiration. For example, "On the Lime Sea" is composed of color blocks of green paint.Other titles, however, are more obscure. The work "Lucky Eddie," for example, consists principally of different grey hues.
This confusion, Trump explained, is intentional. Trump said that he would rather have the viewer find his or her own meaning in the piece than be a slave to the artist's interpretation.
"I think paintings are independent, but they are completed by the reception that they are given the circle is completed by what anyone looking at them brings to the paintings," Trump said.
Trump said that his main goal as an artist is for the viewer to gain satisfaction from his work.
"I want people to experience a joy of looking and to even feel the mystery and gift of existence breathing in their own," he said.
Trump's works are extremely diverse: each painting offers a different combination of color, texture and brushstroke that convey every varying emotion of the spectrum.
"In some of the work there is no figure, but the paintings still usually have to do with space as a reference to the world we live in," Trump said. "But I would like the viewer to find his own sense of fascination with them. I want the viewer to gain a sense of satisfaction and history by looking at them, and engage his own emotions, imagination, and intellect."
Spheris Gallery will host "Mixed Breed" through Nov. 18.