Sliding Door Gallery

766 Santa Fe Dr, Denver, CO 80204

New Press for Current Exhibition

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Review and Press from denverarts.org’s Ken Hamel here (with images), and another review by Sliding Door’s own Kay Tuttle here:

Bill McDonald and Ruth Kneass,
Sept 7-30, 2007
Ruth Kneass is a northern California based artist showing at Sliding Door in the North Gallery. She presents a show that is considered in every feature, down to the hand built display cases. Her work is very evocative of the ocean, wind and sand. It has a calming influence and resonates warmth. She presents a collection of carefully balanced mobiles made of wood, drawings on recycled file folders, sculptures made of moss, and collections of found wood shaped by the ocean and winds.

Process and materials are very important to this artist, and she credits Nature both as an inspiration and as a collaborator in the shapings of the wood and stone.

One of her drawings on paper, Human Kalidescope, is composed of black and white marks made by stamps carved from wine corks. With these marks she makes a circular pattern reminiscent of patterns found in a Persian mosque. Next to the drawing is a key telling the viewer what the symbols represent. It is actually a plan for a Busby Berkley style performance piece meant to be seen from above incorporating 1,500 people dressed in black or white or carrying parasols . Kneass hopes to have this piece performed at a future Burning Man festival. The drawing, and the drawings it inspired, are lovely in themselves but the performance idea brings a new ambitious level to the piece.

Bill McDonald also works with wood in his show in the front gallery. His work is strong, bold and very masculine. He uses thick slabs of heavy wood as a canvas, and power tools as drawing utensils. He creates a sculptural relief in some work, and uses a chisel to expand his mark making capabilities. His imagery is minimal and broken down to basic shapes, often incorporating circles and lines. His titles give clues to the works-Eclipse, Tunnel, Filter, for example. McDonald also uses strong value contrast with the paint, often a very dark color against a creamy white. The paint is rubbed and blurred and sometimes incorporates shiny gazes. This makes a rich contrast to the heaviness of the wood, as he plays with the textures of rough and smooth, heavy and light. McDonald’s work is mysterious and handsome and requires serious looking as it does not give itself away all at once.

Review by Kay Tuttle

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Written by Sliding Door Gallery

September 12, 2007 at 9:23 am

Posted in Press

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