EPIC

Large-scale land­scapes

American Art Collector - - Contents -

Artists stretch pro­por­tions to new lim­its in the up­com­ing exhibition Epic at Robert Lange Stu­dios, as they present works that are their largest cre­ations to date. The show, open­ing with a re­cep­tion on May 4 from 6 to 8 p.m., is a jour­ney for each of the artists to push their artis­tic abil­i­ties in paint­ings rang­ing from lands and citys to sur­re­al­is­tic worlds. Mea­sur­ing 48 by 36 inches is En­durance by Brett Scheif­flee, who had ini­tially painted the lone tree land­scape as a 10-inch square work. “While paint­ing this, I re­mem­bered sto­ries such as the Dy­at­lov Pass mys­tery in Rus­sia, the ter­ri­ble fate of the Don­ner Party and my own memories of win­ters in Colorado,” he says. “In the high coun­try, there is an eerie silence when the wind stops and the snow falls steadily, some­times you could hear an ‘un­kind­ness’ of ravens that would break it, but usu­ally noth­ing more than the tiny peck­ing of a bird do­ing its best to sur­vive.

“When en­coun­ter­ing wildlife—no mat­ter the size, we do well to remember all they have made it through to greet us,” he continues. “That calls for re­spect and rev­er­ence, be­cause the ‘be here now’ no­tion that is worn like a patch on the sleeve of many 21st-cen­tury, ‘new age’ types is the only m.o. they have ever known. Or in the words of

D.H. Lawrence, you could ‘miss your chance with one of the lords of life.’”

The whim­si­cal world found in Nathan Dur­fee’s paint­ings is shown in a much larger size in his work Living the Oak Life, which de­picts mul­ti­ple birds and their houses in an oak tree. “In the past I have cre­ated paint­ings that an­thro­po­mor­phize birds on an in­di­vid­ual scale, but have al­ways won­dered what it would look like to ex­panded the con­cept to an en­tire ecosys­tem,” he says of the 60-by-72-inch paint­ing.

Epic pro­vided the ideal op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore this with the paint­ing, but it was not with­out its tri­als. “The big­gest chal­lenge was phys­i­cally po­si­tion­ing my­self to paint close to the edges,” Dur­fee re­calls. “One mo­ment I’m ly­ing on the floor paint­ing grass [and] the next, I’m stand­ing on a stool to paint the high­est birds. At the end of the day I was tired both phys­i­cally and men­tally.”

KC Collins used the show as a chance to cre­ate two panoramic ocean paint­ings, Peak and Ar­rival, that are 2 feet high and span 6 feet wide.” I’ve been paint­ing oceans and waves for years, but I’ve never painted to this scale,” says Collins. “The sub­ject of a curl­ing or crash­ing wave holds a lot of en­ergy, which can be very pow­er­ful for the viewer. Paint­ing large-scale makes it all the more com­mand­ing.”

Epic will hang at the Charleston, South Carolina, gallery through May 25.

Robert Lange Stu­dios 2 Queen Street, Charleston, SC 29401 (843) 805-8052 • www.robert­langes­tu­dios.com

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Nathan Dur­fee, Living the Oak Life, oil, 60 x 72"

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KC Collins, Ar­rival, oil on can­vas, 24 x 72"

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Brett Scheif­flee, En­durance, oil on can­vas, 48 x 36"

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