Abend Gallery’s latest four-artist show will feature subject matter ranging from family farms and mountain ranges to bustling cities. Jacob Dhein, Stephanie Hartshorn, Dave Santillanes and Elsa Sroka will all show new works in oil at the Denver gallery, opening with a reception on May 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. and remaining on view through May 26.
Inspired by the Colorado landscape, Santillanes’ paintings are all about light and atmosphere. “For the work in this show, I use both these elements in order to evoke an emotional response to the scene,” he says. “While some of the work will depict specific places, often times I’m only after an emotional response and take information from several plein air studies combining several scenes into one.” One of his paintings on view is the waterfall scene Evening Descent.
Cows continue to be a muse and source of inspiration for Sroka, though she notes they are moving into uncharted territory. “I have really been pushing myself to develop my works, hoping for more complexity and richness in color and textures. I have been allowing myself to play with my imagination and be more uninhibited with my brush,” she says. “I never want to lose the playfulness of what brought me to painting from the start.” In After the Show, her bovine subject sits triumphant on a sofa, surrounded by flowers.
Though she has focused primarily on rural subject matter over the past few years, Hartshorn will show a mixture of urban and rural scenes. “Rail yards and amusement parks are a theme offering a whole new visual pattern to explore: lines, lines, lines and the breakdown of space,” she says. “I’m loving the energy and discovery.”
In her new works, Hartshorn explores thick and thin texture throughout, adding dynamic views of layered shapes.
Dhein will show figurative work as well as cityscapes. “The figures will be painted using disrupted realism, allowing them to have a sense of movement and sometimes a pixelated look,” he says. His Market Street depicts a dark, rainy San Francisco day, and he adds, “I enjoy painting rainy scenes because it gives me the opportunity to combine representation and abstraction with natural harmony in the imagery.”
Stephanie Hartshorn, Divided Lights, oil, 36 x 60"
Elsa Sroka, After the Show, oil on panel, 20 x 31"
Jacob Dhein, Market Street, oil on panel, 36 x 36"
Dave Santillanes, Evening Descent, oil, 40 x 30"