An exploration into encaustic, Reveal and Conceal, is an exhibition of encaustic paintings and sculptures curated by Kolman & Pryor Gallery artist, Jodi Reeb. Encaustic as a medium continues to gain momentum. This exhibition delves into encaustic’s potential, possibilities, and aesthetic concerns with work by four national artists: Helen Dannelly, Jeffrey Hirst, Julie Snidle, and Reeb. The exhibition opens September 15 with an artist reception that evening, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The show runs through October 27.
“The works in this exhibition challenge ideas about structure, translucency, and the painted surface, while investigating scale, geometry, spatial relationships, texture, and color,” Reeb explains. “Strong physical elements come from layering and scraping the encaustic paint while manipulating the image with oil pigments, screen printing, and elevation from the wall. Nature’s cycles are also a theme in these artists’ work, which juxtapose geometry with the softness found in nature.”
Encaustic is an ancient medium. The word comes from the Greek, “enkaustikos,” which means to heat or to burn. Encaustic painting involves combining beeswax and damar resin heated to 160-220 degrees, after which colored pigments are added. The material is applied in its molten state to a surface, then “fused” with a torch or heat gun to create a variety of effects.
In his work Hirst, who is based in Chicago and is one of Reeb’s mentors, “investigates the relationship between architectural structures and the natural landscape.” He is concerned with how these two forces coexist in an urban environment. Dannelly is also a Chicago artist. She turns to nature for inspiration for her encaustic sculptures. Although her sculptures resemble natural objects such as pods, cocoons, and sea anemones as well as cellular structures, they are unique abstractions.
Snidle creates abstract paintings with encaustic which “communicate a feeling of potential and possibilities,” Reeb says. Reeb often works with circular assemblages that oscillate between painting and sculpture. “The circle references centeredness and wholeness, and expresses my attraction to negative space. I also appreciate that a circle is an organic and geometric shape.”
“We’re excited to be presenting a medium-centric exhibition focusing on encaustic, which has been gaining popularity with artists because of its vast expressive potential,” says gallery co-owner Anita Sue Kolman. “Guests and collectors will have a wonderful opportunity to see the varied ways in which encaustic can be utilized and implemented in both flat and sculptural forms, and will enjoy the wonderful applications of encaustic on view in this exhibition.”
Reeb lives and works in Minneapolis. She has been a full-time artist for more than 25 years and has received numerous awards. Her work has been shown nationally, and it is in many private and corporate collections. Reeb earned a Bachelor’s degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she taught printmaking in the Continuing Studies Program for almost a decade. She is a Golden Paint Artist Educator and an R & F Paint Core Artist; she teaches monthly classes about acrylic and encaustic painting.