Mannequins. Mud. Memory. These are just a few of the things that have inspired the powerful and compelling abstract images by gallery artists Betsy Ruth Byers and Patrick K. Pryor. The unique exhibit, “IN & OUT,” explores the two artists’ relationships with the internal, the external, and the canvases themselves.
“Patrick and Betsy are a really good pair,” says gallery owner Anita Sue Kolman. “The way they approach art is the opposite, and that is reflective in the show. Patrick is responding to emotions, and what is going on internally, and that’s coming out through his hand on the canvas. And Betsy is more explicitly affected by the environment. It is external. You can see that relationship with the world in her work.”
For painter Patrick K. Pryor, his bold, colorful images are explorations of relationships and the complex narratives between forms—both human and painted.
“I recently found twelve mannequins that were being thrown away by a clothing store,” Pryor says. “In haste I placed the mannequins about my living room; some were lying down, some were on stands, some had detached arms and the arms were on the floor in no particular order. I want my paintings to be like the room full of mannequins where there are many possible narratives, relationships and little bit of absurdity.”
While Pryor is stimulated by the unspoken, the desire to understand and reflect relationships through gestural lines and spaces, Byers’ complex and colorful images are inspired by the feelings the world’s natural elements place onto her.
“My work births from potent encounters of the body in space: feet enveloped in the liquid embrace of a lake, curve of the back nestled into rocks,” Byers says. “The progression of the work draws on the sensual traces of these remembrances for imagery and color.”
The end result is a unique show that highlights two of Minnesota’s most noteworthy abstract painters and reveals through bold and beautiful imagery the complex relationships we have with ourselves, each other, and our world.
“These paintings make you spend time with them and think,” says Kolman. “And that’s the main reason I show abstract art.”
Good Work Group