Inspired by the Walker Art Center’s Painter Painter exhibition in 2013, and the “epic conversation” they enjoyed afterward, Kolman & Pryor Gallery co-owner, Patrick Pryor, and gallery artist, Betsy Ruth Byers, have co-curated a follow-up exhibition featuring new work by four Minnesota artists, Samuel Bjorgum, Regan Golden, James Holmberg, and Syed Hosain. The exhibition, Four Painters, opens September 12 and runs through October 31. Visitors can view the show in person at the gallery on Saturdays, 12 – 4 p.m., and by appointment; and virtually on the gallery’s website any time at their convenience.
“Painting and painters are our favorite subjects,” says Pryor. Adds Byers, “We crave and love being in the presence of paintings so, we were wondering, what are some examples of what painting in Minnesota looks like now? Also, how do you define a painting in 2020? It has to do with surface, color, illusion, and how artists reveal their process.” The four artists Pryor and Byers selected “present a spectrum of possibilities in how to work a surface,” Byers says.
Samuel Bjorgum “deals with paint in its entirety,” says Pryor. Bjorgum applies thick layers of paint on Dibond that can require weeks to dry, creating wrinkled textures on the dried surface. Then, he surprises the viewer by cutting the Dibond into shapes that accentuate the surfaces.
Regan Golden abstractly references the natural world in her work, in which she blends actual and digital collage and paint. “Her work evokes the handmade, the hand-cut, even when she uses digital marks,” explains Byers. “She creates an illusion of breaking down and reassembling in her micro and macro examination of flora and fauna. Time and layers are evident in her edges as she plays with borderlines between spaces to frame particular viewpoints.”
James Holmberg paints “pure, beautiful works with stark, slow gradations of color like doorways or portals into the unknown, then uses his hand to generate painterly abstractions,” says Pryor. “His paintings conjure vast, deep space, which is gently disrupted by the immediacy on the surface of his gestural marks.”
Syed Hosain explores collage and acrylic paint, with images burned at the edges to achieve smooth surfaces. “There are swaths of history, freedom, and exploration in his work, which he achieves through unique methods that give the work heft and weight,” says Byers. “He creates nuanced boundaries that challenge where collage and painting begin and end.”
Overall, Byers adds, “This exhibition demonstrates how these four different artists are connecting subject matter to painting, to process, and practice. I also think viewers will understand, upon seeing this work, why Patrick and I find painting so exciting.”
“At a time when we’re all slowing down, artwork can transport us,” adds Pryor. “A painting’s ability to take us beyond the boundaries of the wall on which it hangs intrigues us, as do the ways in which painters continue to evolve their processes and practices.”