The Dichotomy of an Artist:
Abstractions and Realizations
JANUARY 4 – JANUARY 30
Opening Friday, January 5th, 2017 at 6pm
Gallery 425, 425 Market Street, Williamsport, PA 17701
ABOUT THE SHOW
This exhibit embodies an artistic struggle between the realistic and the abstract in his current work and his personal nature.
Gilmour has been formally trained to interpret real-world objects as technically accurate as possible. As an illustrator, there was no room for abstraction or “creative interpretation.” Generally, one can master the technical skills necessary to replicate an object or scene on a two-dimensional field relatively easily. Occasionally–and rarely–a fine illustration can be viewed as art.
On the other hand, as a fine artist with both formal art education and significant practical experience, abstraction can push the boundaries of creativity into uncomfortable territory. No longer is it safe to lay down the “technically correct” texture or color. And more often, a piece is almost expected to have an unusualness. For the viewer or consumer, the expectation is to be somehow annoyed, tricked or confronted with some esoteric profundity—an inner exploration of one’s deepest, darkest thoughts or feelings as it were.
For Gilmour, having the viewer appreciate one of his works comes down to the simple reality of how he chooses a good bottle of wine.
“If you open and drink a particular bottle and you like it…it’s a good bottle of wine”.
When you look at his work, there is no trickery, no profundity. If you like it, then he has done his job. Conversely, if you don’t care for it or feel you don’t “understand” it, then, he has done his job.
Abstractions: A Thought Collective
A Selection of Assemblages
This series of abstract assemblages is dominated by the commonality of four general elements; feathers, photographs, metallics or organics, and words; all being found objects. Sometimes they are found as a collective, sometimes they have been intentionally assembled.
For Gilmour, feathers embody the ethereal; the unobtainable free spirit of flight. The inclusion of actual feathers brings a textural element to the composition. They are also intended to invoke whatever it is they represent to a viewer’s mind.
Found photographs capture the mundane, the face of a long departed relative or those with whom we have no recollection. They are random snippets of time, and since they are “found” they may have no relationship to any of the other elements, or, they might.
Metallic castoffs, oxidized survivors of our daily social progress, are gathered from a variety of locations as are the organics; twigs and stems that present interesting textural relief or shapes.
Words and phrases with unusual juxtapositions have been collected from professional journals, papers and other public sources. Individually words can invoke incredible meaning. Collectively, when gathered from a variety of sources, their meaning can summon total confusion. Some words are left to rust and wane, some are used until they no longer serve a function. Some others express humorous or thought-provoking approaches to life’s dilemmas. None of the statements are related.
All the elements have been manipulated, modified and massaged. Many are intentionally connected with deliberate bindings and reside on a non-objective abstract background reminiscent of a chaotic flurry of unintentional drug-induced energy. Gilmour does this art when he wants to escape the precision of illustration.
Realizations: Architectural Archaeology
A Pen and Ink Series
This series embodies a collection of pen and ink illustrations focused on the visual preservation of rural architecture. The buildings, with a few exceptions, can be found within the greater Lycoming County (PA) region. They are artistic snapshots of utilitarian structures that have passed into uselessness. These barns and outbuildings have successfully evolved from the mundane into the sublime. The works explore the play of light and shadow, stark contrast, and hyper-realistic details that reside within the structures. Purposely editing out much of the surrounding environment focuses visual attention on the subject bringing the viewer simultaneously into and out of the scene. This is what he finds himself doing when he is suffering jet lag from a recent flight of fantasy.
Disclaimer: No birds were harmed in the creation of these pieces of art. All feathers were obtained from legal sources.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Fred Gilmour is an artist/ designer with over 45 years of experience in fine art, graphic, video and instructional design. He is a producing artist with a strong interest in black and white mediums such as pencil and pen and ink. He also finds acrylic and watercolor media challenging and enjoyable.
Gilmour also holds a parallel interest in digital imagery using a variety of photographic and post-production graphic arts techniques.
His work was shown at galleries in St. John, U.S.V.I., and Irvington, VA. He currently has work in Gustin’s Gallery, Corning, NY. He was a founding partner of The Eagles Mere Art Gallery, an artist co-op in Eagles Mere, PA. He has exhibited in one-man and group shows at various venues in the Greater Williamsport (PA) area and the Gallery at Penn College. In the past he has served as a judge for the Scholastic Art Exhibit and various photography competitions. His artwork has appeared on the Discovery Channel.
He is retired from Pennsylvania College of Technology where he was Director of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art. His former professional responsibilities included film and television production, digital photography, computer art, 3D computer animation, graphic and web design, and instructional program design for both face-to-face and distance learning environments. He holds professor emeritus status.
Gilmour produced close to a hundred multimedia instructional programs and videotapes during his career including one of the first college credit programs to teach drawing using the Internet.
He was formally trained as a Technical Illustrator. He holds two associate degrees, a BS degree in Art Education from Mansfield University. His artwork and photography have hung in Pennsylvania State and U.S. Congressional offices as well as governmental offices in Australia. His work on multimedia productions received a number of national awards and international recognition.
He serves on the Advisory Committee for the Gallery at Penn College, a committee that selects upcoming artist’s shows, and the UPMC Susquehanna Health Arts Advisory Committee; a group that selects art to be installed in the healthcare environment.
Please help us welcome Fred Gilmour to Gallery425 on First Friday, January 5th, 2017 at 6pm.