In Defiance of Winter

Joanne Artman Gallery
Feb 7, 2019 6:46PM

On Groundhog Day last Saturday, Punxsutawney Phil predicated an early spring. While usually wrong in his predictions, one can’t help but hope that brutal polar vortexes are soon coming to an end. Among the early celebrants are artists James Wolanin, Jane Maxwell, Danny Galieote, and America Martin whose imagery and bright colors defy traditions typically associated with winter.

In works that reference the hazy days of summer, James Wolanin’s sun drenched hues bring a vintage aesthetic to the visual symbols of the 60s and 70s and poolside scenes that populate his work. Drawing inspiration from vintage ads, Wolanin explores representations of women in the latter half of the 20th century. Paying particular attention to cast shadows and dramatic light sources, his stylized compositions create large, flat, color fields often emphasized by pattern and repetition.

Working in paper ephemera, Jane Maxwell’s female figures confidently strut in striped sundresses. Modeling fashion sensibilities of warmer weather, the facial expressions of her figures are obscured, as only the silhouettes emerge from the saturated background. Emphasizing texture and building up the surface through layering materials from billboards, posters, and magazines, the enigmatic, anonymous figures have a definitive flair and attitude. Simultaneously keeping the viewer at a distance and pulling us further into their multi-dimensional narratives, Maxwell’s summer-clad women evoke the heat of summer with their seasonal outfits and red-hot palette.

Focusing on iconic scenes of summer, California native, Danny Galieote’s works assemble a version of the American Dream. Constructing timeless imagery, Galieote’s figures blend realist narratives with a pop sensibility. Joining the clouded blue sky with a small glimpse of the ocean at the bottom of the composition, Galieote further emphasizes the dramatic beach lighting on his figure and the soaring seagull above.

Universally symbolic of beauty, warmth, and the end of winter, America Martin’s floral arrangement is vibrant in both color and texture. Collaging Japanese paper, Martin evokes a sense of growth and vitality as her floral subjects dance cross the composition and out of the constraints of the vase. Celebrating nature, this unconventional still life boasts both the imagery and sentiments of summer splendor.

Joanne Artman Gallery