Friday, August 16, 2013

The QU4RTETS art show during the CIVA conference

Makoto Fujimura and Bruce Herman joined together to present a show that has been traveling the country. The poetry of T.S. Eliot was the inspiration for this series of paintings by the two artists. The exhibit will be ongoing until September 22, 2013. It can be seen now at the Billy Graham Museum Sacred Arts Gallery, on the campus of Wheaton College.
I was present for talks given by the two artists, even met and had some chatting time. Makoto signed my copy of the show book, what a fan I am!

I have long admired the work by Makoto Fukimura. It reminds me of one of my other favorite abstract artists, Mark Rothko. Large color fields with evocative swirls of mineral color. This kind of work invites a long sitting on a bench in front of it and silence to absorb.
Bruce Herman also has some abstract works but the four large paintings he had made to stand across from the Fujimura pieces are very realistic. They represent four ages in a human lifespan. The child is modeled after Bruce's own grandson, and the old man in the last work is Mako Fujimura's own father.

The realism as Bruce Herman paints it is absolutely spot-on perfectly rendered. Not done as photo-realism, but realism with soul and heart. Realism as the old masters, as Rembrandt or Raphael could give. I consider this project to be incredibly brave of him, in our contemporary art world where realism with any sentimental quality is sneered at.