Tapping into the unconscious, juxtaposing diverse imagery, and creating fantasy with figments of reality: all these ideas are the corner stones of Surrealism, an art movement over 100 years old. They can also be found in a new two-person exhibit opening September 4th at Adam Cave Fine Art in Raleigh. “Strange Fiction” pairs a new series of bold, color-saturated paintings by John D. Gall with the ceramic, mixed media sculpture of Catherine Thornton.
Both of these North Carolina artists have made names for themselves as playful, whimsical artists whose works make us laugh as much as they make us think. One can talk about “putting down roots” but John shows us what that looks like in “The Treehouse.” His painting “Feathergliders” seems simple enough until one considers the size of the birds that these feathers came from. John is best known as a printmaker but these paintings are a clear extension of his work done over the past 25 years, but with an even more surreal influence within his subject matter. As John explains, “I was a painter for many years before attending Guilford College where, unexpectedly, I became seduced with making original prints. I’m sure I will continue to create prints, but as I re-visit painting I have also found a renewed purpose and focus in all my art.”
Like John’s work, Catherine’s sculptures also examine the human condition. In works like “rat race” we see what happens when the words we use are taken more literally. In “Yo Yo Mon” a flattened face hangs on a wire spring, bouncing in front of it’s own elongated body. All of her glazed ceramic figures and faces are refined, delicate, and playful at the same time. She equates her work to “lively word pictures” that serve as conversational springboards for “point and counterpoint.”
“Strange Fiction” will be on view in the gallery throughout the month of September. This show also coincides with “Line, Touch, Trace”, a group drawing show at the North Carolina Museum of Art that also features a number of drawings by John Gall.