Friday, March 8, 2013

Artwork Critique

Larry Joseph Homolka, Above the Water, Yucatan (1989). Oil on Canvas (46” x52”)

Homolka's large oil on canvas, portrays a variety of linear forms. These linear forms represent a spectrum of structure ranging from steadfast, heavy lines to linear shapes whose forms are created by the parameters defined by other figures. It appears as if some lines are more deliberately placed than others.Brush stroke aids in this idea by interacting with linear formations. Some line formations are unmistakably structured and defined; whereas some lines are solely dependent on the created illusion by the varying tints that the artist's varying brush strokes establish. Homolka utilizes a medley of varying hues which, combined with the array of linear formations, which create an interesting depth to the piece. Spatial boundaries are explored through the fluid movement of colors and linear size. For example, the prominent vertical black rectangle (a focal point of the piece) creates a window into another dimension. Its slanted portrayal allows the viewer to shift from a flat perspective into an additive illusion of a third dimension. Spatial contrast is also created through hues. Homolka juxtaposes varying blue values in the bottom right of the piece. This color contrast creates a boundary which adds another layer of depth as the values play off one another. The use of tint also creates almost three dimensional-like areas where a slightly organic depth is hinted at.

The use of perspective in color in this abstracted form could potentially overwhelm the viewer, given the scale of the piece. However, the work is located in a wide, open hallway on the first floor of Bucksbaum. The opposite wall is paneled with windows which increases the luminosity of the piece. The eye harmoniously follows the piece, in part due to the continuity of the lines merging into one another. When staring at the focal point (horizontal, central), I begin to see depths within depths which is an interesting effect that mimics what I feel when I looking down from a high vantage point. I see dimensions lose distinctness, merge amongst themselves, and additionally new dimensions materialize.

Without a title the viewer would have a difficult time deciphering the image. Thus, the title is an important element of the piece. It elucidates what is actually being displayed by giving the abstraction a contextual location and perspective. The colors emulate a sense of water (perhaps the sea?), sand, cliffs, and perhaps a variety of common flora and fauna. After reading the title and then looking at the piece, I can relate the metaphysical elements into recognizable scenery. When I examine the piece I see a landscape containing a body of water in the distance with perhaps cliffs or maybe street scene with alleyways in the forefront. Of course, with this style of artwork, much room is left for various interpretations.

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