Maxwell Alexander Gallery is hosting a group exhibition titled Cumulus starting March 9 and continuing through the month. The show highlights cloud- centric works featuring brand new paintings by Tony Abeyta, Eric Bowman, Scott Burdick, Glenn Dean, Phil Epp, Danny Galieote, Logan Maxwell Hagege, Bryan Haynes, Brett Allen Johnson, Michael Klein, Ed Mell, Eric Merrell, John Moyers, Terri Kelly Moyers, Dennis Ziemienski and others.
Bowman’s submission, Levels and Degrees, was inspired by the artist’s recent work done on a trip to southern Utah. “The monumental land formations there are really amazing in both size and shape, and support the focal subject and vertical design of the large clouds in this composition,” says Bowman. “They give it more of an overall large-scale, heroic feel. I also wanted to show the juxtaposition of land masses that are eons old, surrounded by vaporous entities that were just born that very morning.” Using textured layers of paint to forge out a depth and sense of scale, Bowman distills the sensation of wonder and awe when surrounded by such grand natural scenes. “I like to idealize the flow of the line, and clouds that allow just that. They come in all shapes and sizes, so I was able to not only create the scale and shape I wanted, but also build texture upon texture by allowing drying time in between painting sessions.”
Inspiration for Ziemienski’s piece Regarding the Trail came while exploring the majestic red rocks of northern Arizona and New Mexico. “What I found to be most exciting was the mysterious light and shadow of the rocks inspiring a balance with the dramatic upheaval of the clouds—a world where you can lose yourself,” the artist says. Evoking an almost surreal sense of place, the painting’s small subjects stroll beneath a massive cloud, which looms over the canyons with an opposing, yet awe-inspiring, presence
Tranquil and serene, Epp’s Hilltop Trio captures a restful moment between a small team of wild horses as they gaze at a distant horizon. “I have the privilege of living near large ranches that house large groups of horses,” says Epp. “Horses on a hilltop with a big sky backdrop is something that I personally observe on a weekly basis. I’m always inspired by the view and the painting subject.” Epp’s passion for sprawling sky scenes is particularly apparent in this recent work, with bright, vivid blues and buoyant whites dominating the landscape. “This painting is more about western scale, open space and distance than it is about horses,” he explains.
Burdick’s Grandma’s Clouds tells the story of a girl and her family from Shawnee, Oklahoma. Last year, the artist visited his painting’s subject, Serena, at her grandmother’s house to do a series of drawings of her and her relatives. Serena, who is half Choctaw and half Ponca, offered the opportunity to capture this scene. “In between drawing sessions, we would go outside on the ranch and take photographs, which are what I did this painting from when I got home to my North Carolina studio after the show.” From his references, Burdick set out to build a sense of communion between land and sky. “For this painting, I wanted to create a dynamic composition where Serena was an integrated part of the landscape and the clouds. My hope was that the varied angles in the grasses, plus the thick application of paint, would create a sense of movement in the scene. I wanted the abstract chaos of the grass to act as counterpoint to the refined painting of Serena’s face and the soft serenity of the sky. The fact that she was looking into the distance beyond the frame of the canvas hopefully creates a bit of mystery for the viewer to wonder about.”
The Cumulus group exhibition will open March 9 at Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles, California.
For more work from Cumulus, click here.