The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts presents the exhibition “Drawing in the Northern Light,” featuring photographs and poems by Joseph Ohmann-Krause, from November 1 to December 28 in the Upstairs Gallery at the Newport Visual Arts Center.
An opening reception for “Drawing in the Northern Light” will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2-5pm, with an artist talk at 3:30pm.
The images and poems in “Drawing in the Northern Light” are inspired by Vilhelm Hammershoi (1864-1916), a Danish painter who painted in the northern light. Hammershoi was a Symbolist painter. Symbolism followed, and was a partly a reaction to Realism. In Symbolist paintings, objects are reduced to their simple geometrics; the details, and especially the fine details, are not rendered, to overburden and tire the viewer.
“The term northern light is used here less in geographic or cartographic terms, and more as an aesthetic or visual compass needle,” writes Ohmann-Krause. “The north is less a reference to the polar star than it is to a protection against the direct sun, le plein sud in French, a warm attractive light much favored by Matisse or D.H. Lawrence, or several generations of painters and writers who, in the early 20th century, were drawn southward to the Mediterranean, to colonial Africa or to Mexico in search of more radiance. The northern mists of romantic nationalism had long hidden the industrial squalor that it contained.”
“Drawing in the Northern Light” includes 10 photographs, poems and related text. Images capture landscapes in Newport, Pistol River, Brookings, Florence, the Finley National Wildlife Refuge, and South Corvallis, Oregon, as well as Carmel, California.
The Upstairs Gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday, noon to 4pm.