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GAGE OPDENBROUW

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ARTZONE 461

Contents Copyright © 2003-2009

ARTIST WORKS../opdenbrouw/gage-6.html
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ARTIST

STATEMENT

ARTIST
WEBSITEhttp://www.engageingart.com/
WINDOWS
MAR - APR 2009../exhibitions/0903-opdenbrouw-p.html
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS../opdenbrouw/gage-i23.html
SILENCE AND DISTANCE../opdenbrouw/gage-i28.html
75th JURIED
CROCKER-KINGSLEY
BIENNIAL ../opdenbrouw/gage-i42.html

PREVIOUS WORKS

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ARTBUSINESShttp://www.artbusiness.com/1open/030709.html
SACRAMENTO BEEhttp://www.sacbee.com/art/story/1543122.html

RECURRING DREAMS OF LIGHT THROUGH THE TREES

These paintings of forests and trees stem from a long love of the outdoors and a fascination with light, color and space.  Yosemite, to me, feels like a cathedral, but somehow, since it was built without human hands, it is both more modest and more grand than a cathedral.  The light, the presence of these ancient trees, many of which have seen  most of human history pass by like a distant river, during their long lives, all of these are things that give me a deep sense of peace... a sense of wonder, of the slowness of time….Painting is the best way I know to spend time with these thoughts...It doesn’t convey the real experience, but it allows me to spend more time with it, and hopefully pass something on. 


These works are also explorations of color, the dynamics between image and marks, the interplay of light and shadow, positive and negative space, surface and depth.  Light and space, and painted marks, are as much the subject of these works as trees. Within a seemingly simple subject, I have found endless complexity, and many different approaches to making a painting. 


I have tried, in some paintings, to reduce the image, into a rhythm of vertical and horizontal marks, much as Mondrian did in his late works.  I would like to investigate the painterly vocabulary of modernist abstraction, and ‘stripe’ paintings, without completely doing away with space and form.  The scale of these paintings is larger in order to more physically engage the viewer, the color brighter, the individual marks more apparent, as I create a fusion of rhythm, movement, light, paint, and a shifting sense of space—quiet, but not quite still, just like the world I attempt to paint.


                                                                                       GAGE OPDENBROUW



FAMILY PAINTINGS

These paintings are based on old snapshots from my family’s photo albums, from both my mother and father's sides, but they could have come from anyone’s family archives.

Photographs are a way to remember fleeting moments, almost universally used, a way of recording things that are important to us, a way of constructing an identity for ourselves, a story of our ancestors.  The important part, though, the memories, one’s feelings about those moments, the context surrounding them, the whole reason we bother, does not transfer.  For that reason most snapshots of this kind are most valuable to the person who took them, and those who were there.

 The real content of this sort of photo is evoked by the viewer, in responding, and so the viewer may find these images evoking their own memories and stories.  My relationship to these images is complicated, they are images, in some cases, of people I knew well, and in other cases, not nearly as well as I'd have liked. I want to relate to them, to understand these people, put myself in their shoes.  They’re memories that have been passed on to me, and I am struggling, perhaps, by painting them, to understand them. 


They have a specific meaning to me as my family, but I’d also like it if they read as archetypes:  mother, father, son.  By painting these images, I’m forcing a longer look at them, saving them from a shoebox in the closet, exposing their poignant mystery.  I sometimes think of them as random samplings from a vast archive of images, a sort of collective document, as if all of America’s scrapbooks were put together to form a huge selective history. 



                                                                                       GAGE OPDENBROUW