Jonathan Wilde and Craig Clifford
Birds and Boundaries
April 20th - June 3rd
Opening Reception, April 20th, 5-9 PM open to the public
Established Wisconsin artists, Jonathan Wilde and Craig Clifford, will present a sampling of their latest creations. Wilde’s perceptive renderings of local landscapes and fauna in oils delve into our relationships and connections with the natural world. Clifford is fascinated with the boundaries that attempt to delineate “high” and “low” art, using unconventional glazing and slip casting methods to demonstrate the liminality and dichotomy of design and art in complex and layered works.
Craig Clifford Statement:
This body of work offers the opportunity to engage and reflect, as it encourages the viewer to examine how they consume a visual world often taken for granted and reevaluate how they understand place, memory and the material world. Although these recent pieces have moved away from references to the vessel, the cast elements retain a strong connection to the everyday object, whether it be functional or decorative. I intend for viewers to get lost within my pieces and draw their own conclusions about meaning from the rich, dense surfaces and images. The assemblage and collage works allow me to investigate implied narratives as elements come into conversation with each other. The work also asks viewers to reevaluate the relationships between formal works and the expectations of surface. My goal for this series is to ask questions that lead viewers to come away reevaluating their own ideas about the consumption of images, their relationship to contemporary visual questions and social hierarchy.
Jonathan Wilde Statement:
Lately I’ve come to believe that the relationship between a painter and a particular place may be familiar, even intimate, but a certain process or emotional transaction still must take place.
To paraphrase Andrew Wyeth: “It’s not the subject; it’s what you carry to it that’s important.” What I feel about it, even though the Wisconsin landscape is very beautiful, is that it can be just as trite and ordinary as any other place unless you have something to add to it. Something has to happen to me in the moment, that flash of realization that unlocks past experiences.
These days I find that over and over it is the feeling I get from having spent time in various “landscapes” as a boy and young man. Often afield with my father, that moves me to try to portray a place, the weather, the feel of it all.
For me the place where I was born and raised is the place to paint.