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    Art We Love – The Art Issue

    Art We Love Art Issue
    July 24, 2023

    Provincetown is an embarrassment of artistic talent. The artists in our galleries work in every media and range in age from twentysomethings to centenarians. They’re locals and washashores. This gamut of characteristics applies to the artists whose work is presented here. But the one thing that unites them is a spark of genius.

    Caroline Carney, Before Anne’s Tour, oil on panel (12” x 12”) – 411 Gallery

    Caroline Carney

    Here’s a place you’ve probably seen many times (hint: behind Town Hall), but it might not have struck you as something to take note of – it’s the back side of everything. Yet Caroline Carney has turned this humble view into an elegant work of art. She’s distilled all the elements into a bold, balanced composition and used the most luscious but limited color palette to make a painting that holds its own as an abstract work as well as a poetic rendering of the soft afternoon light on timeworn buildings.

    Wiley Burrell, Organelle, acrylic on canvas (24” x 30”) – The Commons

    Wiley Burrell

    Wiley Burrell’s paintings can’t be easily categorized – and I mean that as the highest compliment. They’re not completely abstract, they’re somewhat representational, and they’re entirely original. This painting is clearly the product of a fertile imagination, but what makes it so powerful (and likely to stand the test of time) is the tension between the feral imagery and the meticulous execution. Writhing biomorphic forms are contained by elegant, sinuous lines within a carefully balanced composition. Add to that a sophisticated color palette and you’ve got a work that is sensational in every respect.

    Kimberly Witham, Garden Fantasia 6, photograph (24” x 36”) – Gary Marotta Fine Art

    Kimberly Witham

    A work of art that you can lose yourself in and then come back and see fresh all over again is a real pleasure. At first glance, Kimberly Witham’s photographs draw you in with their lush abundance of flowers. They seem to be casually strewn across the frame, but looking closer you begin to appreciate the skillful composition of the image and the many subtle juxtapositions of color. And then there’s the realization that maybe it’s all about life and death – these beautiful blooms are fast on their way to joining the dead bug. In short, it’s a piece with beauty and brains.

    Nick Schlerf, Provincetown Harbor, oil on canvas (18” x 24”) – Hammock Gallery

    Nick Schlerf

    You could argue that landscape is the foremost genre of the Provincetown Art Colony. Each generation has built on the tradition, and just when you think there might be nothing more to say along comes Nick Schlerf. Here is a Provincetown landscape that imbues all the familiar elements with a fresh energy. It’s not about precisely rendering a given view, but about seeing the essence of the place. He’s captured the spirit of our quirky seaside hamlet, leaping foxes and all. It’s a painting that’s both absolutely current and destined to become a classic.

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