Color Principle: Painting in Oil
January 20 – April 17, 2017
Wikoff Student Gallery in the Nott Memorial | Union College
Students from Assistant Professor of Visual Arts, Laini Nemett’s, “Painting in Oil” class delved deeply into understanding the medium and learning how to manipulate it on canvas, although for most, it was their first time working in oil. The artists were asked to paint compositions depicting still life, figures, and interior/exterior spaces with ingenuity and deftness, while exploring principles of design and color theory.
The works on canvas are from an assignment based on the concept of collage: the students were asked to portray space, both real and imagined, using this two-dimensional medium. The resulting artworks provide new perspectives and ways to configure space, unique to the frame of reference and frame of mind of the individual artist. For instance, Jackie Feingold’s illusionistic and surreal composition challenges our ingrained, physical deference for traditional perspectives.
A final project dealt with the topic of “social consciousness,” a concept which artist Lauren Elder formulated into the long, horizontal piece entitled Escaping Oppression, which according to the artist illustrates the emergence and hopeful resolution of anthropomorphized societal issues, such as sexism, racism, and homophobia.
Professor Nemett provides further insight: “The paintings in this show were created over the span of two years, in two different classes of ‘Painting in Oil.’ Stylistic differences arose naturally as each artist spent more time with the medium. Looking at historical and contemporary artists as points of reference, this intro-level class exposes students to a range of painting principles focusing on color: complementary contrast, local versus perceived color, temperature shifts of light and shadow on the human form, and contrasting light from interior and exterior spaces. The exciting results of this exploration are as varied as the voices of those who painted them.”
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