Imagine a Park City mountain without the spectacular backdrop of its deep blue sky, or a bright indigo summer flower separated from its field of brilliant green grass. The spaces that surround and frame our experiences carry an incredible importance in life, as well as in art. Below are just a few beautiful examples of artists exhibiting in Park City who understand the value of those essential spaces.
SPACE TO BREATHE
In art, spaces that give breathing room around a piece’s center of interest are oft en referred to as “negative space”, though its use is anything but empty.
by Wayne Fox
“Negative space can be used to imply movement or direction, or can strengthen a more symmetrical composition, allowing the creator to lead the viewers eye through the composition,” explains Fox. “In this image, I found a sky devoid of clouds, usually a landscape photographer’s least desired circumstance. The lack of clouds creates a large area of negative space without patterns or shape that contrast the warm colors of the rock formations and foreground, isolating the rising formation of the Totem Pole in Monument Valley. It also allowed the small moon to become important without clouds competing for attention.”
ALLOWING SPACE FOR EMOTIONS
The relationship between positive and negative space in art changes the entire mood and story of an image—it can accentuate passion, vulnerability and importance.
by Leslie Duke
“As an artist, I am continually fascinated with space and color, particularly with its ability to prompt an emotional response from its audience. My work explores an emotive capacity, focusing more on the overall atmosphere created by each piece, rather than the actual subject matter depicted,” believes Duke. “This approach is meant to create a unique visual experience, one that facilitates an inner dialogue by quietly probing the subconscious.” Alluring textures and color add a mystical sense of light and air to the spaces that so beautifully frame and embrace Duke’s focal point.
Thomas Anthony Gallery
by Carol Gold
“I have chosen to work with human and animal forms to best express my feelings about nature and the human condition,” said Gold. “I strive to convey a mood as well as create a sense of motion in space. Th rough the years my sculpture has moved in the direction of increasing simplicity.” Using clean lines and such gracefully expressive curves, Gold conveys an unspoken emotion from every angle.
SPACE ADDS STRENGTH
Creating interesting shapes with negative space adds unique strength to the entire image, while drawing greater focus to the center of interest.
by Pamela Murphy
“The figures in my paintings are removed from their original context (photographs) and presented on a surface that can be read as either a deep ambiguous space, or a flat two-dimensional plane,” explains Murphy. “Th e contrast between the distressed, abstract canvas and the realistically painted figure isolates and focuses attention on the figure.” Murphy’s work offers viewers an engaging look into the power of space to transform a painting’s entire atmosphere, adding at different moments a sense of drama, passion, solitude or freedom to her mesmerizing images.
Bret Webster Images
by Bret Webster
“Certainly open space is an essential in many photographs. The temptation is to ‘fill the frame’ with the story of the feature,” describes Webster. “Yet sometimes a more subdued approach can give an image a prolonged reaction to the feature. Time may lapse as their eyes travel the photo before they encounter the feature and a ‘wow’ moment of discovery. I like a photo that rewards the viewer for just a few moments of perseverance in exploring it!” The beauty of the surprise in Webster’s work can deliver smiles, gasps or chills, and sometimes all at the same moment.
THE DEPTH OF SPACE
The spaces in between and around the main event of a work of art can be just as exciting. Th ey not only help defi ne its composition, but provide volume and energy.
by Wendy Chidester
“To capture the beauty and soul of old inanimate objects, scratches, dents, and worn edges are important. In order to add depth and the perception of age, I incorporate several application processes, including scratching the surface, flicking of paint, and the old master’s technique of glazing until the desired effect is achieved,” said Chidester. With intriguing shapes and spaces, her dynamic paintings give life and interest to discarded items that may have never been given a second glance.
by Alexei Butirskiy
“Concentrating his efforts on representing urban life around him with simplicity and grace, Butirskiy seeks to convey a sense of tranquility in each of his paintings,” relates Traci Prothro, owner of Prothro Gallery. “They oft en portray a quiet stillness, and a sense of deep reflection.” Stunning contrasts of light and dark serve to highlight his use of space and luminous color producing powerful, passionate pieces.
SPACE CREATES BALANCE
The right use of space in art gives viewers direction, making the entire artistic experience a delight, in opposition to a piece that feels overcrowded with its subjects in competition with each other.
J GO Gallery
by Curtis Olson
“His award-winning career as a contemporary architect helps to explain his choice of materials, his remarkable aesthetic and his interest in how the negative (or white) space works with the positive,” describes Jude Greeney, co-owner of J GO Gallery. “While working out the designs, Olson’s application of color and the decision to leave an area white is dictated by how volumes flow together and the patterns these choices create. The resulting designs remind me of a fascinating language or musical score, with intricate artifacts in every square inch.”
Willie Holdman Photographs
by Willie Holdman
“As we scan our eyes about… there is space—foreground, middle ground, and background. As a photographer I have the ability to direct the viewer on a visual journey by point of view, placement of objects, and composition,” said Holdman. “All I’m doing is arranging what Mother Nature has already orchestrated in a pleasing space.” Holdman’s love of his native Utah can be seen and felt in each spectacular capture, helping viewers rediscover the inspiring natural beauty of home, no matter where you hang your hat.
Whether by nature’s design, or an artist’s creation, take advantage of your time in Park City to notice the beauty of our spaces—those that provide a welcomed respite for weary eyes, or a grand feast for the senses.