Intern Perspectives: July Membership Show

Oliver Coley, our summer intern from Smith College, wrote the following reaction to our July Membership Show. Over the last few days, Oliver has written about current WPG shows Distant Voices and Detritus, which close on Sunday, July 28.

Lucca Archway by Deron DeCesare

Lucca Archway by Deron DeCesare

Walking into the July Membership Show, the first work to catch my eye was a glowing gold print by Deron DeCesare. The Lucca Archway is a pastel monotype with very illuminating gold elements. The plane of gold against the dark shadowy archway is a very captivating play of light, and calls out to you to linger and draw closer to the print. On a closer look, the people walking around the the print’s archway are dotted and streaked with white highlights cast off from the gold, fleshing out their jackets and giving life to their hair. The details of the building are also lit up with white streaks, accentuating the window sills against the dark shadows of the window panes. On the far right, a patch of royal blue and white emanates from the top window, and stands out starkly against the palette of the rest of the piece. I was pulled into this piece by the exceptional use of light, and the life-like detail of the plants and figures beyond the archway.

Over to the right, I was struck by the small yet expressive quality of Tavern Trio by Margaret Adams Parker. Parker’s expressive lines and textured crosshatching encapsulate the nuances of these three characters, highlighting their postures and demeanors, and opening a window into their every day life. This triptych of candid portraits is not overcrowded with detail or information, but the way her lines accentuate the way their hands hold their instruments and the slump of their shoulders makes for a very captivating print.

Yet another work from this show with very expressive lines was Gossip, by Vicky Vogl. The aquatinting in Gossip has a very painterly quality; the pale bright highlights against the mottled blue background emphasize the lumps of the creature, and spotlights the details in the horses face. The distorted anatomy of the figure, and the way the eyes point directly at the viewer, makes for a very chilling feeling, and gives the creature a mischievous or cruel energy. I was very intrigued by the background, the streaks and swirling cloudy areas place the two figures in a very emotive and engrossing environment. I have been very pleased with the variation of works in both the June and July Membership Shows, and cannot wait to see the next one.

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