Heather Marshall: Here and There
Chuck Walker: New Work
September 10th – October 23rd, 2010
Opening Reception for the Artists: Friday, September 10th, 2010, 6-9 pm
Linda Warren Gallery is proud to open the fall season presenting two solo shows of two noteworthy realist painters, Heather Marshall and Chuck Walker. While their painting styles differ, as does the scale of their work, both share an enchanted sensitivity and seduction for the physical world, as well as a remarkable ability to transcend it through their very personalized forms of expression.
In her second solo exhibition at the gallery – Here and There - Heather Marshall continues her predilection for creating meticulous small-scale works that transform ordinary, every day images into extraordinary and alluring, jewel-like works of art. Marshall’s oil paintings on panel are painstaking efforts, which invariably involve hundreds of hours of work. To sustain her inspiration throughout, she focuses on imagery that is both visually complex and technically challenging, but more so, embrace her desire to hone in on that which is easily overlooked, ignored or simply taken for granted.
It is here, in the minute details of life, where Marshall’s ability to plasticize her medium and advance her compulsion for astute and uncanny perception become manifest, successfully raising our consciousness and abilities to discern and experience that which is around us. Found in the textured life of her surroundings – in dilapidated buildings and on rusty mailboxes, inside local dime stores or sewing shops, along country roads, and on top of city rooftops or in her sister’s delivery room after giving birth to her newborn niece, “Here and There” reflects Marshall’s personality and personal history. It is her eye and nuanced probing and handling of the matters of light, form, surface, perspective and composition that define her originality and incredible talent as an artist.
As must be said for Chuck Walker. A well-known and much admired Chicago figurative painter, this exhibition will mark Walker’s first solo exhibition in a commercial gallery in fifteen years. On display will be approximately ten new large-scale oil paintings on canvas, and a selection of drawings. Unlike Marshall, who uses the photograph as source material for her paintings, Walker relies on memory and imagination for the source of his inspiration. As he puts brush on canvas, or pen on paper, what comes forth as the works unfold, is both a revelation and salvation for the artist, as he discovers and evokes his own deep emotional and psychological states. For the most part, in this new work, his past exultation and flourishes into the finer details of his subject matter is kept to a minimum. His painterly gestures are confident and more simple and his typical grayed down palette veers even further into darker shades of reds and blacks. The current theme of his new work and one that seems to define Chuck Walker’s entire life is his relationships and love for his family.
In the last four years Walker has experienced the loss of his mother, his father, and two sisters – the latter being very unexpected and untimely. Memories and moments of his childhood with his sisters, places they have lived, stories that were told, and the raising of his three children, are all themes embodied in some fashion in the new work. His paintings and drawings are about the conjuring of the past – the passage of time and fearless exposé of the mind. They are visual poetry at once mysterious and haunting, full of solitude, sorrow, longing, but always sensuous, conveying a bleak beauty and monumental strength and hope.
Heather Marshall received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute in 2002 and her MFA from the University of Notre Dame in 2004. Her work can be found in many significant private collections throughout the country. Chuck Walker attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1969-73. His work has been exhibited at numerous venues including Artspace (San Francisco) (1987), Contemporary Center for Art (St. Louis) (1988), Evanston Art Center (1988), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago) (1989), Chicago Cultural Center (1992), the Rockford Art Museum (1997), and a retrospective of his work was held at the Hyde Park Art Center in 2008. Walker’s work has been discussed and reviewed in Art News, New Art Examiner, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and Art in America.