Thirty artists invite patrons to join in the jaunty spirit of fervent artistic debate when Robert Lange Studios presents its annual group invitational, Black vs White, on February 5 from 5:30-9PM. This year’s theme is broad but simple, and over 80 works will be on display. The artists have been asked to make two same-sized pieces, one with a black color scheme and another that’s predominantly white.
Following artists will participate: Scott Debus and Julio Cotto from Scoop Studios, Kevin LePrince from Wells Gallery, Kirsten Moran, Rob Harrell, Charles Williams, John Duckworth, Kenton James, Patrick Pelletier, Michael Porten, Mickey Williams, Susan Harrell, Jonathan Brilliant, Tiffany Sage, Kristy Bishop, Jeffrey Lange, Erik Johnson, Karin Olah, Gary Grier, Karen Silvestro, as well as Ali Cavanaugh, Megan Aline, Robert Lange, Nathan Durfee, Kerry Brooks, Jessica Dunegan, Fred Jamar, Michael Moran, Amy Lind, Adam Hall, Joshua Flint, Sean Clancy, and JB Boyd from Robert Lange Studios.
The works in Black vs White aren’t just juxtaposed pieces exploring two colors but celebrations of the unique techniques that are unpredictable, distinctive and beautiful, employed by each individual artist.
All of the artists chosen for the show are active fine art painters and sculptors. To qualify for the show, each artist submitted one to two pieces that represent their stylistic approach to art.
“Last year the Yellow vs Blue show pushed artists to work within a specific color range, although most of the artists felt comfortable with these colors,” says gallery owner and artist Robert Lange. “This year Black vs White will create an even greater challenge, as color is an integral part of nearly all of the artists’ work and many never find black on their palettes.”
Landscape painter Charles Williams was especially out of his element when asked to engage this monochromatic theme. Traditionally creating vibrant marshscapes, his paintings for this show, titled “Breaking Point,” are hyper-realistic works with paint dribbling down the lower end of the canvas. In one piece the sky and water is dark and ominous and in the other, bright and inviting.
Familiar to Robert Lange Studios, painter Nathan Durfee, a narrative nonconformist who creates surreal storylines, has paired a black bear that wants to be a panda bear with a white pony wishing to be a zebra, in “Robert dreams of Exotica” and “Bob Dreams of Exotica.”
Host Robert Lange created two trompe l’oeil works. The first piece titled “This is Not an Orchid” is of a taped-up iphone displaying not just the time and date but a background wallpaper of an orchid. The second work titled “This is Also Not an Orchid” depicts an actual orchid taped to the surface of the panel. The realist works sit on top of the panel fooling patrons with their shadows and barely visible brushstrokes.
Faced with the black verses white challenge, painter Joshua Flint, who was recently on the cover of Southwest Art Magazine, painted two solitary buildings. Flint’s paintings are normally filled with a yellowish glowing light but these most recent works have been drained of their color, transforming the subjects into haunting and romantic structures.
The gallery is located at 2 Queen Street in downtown Charleston, SC.