Figurative abstract mixed-media paintings of Joan Ranzini and black-and-white portrait photos by past The Spark guest Fran Fevrier, paired at the request of the artists.
(The show closed Wed 20 June 2012.)
Joan Ranzini calls her own creations, "experiments with collage and paint (in a) Family Tree series (with a) recurring motif; a stylized, templated human form links the images thematically."
The paintings framed in unusual walnut-tone wood frames with smooth burnished-brass fronts have a classic Modern look. Other Ranzini paintings without frames have more of an art brut feeling. Some surfaces have thick impasto paint, areas of book-page collage, and found objects.
Nelson Gallery (Lexington, Va) regular Fran Fevrier says her images are some of her "favorite silver gelatin prints (traditional darkroom) from the last 10 or so years." The pictures range from pensive to cute --though without turning saccharine.
WMRA's Terry Ward was struck by the emotional closeness so many of the parent-and-child portrait subjects show to each other. That is, until the teenage years, when all the hugging and mutual support is replaced with emotional (and in the photos, physical) distance. To emphasize the point, a photo showing two teens seemingly grudgingly tolerating their parents' presence is hung rather away from nearby photos which all show families (with pre-teen children) clinging to each other.
Observant visitors might notice subtle but intriguing differences between the photos' "official," public titles which are penciled on the matboard and the usually-unseen titles the artist has in her own head, which were provided to WMRA to put on the exhibit's title/prices list.
Official title: Corbin and Mary, Mother and Daughter.
Artist's title: Corbin and Mary, Mother and Daughter, Just After Mary's Diagnosis.
Official title: The Merrill Family.
Artist's title: The Merrill Family Eight Months Before Jane Died.
Official title: (Unlisted.)
Artist's title: The Hart Sisters Laughing at Their Father Who Is Wearing A False Nose and Mustache and Jumping Behind My Camera.