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Artwork by VPA faculty Jude Lewis, Kevin Larmon opens in new Ortwine Gallery
The SU Library is celebrating the opening of the new Robert G. Ortwine Gallery on the sixth floor of Bird Library with a showing of works by College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) faculty members Kevin Larmon and Jude Lewis. The Ortwine Gallery was given by Bruce A. Ortwine ’75 in memory of his brother, Robert G. Ortwine ’72. It is a joint venture between the library and the College of Visual and Performing Arts to showcase faculty and student work.
Featured works by Larmon, assistant professor of painting in the School of Art and Design’s Department of Art, include two different types of paintings. Cell or virus paintings are based on a chemical process that generates cells, a process that Larmon developed over the past 20 years. Two black paintings are regenerations of earlier works from the 1980s. In a review of Larmon’s work, arts journalist Stephanie Buhmann says, “Kevin Larmon has received critical acclaim for creating paintings that lyrically explore the divide between abstraction and referential imagery. He aims to establish compositions that … convey distinct moods and a strong sense of atmosphere. He combines expressive gestures with more specifically drawn details, and layers washes of paint with opaque forms. The results are compositions that often read as epic sceneries. Familiar or dazzlingly strange, these are highly associative and reminiscent of dramatic landscapes found in nature as well as of out-of-space skies.”
“Inside Out” by Lewis is comprised of a series of x-rays taken of Lewis’ wood sculptures. Like much of her work, these particular sculptures have an interior that is only partially accessible. The x-rays provide an opportunity to see through a material that we believe, and trust, to be solid and sturdy. They underline Lewis’ intention of making work that connects to common experiences, and vulnerabilities, of being human.
Lewis, a dimensional arts professor in the School of Art and Design’s Department of Foundation, has been working with wood throughout her life, both as a furniture maker and sculptor. Her work combines the sensibilities of these pursuits, resulting in highly crafted objects that point to universal experiences.