On Saturday, May 20, 2017, Arcadia Contemporary, a leader in realist works now located on the West Coast, opened a brave new exhibition of fresh works by well-known artist Casey Baugh. Due to the scale of some of the works, Arcadia Contemporary President and Curator Steve Diamant rented the Noh/Wave Exhibition space in downtown Los Angeles for the opening night so viewers could enjoy the larger-scale works in their full capacity.
By Vanessa Françoise Rothe
Mixing sublime realism with modern strokes, Casey’s works deliver a unique viewing experience. From afar, they are quite realist — so detailed that they can be appreciated as traditional or classical fine works. But as one draws near, one discovers tactile nuances, splashes even, layers of dripping paint, and beautiful hard and soft, almost airbrushed edges.
The classically trained Baugh’s drawing skills are sharp, so the figure, or a single hand, is rendered with a combination of tight edges and values to show the form, and often a soft, “airbrushed” side is added to help create depth and interest. His purposeful spills create movement, and the thicker/thinner brushwork adds to the depth of the works to make them enjoyable on many levels. This winning combination is clever, combining a clearly classical realist style with modern-day flair.
Baugh has been revered for years for charcoal figure and portrait drawings boasting this combination of realism and abstraction, filling many of his workshops with artists who admire and try to emulate his effects. It seems with this bold new exhibition he has taken these unique effects and applied them to his oil paintings as well. Naturally, the effect on the viewers has also been positive.
Diamant notes about the subjects of this year’s exhibition: “This new series of paintings and charcoal drawings relates to Casey’s desire to celebrate the female form in nature. To show both the expansiveness of the locations and the intimacy of the figure all in one image. Baugh added, “I really felt the larger size of the works allowed me to be free with paint application and I was able to experiment more with the layers of paint, creating volume and interesting textures in the works. It was amazing to be able to be so free and expressive with the paint at this scale. I was especially pleased to see friends and collectors
be able to view the works from a far and up close at this scale, so they could experience them in same manner as I had created them.”
The exciting event was well attended, and the classical violin and cello — which had a modern twist of new sounds beyond the traditional as well — seemed to echo the surrounding artwork.
Baugh’s new collection of oils and charcoal works for “Exposed” can be viewed at Arcadia Contemporary through June 8.
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