Contemporary oil paintings -
Linden Frederick, “Vacant,” 2016, oil on linen, 36 x 36 in.

From Haynes Galleries

The written word has conjured images in the mind’s eye for millennia. For nearly as long, visual artists have taken those words and phrases, condensed them, and with their own magic created artwork that encompasses a moment from the story. This idea — the story inspiring the artwork — was flipped a few years ago.

Contemporary oil paintings -
Guillermo Muñoz Vera, “Aegean Sea Bichrome Ware,” 2015, oil on canvas mounted on panel, 22 1/2 x 22 1/2 in.

Maine-based artist Linden Frederick painted 15 of his haunting nocturnal landscapes, and a handful of the country’s best writers were asked to put into words what sprang forth when they viewed a painting. Both the paintings and the words resulted in “Night Stories,” a cross-genre exhibition originally staged at Forum Gallery in 2017. Novelist Ann Patchett, author of the award-winning Bel Canto, was paired with the Frederick painting “Vacant.”

Contemporary oil paintings -
Jesus Villarreal, “El Espejo (The Mirror),” 2010–11, oil on linen, 68 x 40 in.

Now “Vacant” is the centerpiece of a new collaboration at Haynes Galleries in Franklin, Tennessee, joined by other Frederick paintings along with artworks by exceptional fellow painters. The special exhibition of contemporary guest artists continues through June 29, 2019. The distinguished guest painters are Alan Feltus, Alan Magee, Alyssa Monks, Guillermo Muñoz Vera, Brian Rutenberg, Tula Telfair, and Jesus Villarreal. The exhibition is a collaboration with Forum Gallery of New York.

Alan Magee, “The Winter Months,” acrylic and oil on panel, 40 1/4 x 32 1/4 in.

Clarity of artistic vision and craft are the common threads of these artworks. Each artist works in a different style depicting a variety of genres. There is Magee’s close-up still lifes and smooth river rocks, while Muñoz focuses on arrangements of ancient pottery and images of exquisitely manicured courtyards. Telfair’s views of icebergs on perfectly still water are seen alongside Monk’s sun-splashed forestscapes. A focus on the human figure appears in Villarreal’s cool self portrait and Feltus’s posed surrealistic groupings. And of course Frederick’s small-town views, devoid of figures, contemplate modern life in often forgettable places.

Contemporary oil paintings -
Alan Feltus, “Wine and Words,” 2004, oil on linen, 31 1/2 x 39 1/2 in.

These are heavy hitters of contemporary painting, but their paintings don’t feel oppressive in their grandness. Rather, they envelope viewers in a mood or state of being, just as a written story would.

Contemporary oil paintings -
Tula Telfair, “The Unfamiliar Truth,” 2014, oil on canvas, 72 x 90 in.

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