Sunday, March 26, 2017

Excellent Exhibition Spiritually Showcases the Abstract Passion of Terry Firkins

Art Exhibition Spotlight

The Saddest Happy Ending
The Passion Through the Eyes of Peter
Mixed media abstracts by Terry Firkins
The Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, Chicago
Thru April 2

As much as I love art, and not just at the museum level, I rarely visit art galleries and have almost never attended opening receptions of gallery exhibitions.

But then, I don't recall ever being invited.

So when I was, to an exhibition by Terry Firkins, a friend of a friend, I was happy to be able to get to it last Friday evening.

Dubbed The Saddest Happy Ending and subtitled "The Passion Through the Eyes of Peter," the exhibit--running through next Sunday--features a few dozen mixed media abstracts.

Most of these--per the gallery promo card--"study the final drama in the life of Jesus from the imaginary perspective of his closest disciple. Each work, drawn from Biblical as well as historical references, humanizes an individual event from The Passion."

Crucifixion by Terry Firkins
All of this, and other spiritual influences, may well abet your appreciation of the paintings, but even as a Jew with no clue about the allusions being drawn, I simply liked the dynamism of what I saw at face value.

My sense as I told Firkins, who voiced some validity, was of a catfight on canvas between Kandinsky and de Kooning.

Unfortunately, I am not in a position to buy one of Terry's paintings--even as they seem reasonably priced for an artist long exhibited in Chicago, New York and Milwaukee galleries, and held in collections worldwide--but if I could have I would have.

Though always happy to support the artistic endeavors of friends and not above giving them a plug, I can honestly say these paintings are of a style and quality I would take note of anywhere--from art fairs to major museums (and I've been to well over 150 of the latter).

Accompanying "The Passion" pieces was a smaller selection of smaller works figuratively crucifying our current president--abstractly and rather drolly--with titles such as Donald J. Trump Takes the Oath of Office as a Crazy Rabbit and Donald J. Trump Takes the Oath of Office as a Jackalope (as shown left to right).

The exhibition took place in the gallery space of a beautiful building at 1012 N. Dearborn housing the Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, which has existed since 1895.

As seems to be standard per the gallery openings I've seen on TV, a selection of wine and cheese was served.

But I found it to be a rather low key, decidedly unpretentious affair, and enjoyed the chance to speak to Terry about his paintings.

I'll include a few more of the paintings below, but especially with no admission fee--or pushy gallery personnel--it certainly can be worth your while to stop by and take a gander.

The gallery is open weekdays from 11am-7pm and Terry Firkins will be on hand next Saturday & Sunday from 11am-3pm.

You can also see his work--though not yet the current exhibition--on his website, which showcases paintings in a variety of mediums and styles, including several landscapes and city street scenes.

Terry Firkins with The Unforgiven
Detail from Descent from the Cross by Terry Firkins
Palm Sunday by Terry Firkins
Crow by Terry Firkins
Mount of Olives by Terry Firkins

1 comment:

Ken said...

I think I detect strains of Jackson Pollack too.