Sunday, October 21, 2012

Charles Ritchie and Michael Rees

Saturday I walked around Chelsea during their open studio event.  As it turned out the first gallery that I came across was the most moving.  Charles Ritchie is currently exhibiting his watercolors and drawings at Bravin Lee Programs.  Charles is my kind of artist.  His work is as modest as it gets, his technique is masterful, his work is charming, his subject matter is banal, and his work is authentic.  None of the pictures on the Bravin Lee website do his work justice.  The textured and rough edge paper that he draws on gives his two dimensional work an object like quality.  For the past two months now I've been collecting vintage postcards.  They enchant me and so does his postcard size drawings.  According to Ritchie's Artist Statement on his website...

My drawings are investigations of a series of sites in and around my suburban home which I have explored repeatedly for twenty-five years. Light is my essential subject.
My inspirations come in a flash and I hope to convey that initial excitement [...]  However, by the time the drawing is finished, the site may be vastly different than when I started [...] The exhibited work is an abstracted accumulation of many different experiences and events.
[...] I aim to come to deeper levels of awareness and to more fully interpret the magic and mystery behind the surface of things. 

Charles Ritchie

Later that day I came across Michael Rees' sculptures.  I find the forms of his work very creative.  They seem to have both organic and machine-made elements.  But these characteristics don't clash... instead they integrate and make something exciting, new, and weird.

Michael Rees

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