February 8, 2011 Meeting
5:30 p.m. at the University Club, 10th floor of the Fifth-Third Bank Building in downtown Grand Rapids. Free parking in the 5/3 underground parking area. Enter from Monroe and tell the attendant you are with the Torch club.
LANY GROW, Torch Club Member
“Is This Art? Abstract Expressionism in the Mid-Twentieth Century”
So did you hear “Is this art?” or “I could do that!” during ArtPrize? It is no surprise that the big winners of the Grand Rapids art competition for the last two years have been highly representational (read “realistic”) paintings. At Torch Club on February 8th , Torch Club member and Grand Rapids painter Lany Grow will address the question, "Why does abstract art meet so much resistance ?" Her own work responds directly to expressionist art, one of the most controversial and highly criticized art traditions in history.
What has been the appeal of abstract expressionism? Why do painters still respond to it? Lany will take Torch Club on a tour of this tradition’s renowned artists to see where their brilliant color and unusual shapes will lead us. By 1919, Russian-born Wassily Kandinsky had abandoned all pretense of painting recognizable objects and experimented with a style of painting more intuitive than intellectual. He and Hans Hoffman had a great influence on Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothco, Willem De Kooning, Clyfford Still and many others, who responded to the invitation to paint “from within.”
When Lany is not creating artistic works she works as a dental hygienist and periodontal assistant. In the grand tradition of Torch members, her talk is on a topic not related to her vocation. She and her husband love animals and have 2 Great Danes. They aren't coming to the dinner but will guard the hearth at their home.
So, regardless of your opinion and reaction to abstract art, please join us at Torch Club for an interesting and educational evening. Who knows? You may actually change your mind about this art form that can speak both the artist’s and the viewer’s experience. Perception is powerful. The painting is what it is.