Feature Articles

April Issue 2000

Jackson Gallery in Aiken, SC, Features Exhibit Abstracting Carolina

The Jackson Gallery, in Aiken SC, is presenting two solo shows by two South Carolina artists. Tom Ogburn and Suzy Scarborough, both midlands area painters who are expanding into national markets, will have newer works on display from Apr. 13 through May 11.

Abstracting Carolina will showcase many of the recent abstract paintings Ogburn has been creating for the last two years. "In the last few months though I have taken a look around me, where I live, the land I grew up on and these views have been working their way into my paintings," says Ogburn. "While they are still pretty much non-representational, the colors, the feelings about this area and its natural environment - both inside and out - have all come into play with my newer pieces."

Ogburn's paintings are driven by a sense of inner and outer tension. He describes himself as an "intuitive abstract" painter, and begins each new work with a non-objective splash of paint. The resulting mark is then a reference, or a challenge, to react to by painting in response. "The painting then has to grow, partly of its own resolve, partly by my increasing direction and sense of how I am responding to it as a creation. This is why I can't rightly call them non-objective works anymore."

Suzy Scarborough has also been amassing quite a body of work in the past several years, with patterns of change evident in her newer paintings. Fruit, Flowers and Figures gives a simple name to a complex collection of works. "Lately I have taken a lot of inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci about painting from nature," explains Scarborough, "That if you paint from nature you take nature into your soul." The interplay between her flowers, their shadows and the accompanying symbols increase the perspective of her works from almost classical to the very modern.

A quote from da Vinci has been important to Scarborough in her journey as a painter - "The spirit of the painter will be like a mirror which always takes on the color of the thing reflected and contains as many images as there are things placed before it. Know, o' painter, that you will never succeed if you do not have the universal power to represent by your art all the varieties of form present in nature - and indeed you will find this impossible unless you can foresee them and hold them in your mind." In viewing Scarborough's work, this sense of imbuement of nature is evident.

"I then take these forms, whether fruit, flower or human, and work in varying degrees of transparencies," said Scarborough. She then mutes her images with a hot wax treatment while in others she applies a varnish to retain the intense colors, as in some of the flowers.

The Jackson Gallery, which opened its doors to the public in Oct. of last year, has presented an excellent series of exhibitions in its first season. "I really want to offer the area a good, strong venue for which to view art," says Bill Jackson, who with his wife Becky owns and operates the gallery. "We have tried a number of different formats this year and we expect to offer very different shows for our next season." One of these formats will be evidenced by this dual presentation of Ogburn and Scarborough. "We are offering the public a broader opportunity to view artwork by hosting two solo shows at once," adds Jackson.

For more info check our SC Commercial Gallery listings, call 803-648-7397, email jacksongallery@mindspring.com, or visit them on the web at (www.jacksongallery.com).

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