Feature Articles

May 2013

Corrigan Gallery LLC in Charleston, SC, Features Works by Alan Jackson and Allan Wendt

Corrigan Gallery LLC in Charleston, SC, will present Semi-Automatic, featuring the latest works of Alan Jackson and Allan Wendt, on view from May 1 through June 9, 2013. A reception will be held on May 3, from 5-8pm. This is the second time that each of these artists have shown in the gallery.

Semi-Automatic - black and white, repetitive, small, large, tight, scattered, mark making mark making marks made, make a mark, do it again – automatic writing, automatic drawing, thought, no thought, control, not controlled - like many things going on in today’s world. Straight curved waves nature manmade imitate nature – presentations of human touch on wood or paper illuminated by graphite or ink.

Automatic drawing was considered a form of expression by the subconscious created without consistent, rational control. André Breton, the French artist, defined surrealism as “pure psychic automatism.” André Masson, Miro, Dali, Jean Arp all practiced automatic drawing. There was an artistic movement in Canada in the 1940s called “Automatism.” One reads more often of automatic writing, although we know that mark making is just that, whether it creates a word or image - representational or not. Many believed the results express something of either the psyche or provided by “spirits” using the “artist” as a medium.

Spontaneity in approach would likely be the word used today and most would shy away from discussions of the psyche taking control or a “spirit” separate from the human making the creation as that intimates mumbo jumbo far from the general viewer’s comfort level. Picasso would perhaps discuss getting back to our childhood level of letting go of control. In pure form, automatic writings or drawings are not corrected but the material can be the springboard for work where some control is introduced or the automated work suggests images. But in a world where control seems to be the buzzword and freedom seems protected for the wrong things and not for pure reasons, the simplicity of mark making without complete formal intent is a breath of fresh air.

The lack of color in these works provides a place of relief also. Ink is the substance of choice for Jackson and graphite for Wendt. From large to very small, variety yet similarity provides a resting place for the spirit of the viewer.

Wendt’s current thoughts on his work are that, “A particular discipline is practiced here determined by an immediate mental and emotional state allowing an idea to express itself in communication with the hands in a direct way without the interference of pre-determined deliberation resulting in drawings participating in their own making that elude representative or abstract art to the extent that those who look will see something captured that escapes explanation and is comprehended without analysis.”

Jackson states, “Borrowing from my training as an architect these non-representational pen and ink compositions include elements of both hard line drafting and freehand sketching. They were initiated as a creative counterpoint to the rigid, representational work required in architectural rendering. The aim of this series of drawings was to examine texture, tone and precision through line work. Each piece is conceived with self-invented constraints while the execution is intended to be a spontaneous and creative process allowing for progression and innovation. Uninterrupted, straight lines are executed with a continuous vertical stroke not unlike the vertical cut of a Japanese sword.”

Alan Jackson is originally from Savannah, GA. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1975 and worked in architectural offices in Savannah, Beaufort, Kiawah Island and Charleston. He has lived in Charleston since 1979. He is a LEED accredited professional. He is a self taught black & white photographer. His work was featured in a solo exhibits at the Charleston City Gallery in 1989 and his photographs have been featured at the Charleston County Public Library and local businesses. He has studied the Japanese martial art of Aikido since 1984 and the Japanese sword arts of Kendo. These studies have influenced his artwork.

Primarily a self-taught artist, Allan Wendt has been drawing all his life. He was born in Columbia and has lived in Charleston for 35 years. He graduated from Clemson University with a degree in architecture, with a minor in sculpture studio art. Studying classical drawing, Wendt eventually developed his own distinctive technique.

Drawings from his earlier series of the human figure have been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout the state, including the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and the Charleston City Gallery at Waterfront Park. In 2007, Wendt shifted, beginning a series of non-representational drawings. Works from this series were exhibited in the 20th Anniversary Juried Exhibition at the Lipscomb Art Gallery at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, SC. His work is included in private and corporate collections in the United States. Wendt currently is a licensed architect in South Carolina.

In its eighth year, Corrigan Gallery is the culmination of 25 years of experience in the Charleston art market. Representing more than a dozen artists in an intimate space, the gallery presents a new show almost every month and invites visiting artists at least once a year. Other gallery artists include Joe Walters, Richard Hagerty, Gordon Nicholson, John Moore, Paul Mardikian, Judy Cox, Karin Olah, Daphne vom Baur, Manning Williams and John Hull. Many of these local artists have established national careers and are included in museum collections.

A gallery of contemporary works exploring the depth and intellect behind the drive to create, Corrigan Gallery provides a depth to the historic city’s traditional bent.

For further information check our SC Commercial Gallery listings, call the gallery at 843/722-9868 or visit (www.corrigangallery.com).


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