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"Re-Newal: Contemporary Art Using Wax"
2007-09-29 until 2007-10-27
Marin Museum of Contemporary Art
USA United States of America
The new Marin Museum of Contemporary Art presents, Re-Newal, an exhibition that focuses on contemporary art using wax. Juried by Bob Nugent, Re-Newal includes more than fifty works from artists who are members of International Encaustic Artists. Re-Newal will be on view at MarinMOCA at 500 Palm Drive, Novato, CA from September 29-October 27. Wax ON - The members of IEA (International Encaustic Artists) will be exhibiting dazzling array of paintings demonstrating the variety of art being made by this unique group of artists. The theme of the show is Renewal: revitalization, renewal of energy, renewal of the seasons. The artists imagination is constantly re-newing, inventing, creating. The works in this show are fresh and full of life. Brilliant color, subtle texture, and creativity abound.
Enkaustikos-the name means "to burn in." The ancient Greeks gave the art of painting with hot beeswax more than a name, they gave it a form. The exact timeline is unclear, but at a point some three thousand years ago, Greek shipbuilders began experimenting with uses for heat and wax other than simple hull caulking. By adding pigments for color, and resin for hardness, they created a painting medium like no other. Before long, encaustic could be found everywhere, from painted ships to depictions of everyday life on urns and lifelike colors applied to statuary.
Encaustic painting weaves in and out of art history, gaining prominence for a time, then slipping back into the shadows for centuries. A thousand years after the Greek shipbuilders discovered it, Egyptian painters resurrected the medium, crafting exquisite portraits to decorate the mummy after a patron's death. In the seventh century, veneration of a Byzantine icon made of beeswax, using the ashes of Christian martyrs for pigment, was credited with saving Constantinople from attack by the Persians.
Fast-forward to the mid-twentieth century. Almost single-handedly, artist Jasper Johns reintroduced encaustic to the art world. Since that time, it has steadily gained acceptance. The medium's popularity has begun picking up momentum rapidly in the last decade. It's no wonder that we keep revisiting this ancient art form-few others can match its versatility, both in technique and result.
Works of encaustic can be sedate and smooth, or seductively dimensional. The wax has an inviting surface that begs to be stamped, gouged, and carved. It invites the viewer not only to look, but to touch and smell. Encaustic is sensual.
The new Marin Museum of Contemporary Art is located in Marin County, California at Hamilton Field in Novato, California. It's missiion is to exhibit a broad spectrum of contemporary art, to provide art education programs, to encourage creativity and artistic fellowship, and to be a vital cultural resource for our community.
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