WMU Home > WMU News >

WMU News

'Charismatic Abstraction' on display at Richmond Center

Nov. 4, 2008

KALAMAZOO--The original art exhibit "Charismatic Abstraction," featuring the contemporary abstract paintings of Moira Dryer, Mike Cloud, Chris Martin, John L. Moore and Dona Nelson, is on display at Western Michigan University through Tuesday, Nov. 25.

The exhibit is open to the public free of charge in the Richmond Center for Visual Arts' Monroe-Brown Gallery.

Richmond Center gallery hours

  • Monday through Thursday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday: noon to 6 p.m.

"Charismatic Abstraction" had its genesis in the brief but powerful career of Dryer, whose production of highly original paintings was cut short by her untimely death in 1992. Her work, an ever-changing evolution of abstraction and representation, shifted the path of contemporary painting in the late 1980s. WMU exhibition curator Don Desmett was compelled to explore Dryer's dynamic contribution to painting after first viewing her work some 15 years ago.

"What felt most right was to not only exhibit Dryer's paintings, but to do so in a group show featuring contemporary artists who, while painting in drastically different styles and approaches to abstraction, have that charisma that lives in Dryer's paintings," Desmett said.

Dryer extended the development of painting into space, with cuts in the surface, the addition of objects and grand scale. Today, Nelson, Moore, Cloud and Martin continue to create works as energized and unpredictable as those Dryer unveiled in the last two decades of the 20th century.

Cloud transforms the symbols of everyday objects, including clothing and photographs, into distressingly disturbing patterns of meaning. Martin's James Brown painting visually captures the sounds and movements of the Great One. Moore creates landscapes and figures from abstract patterns and circular orbs. Nelson often uses a painting's surface to span other works, rubbing one surface to another, tracing, pushing and repainting from sources that seem only moments old.

A fully illustrated exhibition catalog, with an essay by Desmett, has been published in conjunction with the exhibit. Copies will be available at the reception desk of the gallery.

For more information, visit the Frostic School of Art online, or contact the exhibitions office at (269) 387-2455.

Media contact: Tonya Durlach, (269) 387-8400, tonya.durlach@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400