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(Mar-Apr) Exhibition - William H Thielen - A Journey in All Directions: Paintings and Drawings


Selected Pieces from A Journey in All Directions: Paintings and Drawings

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THIS IS A VISUAL FIELD!
Emotions are the aesthetic glue of the work.
All good art is based on a truth;
it is about working towards an unknown.
The Intellects Are Wrong.
Stop Thinking and Start Feeling!
Trust the intuitive voice.
Sounds easy, but it’s not. Why do you think so few artists work in this manner?

When creating pictorial or sculptural objects, it is risky to trust the intuitive nature of emotions and the intellectual information that comes from observation.

For me, the only way to overcome this risk is in the language of abstraction.

The process of abstraction is one of spontaneity, flexibility, and trusting the intuitive nature of the act. Also inherent is an emotional reaction and metaphorical reckoning on the part of the viewer. All of this helps to create a new visual language in which to address the issues behind the visual statement.

The issues behind my work are personal and autobiographical. I work with these issues because they are my attempt to find my own true identity in a divisive social structure. Maybe in a way I am trying to find a momentary calm while existing in a society that is full of hostility and hatred.

These works are about extremes, how they need each other to define each other, and the tension that is created when opposites are thrust together. The compositions—sometimes simple, other times complex—aid in the process of building these works. As the work progresses it evolves. Sometimes black and white is dominant and other times, color, much as life is not always—if ever—on an even plain.

The black and white tends to be the backbone of each piece. It is about the constant struggle of good and bad, life and death, control, rigidity, and—sometimes—sick humor.

The color is entirely about emotions. They are something we all have, yet many people avoid them. If one does not trust them, they can have a profoundly negative effect. To embrace them leads to a positive integration into one’s self, and a healthy way of expressing them. No matter what one does, they will always be there.

I concentrate on the history of the process so that it silently complicates the depth of the object. By juxtaposing complicated geometric patterns with freehand shapes and line, works are created that stimulate, disturb, and distill feeling. The viewer, through a metaphorical language, must attempt to resolve this tension and find the truth in these works.

These pieces are about looking for emotional truth in a post-modern world. I constantly ask myself, “Where do I fit in? Am I legitimate?” I ask the same of these pieces. Where do they fit in? Are they painting, sculpture or mixed media? I leave it to each viewer to answer the question.

— William H. Thielen


Artist Statment

These works are about extremes, how they need each other to define each other, and the tension that is created when opposites are thrust together.  The compositionsósometimes simple, other times complexóaid in the process of building these works.  As the work progresses it evolves.  Sometimes black and white is dominant and other times, color, much as life is not alwaysóif everóon an even plain. 

The black and white tends to be the backbone of each piece.  It is about the constant struggle of good and bad, life and death, control, rigidity, andósometimesósick humor.  

The color is entirely about emotions.  They are something we all have, yet many people avoid them.  If one does not trust them, they can have a profoundly negative effect.  To embrace them leads to a positive integration into oneís self, and a healthy way of expressing them.  No matter what one does, they will always be there.

Artist Biography

A native of Pierre, South Dakota, with both a B.S. and M.F.A. in Art, Thielen has also studied with Judy Pfaff, Ross Bleckner and Charles Cohen.  He has been a full-time studio artist, living and working in Carbondale, Illinois, since 1980.  His abstract work runs the gamut: painting, drawing, sculpture, print and installations.  

 
Earlier Event: February 2
Grand Opening
Later Event: March 2
Preview Thursday - March