StreetscapeBrian Keeler Studios - fine art, illustrations, portraitures

Brian Keeler Reviews

The Ithaca Journal- Saturday, July 20, 1991

Keeler’s realism adorns walls of State of the Art
By George Baumgartner

Brian Keeler has returned to the State of the Art Gallery for his second one-man-show with more than two dozen oils, acrylics and pastels, among them several works marking an important milestone in the development of this young Wyalusing, Pennsylvania artist.

Keeler’s handling of paint and chalk has a consistent and instantly recognizable touch, and he has for he most part parted company with some of the quirkier aspects of last year’s palette.  His thematic repertoire continues to embrace a wide range, from realistic portraiture and landscape to abstract symbolism.  Quite accurately he calls this current show “Improvisations and Observations.”

Once again he reprises the sort of Magic Realism that set the tone for his 1990 show with yet another metaphysical conundrum, this time painting a man diving through a triangular pool of water suspended high above an otherwise ordinary landscape.

Keeler’s knack for seizing on the moment when the poetic and the psychic irrupt in the midst of the mundane reality continues to energize to some degree most of the work.  This interplay of the psychic and the prosaic is especially subtle and satisfying in two of the major pieces in the show.  In “the Observation” three brilliantly colored towels drying on a clothesline in a meticulously rendered small-town backyard seem to take on a life of their own, hinting at other, unrealized existences in the midst of perfectly mundane events.  Keeler’s finest work thus far.  “Susquehanna Light,” sustains poetic intensity through its twilight play of light on water and clouds.  In this dark and brooding large painting, we have the sense of something about to happen, something mysterious and inexplicable.

The mystery and tension are nowhere near as visceral and palpable in the artist’s “Improvisations.’  More intellectual than sensual, the abstract symbolism of these three works remains in the final analysis hermetic, although it is tempting to see in the free-form shapes ascending from a triangle resolution to the Pascalian dichotomy between the rational and the feeling minds.

Like ambitious panorama of an oxbow bend in the Susquehanna River. Keeler’s studies of the nude are a tour de force of scope and composition.  They fully integrate precise rendering and complex foreshortening of limbs and torsos with the setting, which the models are posed.  Overlaid touches of color unite flesh with material surface, suggesting a continuity between the sensate and the inanimate that parallels the simultaneity of the psychic and the day-to-day worlds of the Magic Realist paintings.

Web Site Developed By D3 Web Design
Home | Prints | Illustrations | Gallery | Events | Books / Catalogs | Videos | About Brian | Links | Contact

© 2007 Brian Keeler Studio. All rights reserved.