|GALLERI URBANE // FEB17 // 6.30-8.30PM
Galleri Urbane in Dallas
2277 Monitor St
Dallas, Tx 75206
432 386 0590
|© 2018 moderndallas.net all rights reserved.
COUNTERACT: Loring Taoka
Artist Talk: 5:30 - 6:30pm
Opening reception: February 17, 6:30 - 8:30pm
On view through: March 24, 2018
|The trompe l’oeil tradition of painting is one that spans back for many centuries. A French term
that literally translates to ‘deceive the eye,’ the technique is one that creates the perception of
three-dimensional space that is ultimately provoked and interrupted by a flat, two-dimensional
picture plane, often rousing a perplexing moment of reflection within viewers. The discovery of
mathematically correct perspective during the Renaissance allowed for early examples of this
phenomenon in painting and drawing, which continued and became pushed to the extreme
by artists ever since.
Loring Taoka’s paintings in “Counteract,” then, can be viewed as an extension of the trompe
l’oeil practice in 2018. And while numerous artists have contributed to the genre over the course
of art history, Taoka has managed to present a unique and refreshingly innovative take that
collectors have come to prize. Abandoning the traditional canvas or panel surface, his paintings
are created on sheets of clear plexiglass that seem to disappear altogether when viewed from
certain angles, complicating the idea of a fixed, stable ground. As light passes through the
paintings, shadows of the painted two-dimensional objects fall on the wall behind them,
solidifying their potential for sharing our three-dimensional existence in the world.
Taoka’s subject matter also presents a more contemporary example of optical illusion, rendering
objects that resemble symbols and icons of a life based in the digital sphere. The artist takes basic
geometry as a starting point, using it to build more complex forms that suggest a digitally rendered
model floating in space. He is able to achieve various visual effects by flattening certain aspects
of the shape with saturated hues of color and inverting highlights and shadows that distort it in
surprising ways. There lies a tension between the illusion of a digitally produced model and the
reality of a painting produced by the hand of the artist. The visual information provided lies on
the line of being read as “real” or “fake.”
Ultimately, the artist seeks to call the viewer to question what they are seeing, what they are
understanding, and how that understanding shifts as one moves in space.
Loring Taoka is an artist living and working in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He has a BA from the University
of Toledo and received an MFA in Studio Art from the University of North Texas in 2011. He has
been included in numerous group exhibitions across the country and has had solo shows in New
York, Ohio, and Texas, including 2016’s “Soft Edge” exhibition at Galleri Urbane. Taoka’s work has
been placed in numerous private collections and has been a represented by Galleri Urbane
since the gallery’s 2015 nation-wide juried painting exhibition, “Here & Now,” in which he was
awarded best in show.
Jeffrey Cortland Jones
New Clear Dawn
February 17 - March 24, 2018
|There are visual moments from everyday life that often escape one’s consciousness. The way in
which the color planes of sky and sea meet at a distant, indecipherable point on the horizon;
the layering of color patches that mask graffiti tags on the side of a building; a cadence of
rubber tire marks built up on the highway median. It is overlooked moments like these that
inform the paintings of Jeffrey Cortland Jones and his exhibition “New Clear Dawn” at Galleri
Urbane this winter, calling for one to take a slower, closer look.
Upon first glance, Cortland Jones’ paintings appear to be composed of layered blocks of white
and grays with the occasional splash of color. Their clean presentation, sheets of acrylic floating
away from the wall, further enforce a tendency to be perceived as minimal and stoic. Given
further examination, however, and the works reward viewers with so much more: surfaces that
fluctuate between matte and glossy, layers that have been painted, sanded, buffed, and
scraped, and whites that reveals themselves to be anything but white.
In discussing his interest in color, Cortland Jones has once quoted Josef Albers’ remarks: “Colors
present themselves in continuous flux, constantly related to changing neighbors and changing
conditions.” The paintings in “New Clear Dawn" undoubtedly drive this idea. Shapes of color
are taped off and applied, only to be painted over, pushed back, and altered by what veils it.
One plane of white reads as warm when placed to another plane of white that appears more
cool. A slightly transparent layer is placed over a fully saturated color to create yet another
element in the artists’ visual vocabulary. At a standard 14 x 11 inches, their modest size demand
a more personal confrontation between viewer and painting. It is in this intimate approach
that Cortland Jones’ paintings truly reveal themselves, bestowing viewers the ability to see
things that others may take for granted.
Jeffrey Cortland Jones is a painter, curator, and professor who lives in Southwestern Ohio. He has
a BFA and MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and
the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning, respectively.
His work has been widely exhibited in over 150 solo and group exhibitions across the country
as well as abroad, from Scotland to Australia, and has been included in numerous publications
such as New American Paintings, Art LTD magazine, and Contemporary Art Review LA.
In addition to making work, Jeffrey also actively curates exhibitions at a number of galleries
and alternative spaces, including DIVISIBLE, a project space he co-founded in 2014.