FINDING CLARITY IN THE GREY AREAS
by Jim Dyment
The words black and white generally make us think of photography; in this case, Nick Johnson and Kelli Costa have curated an exhibit of drawings and paintings. Costa had a couple of artists in mind. She remembered Alicia Dwyer’s black and white paintings of dresses hanging in Indian Hill Music Center in Littleton back in October 2012. It didn’t take long to expand this concept, and artists Catriona G. Baker, Arthur J. Garrone and Joel Moskowitz were added to feature a collection named “Absence of Color.”
I was intrigued by Dwyer’s ability to make the garments look like they were in motion. She shared her technique for capturing motion in her painting, “A model wore the dress and jumped on a trampoline while I took still photos with my digital camera,” she explained. “I referenced the photos for the paintings.” Dwyer has been working primarily in black and white for most of her career. “The world is full of color, but I also see a great range of color in black and white, and this has been my palette. During one period, I only drew in charcoal for 10 years. In the last dozen years, I painted on glass or metal with only black paint. These dress paintings are my first black and white oil paintings,” she said. Her intention was to paint the dresses as if the figure was there, but not seen. They have a ghostly appearance as they float through the air.