Drawing On, In, Out

Upsurge, charcoal graphite, pastel ink on paper, 60” x 132”.

Scott Tulay In Brattleboro

by Greg Morell

I happen to love color the more bold and brash, the better. I also have a proclivity toward figurative depiction and symbol. So how is it that I have been so taken by the monochromatic work of Scott Tulay, a sorcerer of black, white and gray?

I first came across his work many years ago. My first Tulay encounter was with his depictions of the skeletal remnants of ancient New England barns teetering on the brink of oblivion; charred by fire, age and neglect, these relics were balanced on the edge of total collapse.

The landscape of the Western Massachusetts valley towns of Sunderland, Hatfield and Hadley is dotted with outworn tobacco barns, and Tulay’s own grandfather was a Hadley tobacco farmer. He fondly remembers his Polish grandmother rolling her own cigars and puffing up clouds of the pungent smoke. These barns resonated with Tulay in a visceral way, and their weathered bones may have circumscribed a longing for a lost past.

However, his new magnum drawings showcased at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center as part of a group show entitled “Drawing On, In, Out” delve into a new direction.Currently an architect working in Northampton, Tulay is a graduate of MIT, where he studied under the tutelage of T. Kelly Wilson, who was celebrated for his mantra, “See like an artist, think like a designer, feel like a human.”

Aside from the staggering monumental size of his new work, Tulay has left the terrestrial plane. A dynamic energy that could be sub-atomic, or a probe, propels his new work into the dark energy of the celestial. Tulay is dancing in a world of imagined possibility on the cusp of the unknown, driven by natural inclination and a sense of serendipity. Suffused with mystery, his work makes me recall a line from one of the diatribes of Jim Morrison, “Out here in the perimeter, there are no stars; out here, we is stoned — immaculate.”

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