Thursday, January 8, 2009

Disintegrating Reality

Frozen Ledge #3 - Oil - 2007

Since I've been employed at the State House, the art displays maintained by the Maine Arts Commission have become one of my favorite parts of the building's decor. A large amount of space on the first floor of the building and additional areas on the second floor outside of the Governor's office are home to a variety of work created by Maine artists. Every few months, one series is taken down, and new work is brought in to replace it. Often, the displays are a mixture of pieces by several different artists, but the most recent display contains paintings by a single artist, Belfast resident Dennis Pinette.

Pinette states that he likes to "push realism to the edge of disintegration." It's a strange claim that takes on eerie significance when you finally see his art. I find myself stopping to look at it nearly every time I pass. His paintings possess a quality that is difficult to articulate, existing in some surreal blur of intense light and brooding darkness. I decided to take some photos to post here because I wanted to share his excellent work, but upon reviewing them, I found that the energy and vibrancy of the paintings was lost in the reproductions. Even in searching online, examples of his work seem lifeless compared to the originals.

I've done my best to adjust the contrast and saturation in these photos to try to convey, even in the smallest of ways, the color and motion captured in Pinette's work. My real hope is that people in the Augusta area who read this will take the time to visit the State House and see the exhibition, or, for those who have seen the paintings briefly or in passing, that they will take the time to stop and appreciate Pinette's unique and entrancing landscapes. You really do need to see the originals to get the full effect.

“The elusive geometries of fire and water in motion are timelessly hypnotic and transcendent. As ultimate solvents their powers are absolute in determining life and death.”
-Dennis Pinette

Burning Sky #2 - Oil - 2008

Woods in Flames #2 - Oil - 2007

Searsmont Woods Moody Mountain - Oil - 2003

PLEASE NOTE: All work is by Dennis Pinette. The reproductions here are my own photographs taken of his original work. I take no credit for what you see here, and only wish to share what I have found so that others might appreciate it, too.

Dennis Pinette at the Caldbeck Gallery Website
Dennis Pinette on the Yankee Magazine blog
Dennis Pinette on the Phoenix website

1 comment:

Alivia said...

Oh wow, those are beautiful! I wish I were more eloquent, but that's the first thought that came to mind :o)