Booksigning with Don Kirby: Wheatcountry; and Stephen Strom: Earth Forms
Don Kirby - Bluegrass, Jackson Rd. - 1997 30 x 40 inches Iris photograph
An exciting fall season commences at Clark Gallery on September 2nd. We are honored to present Christopher Armstrong’s evocative paintings depicting the vast and ever-changing ocean, along with the Don Kirby’s jewel-like black and white photographs of the American Northwest’s expansive wheat country. Installed through September 30th, the exhibition’s opening reception will be accompanied by a book signing on Saturday, September 12th from 4-6pm. Don Kirby will sign copies of his monograph Wheatcountry (Nazraeli Press); and photographer Stephen Strom will sign copies of his newly released Earth Forms (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2009).
Christopher Armstrong looks to the ocean as a restorative and inspirational resource. Ranging in emotion from calm and tranquil to raging and turbulent, the temperamental waves and tides of the water are deftly captured in the oil on aluminum, panel, or canvas paintings completed in Armstrong’s Gloucester, MA studio. Graceful and lyrical, even in instances when the water is surging and unsettled, the sheer majesty and beauty of Armstrong’s paintings capture our attention. The ocean’s constantly changing form and extraordinary symbolism continue to provide momentum to Armstrong’s compelling paintings. As the most precious resource on the planet, Armstrong is keenly attuned to the reflective qualities of water and sky in every kind of weather. His paintings of the sea’s light, color, and atmosphere are transcendent and sublime.
Armstrong earned his BA from Bucknell University and MFA from New York University. He formally studied painting at Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy. His work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the country, at the Bennington Art Museum, and through the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program.
Striking patterns tilled into the earth follow the rolling contours of vast farming fields in Don Kirby’s Wheatcountry images. The graphic geometries created by combines and grain drills as they till the soil, harvest the grain, and plant a new crop translate into abstract compositions of luminous black and white forms. Supplementing the naturally sensuous characteristics of the softly rounded landscape, these complex patterns evoke expressions of growth, movement, and emotion. Since the early 1990’s, Kirby has traversed the stretch of wheat country as it runs from Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.
During his career in the science of aerospace, Mr. Kirby became a self-taught photographer. Working with large-format cameras he has focused on the landscape. Kirby has thoroughly studied and documented the Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi Cliff Dweller) culture of the Colorado Plateau and is currently awaiting the publication of his second major monograph, Grassland (Nazraeli Press, 2009). Kirby’s photographs have been widely exhibited throughout the United States, and is represented in numerous public and private collections. He resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.