Lighthearted in the Granite State
By Noemi Giszpenc
The McGowan Fine Art Gallery collects and shows a range of art, from fairly conventional to more daring and eclectic. For this show, they have assembled the work of three female artists of considerable talent and adventuresome vision.
All three of these painters display a mastery of technique in service of a quirky, idiosyncratic vision. They don’t take themselves overly seriously, but they do offer a coherent and competent expression of the sometimes amusing, sometimes disturbing surreality in our lives.
Adelaide Murphy Tyrol doesn’t get her inspiration from childhood or collected objects, but from the natural world around her. Her small paintings of plants and bugs are richly colored and detailed, with a faint feeling of fairy tale magic to them. In “Ctenucid”, a couple of small blue-brown moths cling to spindly vines of large, wrinkly pink lilies festooned with yellow seed pods. In “ Prunus”, orange, red and greenish-yellow berries and leaves adorn autumnal branches n front of a blue-green background. “Flowering Ash” depicts the plant’s complex construction of upright leaves and outstretched flowers in front of a rich ochre background. These calm, almost botanical images stand in contrast to the more animated pictures of the jumping spider and the membracid (tree hopper). The spider, framed in close-up looks poised to hop out on its hairy legs and bite something with one of its many dangerous looking mouthparts. The other bug, though less scary, is no less fantastic, with its elaborate antennae and a shiny black spur emerging from its back.