The Gleason-Bacon Gallery Opens with “The Color of Magic”
By Margaret Failoni
What is the color of magic? That cryptic question can be answered in the preview exhibition of the new Gleason-Bacon Gallery, which just opened in the Aurora Design Center in San Miguel de Allende. Newly opened, the gallery presents a three-artist exhibition of mostly works on paper totally different one from the other, but all having in common the riotous use of color in presenting images of rituals, festivities, mysticism, and, magic.
Originally from New Orleans, the longtime San Miguel resident and uber artist Lynne Gleason exhibits three oils on canvas and magnificent works on paper, mostly watercolors, and a few prints. Still life is the general genre of most of the work, depicting mysterious looking masks, such as in “Invocation,” tribal scarves, and what appear to be very sensuous colorful altars in “Fate,” all executed in Gleason’s masterful technique. A trio of black and white signature horse prints is shown in one corner of the space allotted her, along with two of her superb bronze horse sculptures. Perhaps they are there to remind us of her glorious past in London as the Queen’s chosen horse painter. Another gifted member of the San Miguel art scene, Linda Bacon, a hyperrealist painter and photo artist, is the second partner in the gallery. She exhibits a series of photographs and giclée prints of her paintings. Given the exactness and minuteness of her paintings and the long periods of time to execute them, superbly printed, signed and numbered giclées seemed to be the answer to fulfill the never-ending requests for her work. It is not surprising that the artist has exhibited in some of the most important galleries and public spaces in the United States, Europe, and Japan. This Texas-born and educated maverick moved to the Bay area in California early on, where she raised a family and discovered the thrills of painting. Years of experimentations, always in the realm of figurative art, led her to photography, which she has been doing more and more in the lasts few years. However, her move to Mexico a few years ago has rekindled her interest in drawing and perhaps a return to painting.
Her keenly observant eye and aesthetic sense are always present in her photographs. We will be looking forward to seeing more paintings as well as her newest foray into photography, which she so cleverly manipulates by mastering all the new technology the field now offers.
The third artist in this equation is the photo-artist Miguel Millo who last showed, here in San Miguel in the now defunct Manuel Chacon Gallery. Originally from Sonora but trained in the University of Tijuana, the now Mexico City-based artist has found the time to return to San Miguel where he was so successful. He, too, is fascinated with tribal representation, masks, costumes, and above all, the magnificent use of color. His subjects seem possessed with a magical aura surrounding them with a Caravaggioesque use of light and shadow. In one pair of portraits: “Nido de Vida” and “Espuma de Coral,” he uses the utmost color combination, black and white with various tones of grays, holding up beautifully against the larger, bolder, and brighter color photographs on the adjoining wall.
So what is the joining factor among all three artists? Without a doubt, the very professional excellent technique and artistic training; there is great quality in every sample. The work is figurative, never subtle but instead purposely bold and in your face, exciting, often sensuous and drowning in color, and all portray one way or the other mysterious objects depicting mystical, sometimes tribal rituals and therefore, all representing the color of magic so apropos of the moment.
This exhibition will remain open to the public through January 3, 2015. Galería Gleason Bacon is at Fábrica La Aurora, 12A, and is open Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesdays) from 11am-5pm.