Jill Hadley Hooper: Still Life

Mark Villarreal: TaĆ­no

Goodwin Fine Art

September 14 - October 27, 2018

  • Opening Reception: Friday, September 14 from 6 - 8 pm
Jill Hadley Hooper, Still Life I, 2018, mixed media on panel, 52 x 36 x 2 in.

Jill Hadley Hooper lends her focus as the title of the exhibition connotes to the rich tradition of Still-Life painting or memento mori, adding her distinctive style to this genre of painting.  In preparation for the exhibition Hooper asked her friends to bring by arrangements of flowers for her to paint. Staying true to the discipline of Still Life painting Hooper chose to focus on the formal elements of painting; form, line color and composition. Within these self-imposed constraints, Hooper found an unexpected freedom.

"There is a liberation that comes from simply looking at something and drawing it. To give up control of the subject matter, I asked friends to provide me with cuttings from their gardens, to create portraits of sorts I could respond to."

The resulting paintings are richly textured with a unique printmaking quality to them. This effect is achieved by the rectangular tiling of the background with areas of white showing through along the edges. Hooper's source material stems from the artist's studies and drawings of each arrangement followed by the transfer of the image to the panel substrate. Working in a reductive process Hooper constantly re-works the surface leaving behind just a hint of what was there. The compositions are elegant and as Hooper refers to them, "portraits of sorts."

Jill Hadley Hooper received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. She has an extensive exhibition history. Her work was included in the 2017 Arvada Center for the Arts exhibition, In Situ: From the Artist's Perspective. In 2016 the Denver Art Museum commissioned the installation Tableau for the Precourt Gallery. In 2012 the City of Denver commissioned Hooper for a large-scale painting that currently hangs in the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse. Additionally, Hooper is a highly regarded illustrator. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal among others. Most recently Hooper illustrated the award-winning children's book, The Iridescence of Birds: A Book about Henri Matisse. She is currently working on a book about the sculptor Giacometti.

Mark Villarreal's current body of work focuses on a 2017 trip that the artist took to Cuba. His non-objective abstract paintings, while intimate in scale, portray through colorful, lyrical compositions the rawness and vibrancy of the country. Villarreal also made a very intentional and deliberate choice to work within a smaller format, as the artists states.

"These paintings continue my pursuit of economy of scale, of means, a lean approach to the process of painting."

For an artist who is accustomed to painting large-scale work, the decision to paint small was initially challenging. Villarreal likens the paintings to short stories. They possess that same sensibility in their concise-ness. Instead of stepping away to take them in, in their entirety. They invite the viewer to come close and spend time with them. They are nuanced with areas that have wash-like applications of paint, contrasted with opaque areas and brushstrokes that skip unevenly across the surface. The scale also symbolizes for Villarreal his encounter with the literal "economy" of Cuba and its pervasive poverty.

Mark Villarreal is a Colorado native and currently resides in Boulder. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. He has been painting for over three decades and has not wavered from his commitment to abstraction. Villarreal has been showing in Denver since the early 90's and has served on numerous art selection committees and grant panels dedicated to the arts. He currently serves on the Boulder Arts Commission. From 1990 -1994 Villarreal collaborated with the artist Carolyn Braaksma for the Denver International Airport, B Concourse. 21st Century Artifacts, a public art commission that comprised designing the floors with terrazzo, granite, polished concrete and cast bronze fossil images.

Goodwin Fine Art
1255 Delaware Street
Denver CO 80204
Tue-Fri: 11-6; Sat: 11-5