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    Tetrachromatic Realities @ Whitdel Arts

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    Painting by Michael Reid

    Sustaining an Illusionary Existence. Michael Reid. Oil on Panel. 14 X 30 inches. Photo by Ron Scott

    On the southwest side of Detroit, four painters articulate a transformation of personal realities in a new fall exhibition presented at Whitdel Arts. Although each artist works with unique subject matter, they share a Wayne State University art school experience. The exhibition examines the artists’ varied and skillful forms of depiction through the lens of Tetrachromacy: The condition of possessing four independent channels for conveying color information. 1

    In an oil painting on panel, Michael Reid creates a night landscape backlit by two contradictory light sources and a looming figure midway in a field between a house and tree. The depiction of the urban landscape is compelling on its own, yet he intentionally creates a somewhat mystical dimension playing to the viewer’s imagination. He says, “The overarching theme that is represented in my work is consciousness, its potential, and my complete fascination with it.”

    Painting by Julia Maiuri

    Shift. Julia Maiuri. Oil on canvas, 36 X 48 inches. Photo courtesy of WSU

    Julia Maiuri comments, “As I develop these paintings, I crop out all identifiable features of my model to create a composition that blurs the line between an abstract image and a representation figure.” In Shift, an oil painting on canvas, Maiuri conveys an emotion left up to the viewer to interpret and in doing so lingers and forces one to make their own interpretations.

    Painting by Jim Hittinger

    Military Wedding. Jim Hittinger. Oil on canvas, 48 X 60 inches. Photo courtesy of WSU

    In Jim Hittinger’s painting, Military Wedding, ambiguous and fuzzy imagery leaves the viewer to grapple with a ghostly image of participants in a ritual set back in time. The black and white rendering creates a feeling of nostalgia and forces the viewer to interpret. “My work deals with perception, and the mind’s ability to compensate for missing or obscure visual information,” says Hittinger. In other paintings such as Assembly, he creates a gallery of people displaying dark sunken eyes and eerie gestures.

    Painting by Jill Nienhuis

    Ozark. Jill Nienhuis. Oil on canvas, 36 X 54 inches. Photo courtesy of WSU

    The imagery in the landscape painting, Ozark, takes the viewer into a forest and plays on the refracted light of a camera lens to take the figure beyond reality. In Jill Nienhuis’s work, these elements of light create a mystical quality elevating the subject beyond reality. She says, “We are active participants in a story we are constantly creating, even though the outcome and the ending may be uncertain.”

    A division of CAID, Whitdel Arts is an 1800 sq. ft. professional exhibition space that showcases the work of local emerging artists. Whitdel Arts is located at 1250 Hubbard Street, Suite B1, Detroit MI 48209. http://www.whitdelarts.com

    1. 1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrachromacy

    2. Ron Scott is a pseudonym for a writer based in the Detroit area.  View more articles by Ron Scott.


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