Magnetic Gallery presents a new show every month, setting it apart as a consistently fresh voice in the Fort Collins art scene. You can also get a tattoo there if you are so inclined. This month’s display, which opened this past Friday, is Fluid Abstraction, a solo show featuring the art of Eric Siebenthal. Eric’s style is fluid, which is to say that he works with acrylic pours on canvas. The result is dreamy abstractions that challenge the eye and ease the soul.
The show is composed of abstract expressionistic pieces, with the exception of “Sweet Dreams”, which is reminiscent of the Impressionist masters. It is the only painting in the collection that depicts a clearly represented subject, and a great place to dive into the works presented.
“Unconditional” tells us a story, but I’m not sure what it is. It appears that Eric did two distinct paintings on the same canvas. The first work on the canvas is a splatter type painting in the style of Jackson Pollack. The second is a pour that creeps up from the bottom of the work with a twisting, gyrating energy to overwhelm the energy that overwhelms that of the base painting. I was struck by what appeared to be the interplay between masculine and feminine energy. I found myself returning to the painting time and again during the two hours I spent at the show.
I have on good authority that Eric curated the exhibit himself. In other words, he chose the paintings to hang, and where to hang them. “Mid September” and “Red Velvet”, with complementary color schemes, hang next to each other. With a creative use of wall space “Shadow of Time”, “Inkwell”, and “Blue Blood” form a sort of triptych. Although one of the paintings is in a separate room, the three appear along a single plane if viewed from the proper angle. The layout of this exhibit is very pleasing.
During the show I overheard a group of patrons discussing how we encounter art. One said to her companion that, “Viewing art is a process. You have to practice to get good at it.” Walking through a showing of pure abstract art isn’t for the faint of heart. Abstraction demands input from the viewer to fully appreciate and interpret the artist’s presentation. Self-education at home is an ongoing process, of course, but we should expose ourselves to different media and themes as often as we are able. A gallery is the best place to do that. The artist has done his job by contributing to the Magnetic Gallery. We must do our part by seeing what Eric Siebenthal has created.
Fluid Abstraction will run until December 5th. Be sure to stop by before then, and check out Magnetic Gallery at https://www.facebook.com/magneticgallery/.