HEAVEN AND EARTH
Premier mid-career Arizona artist Don West recently completed a new series of abstract paintings called the Planet Series that pay tribute to the heavenly bodies with surfaces and colors reflecting their individual physical characteristics. A prime example is the cerebral Life on Mercury (see attached digital image) with its dramatic monochromatic palette. Don West¹s second body of work, entitled the Landscape Series, is dominated by lush, thick impasto fields of color flanked by rusted metal. The painting Copper Creek (see attached digital image) with its fields of bold flower-like colors enclosed by rusted metal columns. The paintings of the Landscape Series dramatize critical comments that point to the delicate balance that exists between nature and the industrial world.
At age 61, West continues to explore new ideas while drawing on skills and techniques that he has used and mastered in the past. In these two new series, he once again incorporates reclaimed materials and thick layering of paint. Much more than a representation of a place or object, West¹s work is about materials, surface quality, visual illusion, and the act of painting itself.
West received a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University, and a Masters in Fine Arts from Ohio University with studies in theater, art history and language arts. He acted in off-Broadway productions in New York City and directed 10 plays, including Eugene Ionesco’s Exit the King and Shakespeare¹s Macbeth. He recently published two novels Dream of the Great Blue, and The Art of Murder. West¹s paintings have been exhibited in galleries in the Southwest, and are in many private and public collections. In 2005, West was one of two Tucson artists (out of 300 hundred applicants) to be juried into the Arizona Biennale at the Tucson Museum of Art. West currently lives, writes and paints in Tucson, Arizona.
Liz Hernandez Hernandez Contemporary Jan 2008 Scottsdale, AZ