AN AMERICAN OUTSIDER
Grogan Gallery of Fine Art Presents: Don West.. An American Outsider: the evolution of style- paintings from 1977 to 2007 in conjunction with The Grand Opening Celebration In The New Gallery Location.
Painter Don West draws upon a rich palette of talent and vibrant experiences. In addition to his life long passion for painting and mixed media, West is also a published author and has composed thirteen short stories and two novels. Previously, West was a professional stage technician. He worked in opera, theater and ballet-- including props, sound, lighting and set building. When one takes the time to study West’s painting compositions (sometimes painted on hand-constructed backgrounds of various recycled materials) you can often see tremendous complexity and conflict… ingeniously reduced into the most simple terms. West’s compositions are naturally dramatic and yet his recent works do not always lend themselves to immediate accessibility for the viewer. In the 1970’s West was painting realistic compositions containing desert architecture and landscapes. His skill was masterful, but it wasn’t until the early 1980’s that West ventured into more abstract and non-representational subject matter. He created a powerful series of abstract paintings during the 1990’s and continues to do so today. Many of West’s paintings are strong mood pieces and have the ability to evoke thought and emotion from the viewer. One intriguing aspect of Don West’s more recent paintings is the fact that even though they pull you in…. nothing in them seems to dictate to you what you should think and how you should perceive… but rather.. everything is free and open with endless potential for your own discoveries. West once commented: “My paintings are paintings you can live with for a long time.” In some of his newer works there are layers and washes of paint with simple forms floating on top of them. Don’s signature stroke, which looks similar to a loop with delicate drips flowing beneath, is combined with many other hanging tendrils of dreamy relaxation. This particular effect presents an image with a mysterious and endless depth of space for the viewer to contemplate. West has covered the gamut in style, everything from realistic landscapes, figuratives, narratives, construction pieces, and abstract, non-representational work. One common thread that ties his many styles together is the fact that every painting seems to contain the essential elements of a great theatrical production.MB Honaker Grogan Gallery Oct 2007 Tucson, AZ