Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Full Circle: James Willie Faust - Domont Studio Gallery - Feb. 26, 2003

Full circle: James Willie Faust
Visual Arts Review | Thru March 22
Mary Lee Pappas

*Pictured: "Auspicious Night" by James Wille Faust

John Domont speaks articulately and poetically for the art he represents at his Domont Studio Gallery. His words are coup for gallery hopper James Wille Faust, who has settled at Domont for his first solo show in three years. Simply said, the paintings are more of the same - more rote than ripe. A myriad of highly defined, primary colored, stay-in-the-lines circles and triangles wading or warping in modular forms. They need only a black light to enhance the psychedelic optical illusions.

Distance is best for viewing. Pencil marks peek from around the shapes, serving as reminders that these are created by human hand. The repetitive, mechanical formula within Faust"s compositions appears playful and familiar. Hanging powerfully as a group, it"s apparent that his superior color balance and tonality have become more sophisticated and refined.

Internally, the pieces visually contract - not unlike the works of Op artist Auguste Herbin whose famous 1944 "Air, Fire" painting fundamentally achieves what Faust"s do, but without a final acrylic airbrush layer. This body of work (landscapes and the human being series) is, coincidentally, titled Earth Air Fire Water, in tribute to those elements. One influence on these pure-effect works that command questionably steep prices could be early sales successes.

Faust, actively collected locally, is a favorite big fish in our little pond. But his brilliant sculptural models, intended for monumental public works of art, make his paintings look like sketches. Given the opportunity, Faust"s artistic vision would gloriously come full circle. Geometry within geometry, these 3-D pieces bring his hard-edge imagery to spectacular, inspired life. It would be in the interests of the Indianapolis Art Center and the Indianapolis Museum of Art to include him in their sculpture park plans. Through March 22; 685-9634.

1 comment:

Mary Lee Pappas said...

Personally, I am fond of Willie's work. When writing critique personal biases go in the trash can as they should, for gaging work on a broader scale beyond personal.