Saturday, September 2, 2017 • 7-9 PM
Freddie McCoo’s experiences growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, began to shape his core of artistic sensibilities from an early age. His modest upbringing, careful observation of the world around him, and subsequent deep interest in subjects that focus on social, economic, political, cultural and spiritual issues are clearly manifested in his paintings, murals, and mixed media art.
Freddie’s work is constantly in a state of evolution. Some of his earlier works depict themes that draw inspiration from music, relationships, and the predicaments of living in a disadvantaged community. The artist presently continues to revisit those topics, but his interests have broadened to include concepts that investigate biblical imagery, history, cultural identity, and contemporary political concerns. When it comes to his style and technique, some might suggest that his experience working in large scale murals has provided the artist with the dexterity and clarity to infuse all of his works—through his choices of colors, textures, composition, and scale—with an admirable sense of monumentality and relevance.
A common feature in Freddie’s work is the use of symbols and texts, which often require thorough exploration by the viewer and, often, a bit of decoding. Freddie explains that he has come to appreciate the diversity of symbols and text as long-standing tools of visual communication. He states: “When thoughtfully juxtaposed, both text and symbol can become significantly more relevant and thus begin to reveal certain deep-seated truths.”
Featuring artwork by Ruda Anderson, Maureen Brouillette, Jenny DeLaughter, Viola Delgado, Cecelia Feld, Nancy Ferro, Susan Lecky, Mylan Nguyen, Silvia Thornton, Cecilia Thurman, Edith Torres Avendano,and Sarita Westrup.
In every creative discipline, artists express their experiences and emotions in innumerable ways. The methods, techniques, or arrangements that artists choose to illustrate their works’ central idea or principal theme are unsurprisingly diverse, given the universe of perspectives, beliefs, and personal partialities with which artists view the world. Art forms also vary in the degree of extensiveness or simplicity demonstrated by artists as they explore and communicate a message. Whereas some literary works employ long texts that are written with the intention of expanding on a main topic to offer a more meticulous study of a subject through further elaboration, visual art tends to be a deliberate process of elimination and reduction used by many artists to strip concepts and thoughts to their bare essentials.
This exhibition examines the notion that a work of visual art is fully capable of conveying, effectively and economically, complex ideas and narratives. The pieces presented in the show demonstrate that a picture is worth the meaning of ten thousand words. Whether with representational or abstract works, the participating artists express a multiplicity of messages with art that stand for qualities such as clarity, conciseness and simplification. The practical task—intentional or otherwise—of reducing unnecessary elements during the making of visual art does not subtract substance from the works. Reduction of elements in visual arts, normally, does not translate into a dilution of meaning; instead, it leads to an experience where the art reveals only the most indispensable and utterly fundamental aspects of the narratives and concepts investigated by the artists.
The Bath House Cultural Center is a facility of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs