A Few Words On Some Great, Big Pictures

Arts & Culture

BY PHILIP LEDERER SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING WEDNESDAY JUL 9, 2014

The Mona Lisa, celebrated as one of Leonardo DaVinci’s few surviving paintings and famous for its elusive smile, is also notorious for being somewhat underwhelming in person. Ignoring the logistical issues of pressing hordes of photo-snapping tourists, the famed portrait is surprisingly diminutive (77cm by 53cm) and Louvre policy (not to mention their velvety ropes) keeps spectators at a safe distance of about 3 meters. For the exact opposite experience, head on down to A Few Great, Big Pictures, the latest themed exhibition from the Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art Gallery.

“It takes courage to buy a strong work of art, no matter what the size is, but it takes more courage to buy a bigger piece,” said Allyn Gallup, founder and operator of the gallery, who hand-selected the plus-size paintings on display. “It’s just my attempt to put things in front of people that they find compelling.”

Bold and beautiful, the work showcases artists at their most assured, crafting grand landscapes and surrealist portraits in vivid colors and audacious style.

Whether it be the pleasing and nigh overwhelming geometric creations of Juri Morioka, whose The Room with the Tree draws the viewer into its ordered but strangely maze-like canvas of vibrant blues and greens, dotted with whimsical, half-hidden trees, seemingly adrift and lost in urban isolation, or Dolores Coe’s “dream-like” expressionist scenes made of rich purples, reds, yellows, blues and pinks, that read like a magical and muddled memory of a vision long past, Gallup’s selections for A Few Great, Big Pictures are all akin in their dauntless abandon.

“There are a lot of prominent artists in the show,” said Gallup. “Between Syd Solomon, Craig Rubadoux and Leslie Lerner, you’ve got some of the best known artists in recent history in Sarasota.”

A Few Great, Big Pictures will be on display in the Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art Gallery through July 28.

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