May 2 - May 27, 2012
Sculptor David Crane and painter JJ Long tackle “emergence” in their joint show at the Loading Dock Gallery in Lowell May 2-27. Their works celebrate the strength and mystery of form in dialogue with gravity, of potential realizing itself. “We’re looking at metamorphosis,” Long says. “Forms break through their wooden molds as if they are born from the earth, shedding their bark skin and coming to life.”
Long, a Melrose native now living in Lowell, paints in oils, laying down layer after layer of color almost as a watercolorist might. The result is smooth, subtle, and depthy. He says that, although his normal style is quite realistic and based on observation, “The work in this show is heavily surreal, with the focus on something new emerging. I’ve been dying to paint a series ‘out of the ordinary’, and outside my comfort zone. Sharing this show with David gave me the opportunity.”
Crane, of Westford, creates wooden sculptures that celebrate the organic truths of the wood. “My work for this show is largely large carved pieces of cherry,” he says. “The wood came from a great tree in the Hudson River valley. I met the tree over 40 years ago, fallen on a friend’s land. My friend sent me sections of the tree and I carved three pieces from it in the 1980’s. The rest of the wood has been waiting for my chisels until now.”
“Respecting the natural grain formation,” Crane continues, “I work to tease out human forms, both male and female, that the wood suggests.”
Long added, “David’s sculptures were key in helping me develop my work for this show. The sculptures are so raw and emotional: studying them, I found inspiration for painting emerging, evolving forms.” Long also drew inspiration from the dreamscapes and color palette of Salvador Dali.