impasto

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Art

Impasto-Style Brushstrokes Hover Mid-Air in Illustrative Murals by Sean Yoro

March 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Sean Yoro

Hawaii-born artist Sean Yoro (previously), aka Hula, pairs his illustrative murals of partial figures with bold brushstrokes that hover along building walls. Part of his Undertones series, the monochromatic pieces often feature singular hands and torsos as they reach toward or attempt to grasp the impasto-style strokes.

One especially illusory piece forgoes the bodily element and instead focuses on a singular blue stroke that seems to float through the air and cast a shadow on the brick wall behind it. “Each large scale brushstroke represents the unique passions we all hold within and what we can do with that energy once we tap into it,” said a statement on the artist’s site.

Yoro is one half of Kapu Collective, a collaborative art-and-design group concerned with environmental issues and sustainability, that he formed with his twin brother. Smaller versions of Yoro’s works are available in the collective’s shop. If you want to see the process behind some of his stylized projects, head to Instagram.

 

 



Art

Bold Outlines Delineate Expressive Portraits by Agnes Grochulska

March 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

Oil on canvas, 17 x 19 inches. All images © Agnes Grochulska, shared with permission

Agnes Grochulska imbues her portraits with various emotions but leaves room for the viewer to determine which ones, preferring to create works “in which not everything is fully realized.” In The Outline Series, the Virginia-based artist uses impasto strokes to capture the distinct facial features of her characters, while drawing less attention to the rest of their figures. She finishes each portrait with a bold outline, adding bits of the vibrant blues, purples, and yellows to highlight portions of the face and neck.

While my work is anchored in representation, I try to not only focus on depicting the details of my subject but also try to capture the emotion—the essence of it. That particular ‘something’ that drew me to that subject in the first moment… There is a moment when I look at the painting and feel the emotion is there. This is the moment to step aside and realize the painting is finished.

Grochulska tells Colossal that the outline colors are intuitive and that she chooses them near the end of each piece, often gravitating toward one that either directly compliments or contrasts the rest of the work. “The outline acts as a metaphor here… It also represents the contemporary aspect of the painting in its bold and vibrant expressive character,” she says. “My hope is that the abstract form of the outline adds an emotional weight and highlights the human subject by drawing attention to the portrayed face they frame.” You can find more of the artist’s lively portraits on Instagram.

Oil on canvas, 17 x 19 inches

Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches

“Yellow Outline,” oil on canvas, 14 x 14 inches

“Yellow Outline,” oil on canvas, 14 x 14 inches

“Red Specs,” oil on canvas, 16 x 16 inches

 

 



Art

Impasto Oil Paintings by Li Songsong Explore Historical Events as Cultural Artifacts

November 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Civil Rather than Military” (2018), oil on canvas, 82-11/16 × 102-3/8 inches © Li Songsong, courtesy Pace Gallery

Li Songsong uses dramatic textural repetition to create portraiture and landscapes in his large-scale oil paintings. The Chinese artist often centers visual narratives around historical events of the 20th century, working from found photographs and news images. In some instances, the story becomes more personal, as in “Civil Rather Than Military”, which depicts Songsong’s grandfather. In a statement about the work provided by Pace Gallery, Songsong shared:

I started this painting a month after my grandfather passed away. It’s from a photograph of him that I think was taken in the early1960s, when he was about my current age. I know what kind of person he was, but not until this year was I really willing to think deeply about him. I used a technique in which it is nearly impossible to paint delicate details, but in the end, the work still ended up with lots of expressive detail and an almost idealized quality, as if from a fairy-tale.

In both his intimate and anonymous paintings, Songsong balances content with process, employing tactile techniques that obscure the subject and emphasize the painting as an object or artifact in and of itself. Take a closer look at Songsong’s work in his solo show “One of My Ancestors”, on view through December 21, 2019 at Pace Gallery in New York City. You can also explore more of the artist’s work on the gallery’s website.

“Civil Rather than Military” detail

“Tempest” (2019), oil on canvas, 10′ 2 1/16 × 12′ 5 5/8 inches © Li Songsong, courtesy Pace Gallery

“South” (2017), oil on canvas, 10′ 9-15/16 x 8’ 6-3/8 inches © Li Songsong, courtesy Pace Gallery

Pace Gallery installation view

“My Homeland” (2004), oil on canvas, 82-2/3 x 165-1/3 inches © Li Songsong

“Taoyuan Airport” (2008) © Li Songsong

“Dog Walking (II)” (2015), oil on aluminum panel, 94-1/2 × 13′ 1-1/2 × 4-15/16 inches © Li Songsong, courtesy Pace Gallery

 

 



Art

Thick Brushstrokes Form Plump Songbirds in Oil Paintings by Angela Moulton

June 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Chickadees, barn swallows, and goldcrest kinglets emerge from impasto oil paintings by Angela Moulton. The artist works in the aesthetic space between realistic and stylized, using natural tones that are slightly keyed up, and following the body and beak shapes of each bird while giving them just a bit of extra plumpness. Thick brush strokes form the birds’ bodies in just a couple of deft swipes. The artist, who splits her time between Illinois and Idaho, sells her work as Pratt Creek Art, and offers both originals and prints of her small-scale paintings. Moulton also shares videos of her process on YouTube.