Palm Desert, California, USA. 25th April, 2022. Los Angeles Beverly Arts (LABA) Icon Award winners Todd Williamson and Joe Davidson, are currently exhibiting with artist Christina Craemer at Imago Galleries in Palm Desert, California. The exhibition is named "The Deeper the Blue," and explores the ideas of color, spirit, and freedom. The renowned painter Wassily Kandinsky, known for abstracts and expressionist use of color, stated that “color is a means of exercising direct influence upon the soul, where color is the keyboard, the eye the hammer, and the soul the piano of many strings.” Artists Craemer, Davidson, and Williamson question color in this exhibition and its place in our emotions and spirituality. The use of color calls out to the deeper nature of our hearts and minds.
According to Wassily Kandinsky in his prophetic 1912 book, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, “the deeper the blue becomes, the more strongly it calls man towards the infinite”. Coming out of the COVID years and a worldwide lockdown, the world is looking inwards and questioning its existence. Unlike other colors, the color blue “Awakens (in him/her/they) a desire for the pure”. This desire is coming at us in all directions as we question how much we work and play and what we give our attention to. We are questioning where we live and how we interact with others. Kandinsky goes on to say, “The brighter it (blue) becomes, the more it loses its sound until it turns into silent stillness and becomes white.” White has long been associated with positive energy, protection, and a connection with God.
In this exhibition, the works of three Los Angeles artists are connected through the power of color and specifically around the color blue. Christina Craemer’s mystical waterfalls and hazy imagery creates magical places where our minds search for calm, and a place that is definitively ours. In her travels she collects images that she processes from photographic images into the grand visions that are her art.
Joe Davidson’s art is specific to our eyes and calls to our minds to release the idea we have of what we expect to see. Dangling goldish sunflowers that are flat and pressed to the walls are sculptural and invite us to look closely to discover what they are saying, while soft white balloon sculptures hint at an uncovered joy, private thought or sexual fantasy.
Todd Williamson’s large-scale color fields hint at the spiritual, but recall life as it moves upward and around the colors. These monumental works have a quiet intensity and depth that demands a closer inspection. Williamson’s large monumental works hint at great things to come and movement through life.
The great Louise Bourgeois once stated that the color blue was the hallmark of freedom of speech. She felt that “the color blue means you have left the drabness of day to day reality to be transported into a world of freedom where you can say what you like and what you don't like. We are moving society forward where this aspect is at a pinnacle of our society, speaking out against injustice, cruelty, oppression, or the destruction of the planet.” This statement is visible in Williamson’s large hazy-blue work called “Two Sides of Tomorrow” where a fragility exists between the visible surface and just beneath this. Craemer's mystic waterfalls ebb and flow down the walls of the canvas inviting us to their mythical world, while Davidson’s highly charged sexual balloon sculptures appear like flaccid penises and wait to tell their story.
Each of the three artists quietly discusses how they see and live in the world. How the color of life is different for each and how color and abstraction are powerful monikers of who and what we are. Williamson uses the vertical line to symbolize the movement of life in many of his works such as “Aligning with Reason” and “Silent Stillness”. This “sword”, as he calls it, slices through the middle of the work at times and at other times lies solemnly on the side of the work still discussing the movement of our lives through time, hopes, fear, and desires.
Craemer uses soft hazy images to create another world where we hide from the garishness of daily life and softly breathe. Waterfalls, cathedrals, and trees make up much of this otherworldly scenery while she seamlessly connects the colors to the eye of the viewer to bring them into her world.
Davidson uses sculpture to question the world and to move the viewer to question why and how things exist as they do. Sometimes these statements are humorous and point out the obvious while at other times they confuse our concept of what the world is. His sunflowers seem to flow down the wall to us as we gaze at them and the soft edges of the balloon work, which are sensual and soft in their flaccid state and seem somewhat heretical in their quiet white ominous form.
"The Deeper the Blue" is currently on exhibition through Summer 2022 at Imago Galleries, 45-450 Highway 74, Palm Desert, CA 92260.
About Imago Galleries
Founded in 1991, Imago Galleries is considered one of the West Coast’s premier fine art galleries and event venues. At 18,000 square feet, the gallery is often mistaken for a boutique museum and boasts a 6,000 square foot sculpture garden as well as an a 3,500 square foot terrace. Imago has held exhibitions for well-known artists as Ed Ruscha, Tom Wesselmann, Dennis Hopper, Jennifer Bartlett, Mel Ramos, Arman, Peter Halley, Robert Graham, and William Wegman.
Todd Williamson artist.