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Imogen Gallery October New Letter

October 2018 Exhibit

Marc Boone

Shaman’s Way
Imogen Gallery is honored to present a second solo exhibition for reputable artist Marc Boone.  Boone who has enjoyed a career that has spanned both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, now resides in Ocean Park, of southwest Washington. For this exhibition, Shaman’s Way he brings a series of oil paintings dedicated to jazz masters and his love of the dramatic landscape he now calls home. The exhibition opens October 13th during Astoria’s Second Saturday Artwalk, with a reception held from 5 – 8 pm.  All are invited to join us for the reception and to meet Marc Boone who will be available to answer questions about his work.   Light bites and beverages will be provided by the Astoria Coffee House and Bistro.  Shaman’s Way will remain on display through November 6.

For his exhibition Shaman’s Way, Boone brings a series of paintings paying homage through metaphor to the late great jazz artists that he has held a lifelong love for. For five decades, their music has been the backdrop of his painting process. From his New York studio to Baltimore and now Ocean Park, the indelible music of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and many others have been with him consistently, silently instilled within his paintings.   Since relocating back to the Northwest, Boone has also found great inspiration in the dramatic and mystical landscape of the coastal region while never letting go of his upbringing, surrounded by the volcanic hills of the Palouse area of Eastern Washington and the northern glacier lakes of Idaho.  His work has not been an attempt to emulate nature in a realistic manner, but to instead offer a poetic depiction of the mystery of the natural world.

Native American culture has also influenced the sense of mysticism infused into his work. This series, Shaman’s Way, has its origins in the medicine men and women who connected with nature and all creation to influence the world of good and evil while also instilling the influence of random back notes that come through the genre of jazz. About that connection he states:  “For many of them the world’s center was a tree—the axis mundi—which the shaman ascends for enlightenment.  Jazz musicians—Coltrane, Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock—and vocalists Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn—embody the shaman’s way along with some painters. For me those painters who most exemplify the shaman’s tradition include Van Gogh, Mondrian, Morris Graves, Charles Burchfield, Rothko and Jackson Pollock.” 
As an artist and educator, Boone has enjoyed a diverse and rewarding career. After earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, formerly the Portland Museum School where he studied under the iconic Northwest painter Louis Bunce, he went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Richard Speer, art critic and writer who wrote about Boone’s previous exhibition at Imogen, eloquently described his work as “confident and assured, yet never showy, these are the works of a master of chroma and composition who, by talent and good fortune, enjoyed early personal exposure to some of the giants of modern and contemporary art.” Beyond mentorship by Louis Bunce, Boone after moving to New York City found himself in the midst of many of the art world’s influential figures, including the likes of Philip Guston, Elaine de Kooning, Salvatore Scarpitta, Edward Dugmore, Clyfford Still, Sam Gilliam, as well as others who ranked as illustrious leaders of modern abstraction.

Boone has exhibited his work at the Portland Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, Spenser Museum, Lawrence, Kansas, and the Boise Art Museum. He has also exhibited his work extensively in galleries in New York, Washington DC, Baltimore, Idaho, Montana, and Seattle where he was represented by Polly Friedlander, a great champion to the Northwest contemporary art movement and founder of the former Espy Foundation that offered residencies to artists in idyllic and historic Oysterville, Washington.  His work can be found in private and public collections, including the permanent collections of the Boise Art Museum, the Tucson Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art. 

Explore Howard: Visual arts: HCC exhibit

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Exhibition Photos

By Mike Giuliano

Posted 1/27/11

Two artists go to sea, but come back with very different pictures in the new exhibit at Howard Community College’s Rouse Company Foundation Gallery.

Marc Boone has an abstract take on this watery subject, while Michael Sastre is selectively representational. Their side-by-side installation of oil paintings works well.

Boone is operating within a contemporary tradition of all-over abstraction. In “Violet Sky Gray Green Sea,” the composition is schematically divided into three horizontal bands. Although there isn’t any conventional detail, the format gives a primal sense of a water-topped sea.

One characteristic of this and other Boone paintings is that the paint application has a chunky quality. The paint is applied in a solid and borderline-brusque manner, giving the resulting paintings a weighty appearance. If the paintings avoid seeming too simple or quasi-monochromatic, it’s because most of them have underlayers of other colors peeking through the dominant colors in those horizontal bands.

Boone often varies the relative width and dominance of the horizontal bands. In “Dark Blue Sky Pink Sand,” for instance, the sky is huge and the sand below is a relatively narrow band.

Although such paintings have as many differences as similarities with the variations in bands and blocks of color associated with that master of color field painting, Mark Rothko, viewers are free to contemplate some of the formal and meditative similarities.

It’s encouraging that Boone does not content himself to experiment with minor variations on an established format. Sometimes he, er, stirs the water a bit.

In “Churning Sea,” he avoids the horizontal banding completely and instead has upswept, green-outlined, little blue waves crashing against each other. There is still a keen sense of pictorial order, but here it seems like the stormy sea is on the verge of chaotic flow.

The second artist, Sastre, has tightly cropped paintings that feature what is on and around small rafts. There are no people on these tiny boats and the boats themselves seem so slapped together that you might find yourself thinking they belong to desperate refugees who no longer occupy them.

Sastre’s numerically titled “Rafter Series” amounts to a narrative in which you’re only given suggestive clues. Bananas sit on one raft, a fish has somehow ended up on the floor of another and a seagull perches on the side of a third.

The absence of a direct human presence is rather haunting, and it also seems a bit ominous owing to the sharks, fish and other sea creatures submerged or partly breaking through the surface of the surrounding water.

In terms of his painterly approach, Sastre favors crisply depicted rafts and visibly raised definitional lines for the waves. Even though the fish tend to float in and out of focus, the overall compositions rely on assertive colors and sharp distinctions.

Sastre also exhibits glass mosaics, including “Fishing Boy,” in which the young subject engages in that activity thanks to the blue and green glass shards used to depict him. Other glass and tile mosaics present appetizing images of crabs and other seafood.

These are cheerful images, to be sure, but they’re decorative and don’t prompt the prolonged consideration that the paintings do.

Meanwhile, over in HCC’s Art Department Gallery, Myungsook Ryu Kim has an exhibit of acrylic paintings titled “Forgotten Forest.” Earth tones and incised lines suggest ancient vegetation that now remains in a fossil-evocative way.

One especially nice painting is “White Winter,” in which ghostly white bamboo either grows or is fossilized against a pale blue background.

via Explore Howard: Visual arts: HCC exhibit.

Lorinda Knight Gallery


A & P (Atlantic & Pacific)

Standing before the ocean can be a mesmerizing experience. Contemplating the abstract paintings of Marc Boone can have a similar effect. The artist splits his time between the East coast, where he lives now, and the Northwest, where he grew up and where he plans to return one day soon.

The movement in the paintings takes place above and below the horizon line and at the line itself. Sometimes the surf rolls toward us. The space shimmers with uncertainty, inviting the viewer in and stopping the eye at the worked impasto surface. In addition to using brushes, he manipulates the paint with palette knife and fingers. Ranging in size from 60” high by 50” wide to smaller works, the paintings are often deceptively simple in form and quiet in mood. Wax combined with the oil paint provides a sensuous surface and often creates a slightly ragged edge.

As he begins each painting, Boone uses his memory of light, color and weather to lay down the initial layers of paint, and he lets the work develop as he goes along.