In an art world fixated on the anti-consumer shows, the “art object" has seemingly become a thing of the past. One northwest Pennsylvania artist, DP Warner, of Meadville, isn't concerned with that and has turned his art journey to the traditions of the late 19th century open air and studio landscape painters.
And he is unapologetic about it.
“When painting on location, my view is more about documenting a reaction that combines design, technical proficiency, personal expression and a little luck,” Warner said in a promotional flyer about his upcoming show at the Hoyt Art Center in New Castle.
The exhibit that opened on Election Day, has a public reception from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 10.
Warner has never been opposed to artist trends, though he’s never tried, nor had the fortune to fit into them.
While a professor at Edinboro University, now Penn West - Edinboro, Warner’s paintings challenged convention, sometimes physically coming off the walls and into the gallery spaces they occupied forcing viewers to walk into or around them.
A Warner painting show was an installation with building materials and commentary on sprawl of all kinds from urban to intellectual and each piece serving as a conversation starter for the next and charged with challenging what society throws at us.
In retirement, the artist found more peaceful ways of commenting on life.
He would then work in the studio on larger canvases and his work became multi-faceted explanations of the witnessed connections to place and, in a sense, time.
“My studio work feels different to me…(the pieces) extend beyond the studies, expanding my sense of time into a visually active, yet meditative presence. My thought process has a stronger influence on these outcomes, fostering a collaboration of sorts between the painting and me.”
Old school art.
The Plein Air painter movement seeks to hold the traditions of witnessing and connecting with the world visibly seen and the act of making a picture through the old form of art using paints on a surface.
There does still exist those who quietly craft from blank canvases to finished pictures (art products) based on the observation of the world in front of them. Warner is frequenter of many Plein Air gatherings along the eastern seaboard. At the Hoyt, there are 42 of Warner’s pieces on display.
The show also features works of Pittsburgh ceramic artist Nancy McNary Smith. She uses ceramics to document the implosion of American political discourse, the threats of the plague and the attack of old age over the last few years in two recent series, Punctured Pots and Osteoporosis, on display in the Hoyt’s Sculpture Walkway.
The show runs through December 21. The Hoyt is located at 124 E. Leasure Ave, New Castle. Admission is free.