William Metcalf: TRANSPARENCY
Oct 4 - Nov 2, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, Oct 4, 5 – 7 PM
Acrylic on shaped Alupanel
48 x 48 inches
Approaching from an extreme angle, near to the wall of the gallery, it can look as if there is almost nothing there at all. The thin, shaped Alupanel pieces are only 3mm thick – near to seamlessly merging with the walls. Walk round and face them front on, however, and a world of color, shape, and depth unfold before you: impossible, tantalizing, enthralling.
Metcalf uses the thin Alupanel (aluminum sheets sandwiching a plastic core), painted with acrylics, cut into geometric shapes. Here color takes on a quality of translucency through the precise mixing of acrylic paints. It is the relationships between the colors that affect the viewer’s sense of layers, shadow, and the effect of transparency.
There is a clean elegance to these works’ deceptive simplicity. Days End, for example, presents an opaque black rectangle, overlaid by two overlapping transparent rectangles, gray and pale brown. Blush is a black square, overlaid by a larger, transparent, broken square in rose pink. It is almost impossible not to see the darker, opaque shapes as projecting up through the overlaying ones; to see the blackness of Blush’s square shadowing the pink.
With Transparency, the sense of depth, of light falling through layers, of objects below casting shadows (the way a fish swimming through a wave creates a dark shape within translucent green water), creates an almost inescapable illusion of space that simultaneously challenges and enthralls.