Art Review Archives:
Art Espresso is ArtScope.net's shortlist of recommended exhibitions.
Dennis Schommer: Song to the Moon
Thomas Masters Gallery
Early animism imbued the surrounding world with life: streams and trees and stones, each with their own animating spirit. The romantics sought a visionary experience, finding a sensitive lyricism in even everyday scenes. Dennis Schommer's art captures both animism and mystery with a sensual, down to earth simplicity. Song to the Moon presents twenty-eight works of Schommer's visionary art, fantasy forests rendered in muted tones that capture a silver-gray mysteriousness.
A variety of media are represented in this exhibition, including watercolor, graphite, pastel, collage and two etchings. All show the artist's unity of vision. Schommer's woodlands are sensual places. Like true woodlands, a moment of quiet, centered observation and the trees begin to reveal their secrets -- here, breasts, loins, limbs, forms that are at once feminine and tree as they stand in rooted place by a meandering stream. In other works Schommer joins the tree-limbs to form arches, which, limned with an edge of light and streaming through with the moon's radiance, suggest cathedral ruins or the entrance to a sacred grove. In Nocturne (pastel: 29x21 in.) the muted tones, though somber, have a sense of an awakened, secret life. Further images extend the artist's dreamlike handling to portraiture, as in Send Your Love (graphite and collage: 30x22 in.) where the female figure's enigmatic hint of a smile is set off against a moonlit forest background, or as in Silent Wings (color etching, ed. of 10: 7x5 in.), his ability to weave a scene of mesmerizing charm.
Moonlight, and its mysteriousness; the secret, silvery, sensuous life of nighttime forests and their denizens. The only regret of this exhibition is that it will not run longer. Dennis Schommer: Song to the Moon will be at Thomas Masters Gallery through March 27, 2005. A catalogue is priced at $10 and is available at the gallery.
--Katherine Rook Lieber