Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ron Hinton Soars

The Weekly Volcano, July 18, 2013

"Shadow and Pink" pastel by Barbara Noonan

"Streamer" metal sculpture by Ron Hinton
The latest works by Ron Hinton (not to be confused with Ron Hinson) at Childhood’s End are more dynamic than anything of his I’ve seen before. At least the wall-hanging sculptures. The free-standing pieces on pedestals are more of the same stuff I’ve seen from him I the past — angular abstract forms in a variety of metals that depend for interest more on color and texture contrasts and etched surface patterns than on form. With a few exceptions these are too fussy for my taste, but the pieces hanging on the walls soar dramatically. They also feature texture and color contrasts but depend more on form, which to my way of thinking is what sculpture, particular abstract sculpture, should be all about. They are sheets of copper, steel, bronze and other metals that wrap around each other in shroud-like forms and seem to be about to take off like birds in flight. Many are hung diagonally to enhance the sense of flight.

Hinton has about 25 pieces in the show including some small metal jewelry items in a display case. The best by far are the wall pieces. One of my favorites is “Finnel,” patinated bronze, copper and stainless steel. It is a unified and simple form in tones of silver, green and deep blue. The best of the standing works is “Tatlin’s Tower,” a tribute to Vladimir Tatlin’s famous “Monument to the Third International.” Like “Finnel,” it is a simple and self-contained form in beautifully muted colors.

Also showing are a number of nice little pastels of people and homey scenes by Barbara Noonan. They’re pretty traditional and typical, but a couple of them stand out. “Surf Play” is a dramatic picture of an old man at play in the surf with his figure strategically located in the upper left corner of the picture. “Summer Swing” is an unoccupied tire swing with cast shadow. It has a Hooper-esque feeling of loneliness. Noonan’s best work is “Shadow and Pink,” which is a bird’s eye view of a little girl in a pink dress tightrope walking the crack in a sidewalk. The great thing about this one is the way if comments on balance both in terms of placement of the figure in the two-dimensional space of the format and how it illustrationally comments on the girl’s precarious balance. This is a little gem of a painting.

There are also some funny and playful acrylics by Ann Schreivogl. Her “Once Upon a Time” is a delightful picture of a girl with big cartoon feet reading a book. One of the better paintings in the show is Schreivogl’s “Glance.” It is a standing figure on a beach amidst a profusion of elliptical dots that play in a lovely way with spatial peek-a-boo. 

Also showing are nature studies in pastel by Randena Walsh.


[Childhood’s End Gallery, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, through Aug. 31, 222 Fourth Ave. W, Olympia, 360.943.3724]

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