November-December 2014 … The Global Online Magazine of Arts, Information & Entertainment … Volume 10, Number 6
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Christie Devereaux/Art

© 2012 Christie Devereaux

Stormy Weather 18 | Acrylic on canvas | 36″ x 24″ | 2012

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Christie Devereaux’s Buoyant “New”

Sturm und Drang Seascapes:

“The Spirit of the Sea”

 By Dr. José Rodeiro

Art Editor

Pivotal to burgeoning 21st Century “Neo-neoromanticism” is Christie Devereaux’s summer 2012 display of mysterious and sublime monochromatic seascapes floating upon the walls of the distinguished Treasure Room Gallery (within The Interchurch Center (TIC)), 475 Riverside Drive, New York City, NY. The show is insightfully organized by TIC’s eminent curator, Frank DeGregorie, who sympathetically encouraged this art historically crucial “must-see” exhibit, which runs from June 25 through August 27; with an opening reception on Tuesday, June 26, from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Entitled The Spirit of the Sea, her buoyant radical-postmodern paintings of aquatic scenes generate intense, reverential, and awe-inspiring feeling(s), brimming with visual-nourishment and spiritual epiphanies [(viewable Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm in the southwest corner of the historic and monumental edifice known as The Interchurch Center, facing Harlem’s Hudson River shoreline (at West 120th Street); a majestic late-Art Deco cultural institution built in 1958 by John D. Rockefeller II and supported by The Sealantic Fund)].

Argento 21 | Acrylic on Canvas | 48” X36” | 2011

Despite (or because of) her cutting-edge radical postmodernism, Devereaux’s luminous “tonal” seascapes imaginatively blend nascent early-Romantic Sturm und Drang artistic approaches. These aesthetic dichotomies were initially invoked by 18th Century German art theorist and poet Friedrich Von Schlegel as aesthetic dualities (or binaries) guiding the process of human creativity within the natural world via either 1). objective naturalism or 2). subjective naturalism. Both of these Sturm und Drang creative methods were brilliantly paraphrased (in English) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge within his Biographia Literaria, as two types of creative imagination: “Primary” and “Secondary.” Ingeniously, Devereaux’s marine imagery treads between both of these valid and substantial aesthetic positions, wherein “Primary Imagination” correspond to being faithful to physical phenomena; i.e., naturalistic representation, or empirical mimesis [(signifying sheer realistic artistic perception in art)], while “Secondary Imagination” signifies numinous, metaphysical, visionary, poetic and symbolic rearrangements, exaltations, as well as distortions of nature in art. Whereby either, the external transcendent spirit of nature: geist (the “Without”), or the innate imminent spirit of nature: duende (the “Within”), is expressed creatively via art [(What is Duende? http://duende-art.com/page1.html )]. A creative inspiration motivating art, as Coleridge stated, which, “Makes the natural world appear supernatural.”

Similar to Coleridge, Lord Byron, J.M.W. Turner, Thomas Moran, Albert Pinkham Ryder, and other mystic Romantic poet/painter seascapists, Devereaux’s seafaring art evokes the same intimate, epic, moody and melancholic nautical-emotions that inhabit these above-named masters’ finest naval works. In fact, consistent with these great maritime masters, her oceanic scenes, as well as shoreline images, are predisposed toward abstraction, reminiscent of the organic abstraction evident in the Blaue Reiter works of Wassily Kandinsky or the late Surreal works of Joan Míro, as well as the sublime (“pure”) enigmatic abstract-abstraction found in late-works by Mark Rothko and Ad Reinhardt. For example, in several of her seascapes, we find identical moody, abstract, and heightened conceptual tendencies that are equally present (as open “arch-writing’ verbal abstractions) in Lord Byron’s“Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage,” when he hermeneutically conjures-up an iconological, vivid, and symbolic picture of the sea, conveying infinite and unbounded interpretation(s):

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean – roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin – his control
Stops with the shore; – upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, not does remain
A shadow of man’s ravage, save his own,
When for a moment, like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
Without a grave, unknell’d, uncoffin’d, and unknown.

As in Byron’s above “Ocean – roll” poetic-vignette, Devereaux’s art connotes a sensation of motion (movement), rushing tides, churning whirlpools, rippling eddies, stirring currents, undulating waves or placid calm. In her work, the dynamic terpsichorean sea is surrounded by energetic streaming or swirling milieus either detained or activated by breezy clouds, spectacular light, ominous darkness or blustering wind. Her most poignant and astonishing quality is an inimitable penchant (or genius) for expressing cinematographic atmospheric and aquatic action(s), suggesting visible motion/movement. This masterful painterly allusion to cinematography (“motion-pictures”) evokes haunting post-war Hollywood films like the unforgettable Portrait of Jennie (directed by William Dieterle) with its striking hyper-romantic and dreamlike New England coastal scenes engendered by epic and dramatic gray atmospheric tonal-value paintings of sea-nocturnes. This subliminal and insightful awareness of cinema in Devereaux’s current marine paintings animate, with faint paroxysms, her sentient seascapes that courageously intermingle paradoxical “primary imagination” with “secondary imagination;” thus, diaphanously joining “sturm”with “drang” as reciprocal traces of Derridaean différance.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

In lieu of titles, she numbers each seascape, thereby compelling viewers to enter each image directly (“visually”), as something on the whole abstract, or free from any ancillary “pictorial-narrative.”  Thus, her inherent abstraction presages ethereality, spirituality, and meditation, mapping a voyage toward greater contemplative awareness of all  unfathomable realms: “Within” and “Without.” As in contemporary tonal monochrome 2-D artworks by Vija Celmins, Hugo X. Bastidas, Mark Tansey and Nikolai Buglaj, luminosity plays a major role in her work, i.e., wherein light intricately bounces off each painting’s gray metallic surfaces, thereby, “making the natural world appear supernatural.” For instance, in Stormy Weather 18, which is part of her copper series; sunlight boldly emerges from behind the mountain, moving left-to-right with looming anticipation or foreboding. In another painting, Argento 21 (which means “silver” in Italian), conflicting waves of light clash against dim darkness encroaching, upon an intense and somber gray spirit of the sea, light and dark spar along the center of the image, providing a somewhat exigent emotive experience, as reflections in the water continue to darken – as if an unforeseen and menacing cloud were passing by.  In her work(s), the glimmering light of the deep ocean provides something shimmering, metallic, shiny, glittering and glassy; through which a Byronic mirror-like watery surface endows an identical feeling as that expressed (by Byron) in these below-stated Childe Harold lines:

Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty’s form
Glasses itself in tempests; in all time
Calm or convulsed-in breeze, or gale, or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark-heaving; boundless, endless and sublime-
The image of eternity – the throne
Of the invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.

             If the 21stCentury sparks a “Neo-neoromantic” revival reawakening the possibility of a “new” ardent emotive art capable of sublime and visionary neo-naturalism, future art historians will inevitably cite Devereaux’s summer 2012 The Spirit of the Sea series of monochromatic radical postmodern seascapes as one of the key catalysts fostering this paradigm shift away from incessant “Neo-neoDada; or ”post-Duchampesque/post-Maciunasean regurgitated anti-art; mindless Neo-conceptual art; inhumane biogenic art, as well as inhuman  hyper-technomania, and other lugubrious latent-20th Century inartistic ills still unfortunately plaguing contemporary art.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

As a viable antidote to the current (above-described) importunate art-malaise, Christie Devereaux’s work will be on display in the Treasure Room Gallery at the Interchurch Center, located at 475 Riverside Drive, from June 25 through August 27. In addition, please note that other examples of her work will be shown in Times Square on an enormous electronic billboard on June 18 as part of a VIP after party featuring Questlove of The Roots with Jimmy Fallon. Recently in spring (2012), thanks to the auspices of Jimmy Fallon, another Devereaux seascape graced a vast electronic billboard at Time Square (see Ragazine‘s News, Haps & Snaps).

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

For more on Christie Devereaux’s art visit: (http://www.christiedevereaux.com/Christie_Devereaux/Welcome.html).

About the author: 
Ragazine’s contributing art editor, Dr. José Rodeiro, is Coordinator of Art History, Art Dept., New Jersey City University.  You can read more about him in “About Us.”


 

1 comment

1 Christie Devereaux/Artist Interview | ragazine.cc { 07.02.12 at 9:53 pm }

[…] political, and spiritual perspectives.  Her current series titled “The Spirit of the Sea” (click here to read Review) offers passionate seascapes that reflect on her personal experience with the forces of nature. […]