Alan Sonneman | PAINTINGS OF THE SOUTHERN SIERRA
OPENING RECEPTION: Sat, Nov 7, 5- 8:00 pm
ARTIST TALK: Friday, Dec 11, 5- 6 pm
DATES OF EXHIBITION: Nov 7, 2015- Jan 10, 2016
PLACE: Green Chalk Contemporary 616 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey, CA
Green Chalk Contemporary kicks-starts the centennial of the National Park Service (2016) by celebrating the work of artist Alan Sonneman!
Alan Sonneman, a long time California resident, has spent the past 17 summers in the high alpine regions of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains documenting many of the National Parks most compelling scenic views.
Moving slowly from place to place, using a camera to record his observations, Sonneman captures these direct experiences of time and place in both photographs and paintings. At first glance, these paintings of the American Landscape are about nature’s beauty... a relatively simple concept. But stay with the canvases for any amount of time and they begin to breathe with questions about our own place in the world.
Sonneman created this body of work with an awareness of its context to art history as well as to contemporary art. In their affinity with the massive scale of the physical world, these paintings bring to mind the work of Michael Heizer or James Turrell, as much as Fredrick Church or Thomas Moran. But they also evoke a time when Romantic artists were not afraid to address the idea that art could be a transcendent experience. Sonneman is searching for something here, something found in a moment of complete silence, a place where the scale of nature gives us a more direct understanding of our own identity and our relationship to the world in which we’ve always existed. This is the world as it is... its forces and its immense scale. It’s a place where over time, the mere air can grind even the grandest mountain to dust.
Recently, the Department of State Arts in Embassies Program acquired several of Sonneman’s paintings for the new United States Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. Two of these works depict the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Gallery hours are 1- 6pm Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment.