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Southside Gallery Exhibits Carl Blackledge

Carl Blackledge to exhibit new body of work, “The Architecture of Disassociation,” at Southside Gallery for the month of August.

The Siege by Carl Blackledge
The Siege by Carl Blackledge

Southside Gallery set to host its first Carl Blackledge solo exhibit August 6th – August 31st. The New Orleans painter’s exhibition will feature seventeen new Abstract Expressionist paintings, all completed over the past year.

Blackledge’s work is informed and inspired by a number of artists from various eras and genres.  His influences include, but are not limited to, J.M.W. Turner, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning, Bill Traylor, Le Corbusier and Joan Mitchell.  Space, composition, existentialism and art history are all major themes examined by Blackledge.  Blackledge’s paintings are evocative, conveying a wide spectrum of moods and emotions ranging from stillness to rage, but the paintings also have an analytical quality that beckons the viewer to not only feel the work but to think about it too.

Blackledge’s paintings, often large in scale, are an environment of their own.  The objective of each painting is to dissociate the viewer’s contemporary physical perspective and have him enter the terrain of the painting.  Line, texture, color and composition create his paintings’ infrastructures.

In a brief artist’s statement, Blackledge described his concept, “With my paintings I’m attempting to expand a space the viewer might be occupying at that time and place. It really is an architectural pursuit. I am trying to achieve the ability to put the emotions of the viewer in a feeling of place instead of observing a place. Ideally I want the art to be perceived as the structure that is supporting the space.  Anything can serve as aesthetics in a place.  I think Motherwell explained it best when he said ‘Feeling must have a medium in order to function at all; in the same way, thought must have symbols. It is the medium, or the specific configuration of the medium that we call a work of art that brings feeling into being, just as do responses to the objects of the external world… The medium of painting is such changing and ordering on an ideal plane, ideal in that the medium is more tractable, subtle, and capable of emphasis (abstraction is a kind of emphasis) than everyday life.’”

Blackledge was raised in Laurel, Mississippi.  He attended Mississippi State University from 1995 – 1999 where he was a member of The Starving Artists Union, an artists collective that included former University of Mississippi Museum Director, William Pittman Andrews.  From 2007 – 2012 Blackledge resided in Oxford.  While in Oxford, he displayed work in the “One Night Stand Art Show” at The Ole Miss Motel and in two Summer Group Exhibitions at Southside Gallery.

An Artist’s Reception is scheduled for Thursday, August 15th, 6:30 – 8:30 PM.  For more information, contact Southside Gallery, 662.234.9090.

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