Soke gallery exhibits Michael Welch |

Soke gallery exhibits Michael Welch

Special to the Daily"Infatuation," by Michael Welch, oil and acrylic on four canvases, 2004.

MINTURN – Soke gallery owner Justin Brunelle is exhibiting Michael Welch Saturday for one of the gallery’s last shows. Brunelle has decided to concentrate more on his gallery in Denver.

The show is being billed as “Michael Welch: The Last Picture Show,” and it also stars: Nancy Andresen, Tony Duke, Mary Daniel Hobson, Paul Seftel, Valisa Higman, Ursula Gilgulin, Wendy Clough, Dawn Howkinson Siebel, Pamela Olson, Hanne Linde, Bunny Rubin, Jewel Lauer, Ben Horton, Gail Wagner, Nicole Trevino, Terry Ryan, Scott Lowenbaum and August Brown.Welch was born in New Orleans in 1951. He worked as a furniture designer from 1978-1995 in the Adirondacks of New York. He is a self- taught painter and presently maintains a studio in Northern California. He is equally skilled in representational and non-representational forms creating a body of work that is varied in content and emotion.

Welch’s representational works often reminds the viewer of an old photograph. This sense of recognition is quickly replaced by nostalgia. The lost moment in time that will never return is inherent in the photograph. This emotionally subdued and faded quality of the paintings furthers the distance between familiarity and alienation. The influence of great German painter Gerhard Richter is apparent in these works. It was Richter who first captured the spectral quality of the photograph in paint during the 1960s to express certain themes of mortality in post-war Germany. Welch uses this similar stylistic technique to express various emotions of fear, joy, pain, loss and the complexities of the War on Terror.

“My first memories of paintings are of two reproductions from an encyclopedia we had when I was a child. They were Thomas Eakins’ ‘Max Schmidt in a Single Scull’ and ‘Stag at Sharkey’s’ by George Bellows,” Welch said. “What held my attention was the almost photographic precision of the Eakins and the struggling competitive brutality depicted in the Bellows. I was probably not yet ten years old at the time. I think those images are still influencing me today.”Complimentary appetizers and refreshments provided by Cuisine Catering will be served at the exhibit from 4-6:30 p.m. The gallery is located at 122 Main Street in Minturn. For more information, call 827-4265.Vail, Colorado

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