|THE FORBIDDEN ROOM (2000), BY RICHARD STENHOUSE|
ACQUIRED FROM JERALD MELBERG GALLERY, CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, APRIL 2000
GRAPHITE AND PASTEL ON MYLAR, 17" BY 15 5/8"
When I saw this work at the opening of Richard Stenhouse's House Drama show at Jerald Melberg Gallery, I was immediately attracted to it. The image is deceptively simple: a door with four bright orange stripes painted on it, with a few drops of orange on the tile floor in front of the door. When I saw this work, my thoughts were: Why is the room forbidden, and to whom? Why are there orange stripes on the door, when the rest of the image is devoid of color? Did the drops on the floor drip off of the door, or was something that was dripping carried through the door? What exactly is the orange color? (I know the answers to these questions... Richard told me. I'd love to hear what you think!)
In this work, the architectural precision of the door, the surrounding wall, and the tiled floor are enhanced by Richard's use of pastels to produce an amazingly nice, and realistic, shading effect. At the same time, there is a subtle amount of blurriness created by the pastel process that gives this work an otherworldly, dreamlike appearance. (All of Richard's works share this quality... click here to see more images of his work.)
Here's an excerpt from the Charlotte Observer's review of the show:
The perfection of his renderings and the quality of the materials he uses (graphite and pastel on mylar, a smooth, translucent plastic sheet used by architects) also serves to contain emotion. If there are tensions in this house, this lifeand there arethey're minor. They're manageable.Scroll down to see a closeup shot of this work.
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