Feature Story

Two Series of Paintings by Professor Emeritus on Exhibit in Two Venues

September 19, 2016 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

'Llanua,' part of Marty Kalb's 'Land & Sky' series of paintings is on display in September and October at Bexley's Art Access Gallery. (Photo courtesy of Marty Kalb)

Marty Kalb’s Works Interpret ‘Land & Sky’ and ‘Altars & Icon’ 

Paintings by Marty Kalb, OWU Emeritus Professor of Fine Art, are now featured in two concurrent exhibitions.

During September and October, paintings from Kalb’s “Land & Sky” series are featured in a three-person show at Art Access Gallery, 540 S. Drexel Ave., Bexley. Kalb’s paintings are abstractions inspired by the convergence of strong horizontal visual references and the dynamic energy created by merging swirling forms, rich color contrasts, and decisive linear elements.

The gallery show also includes works by two other emeritus art professors: painter Dennis Drummond (Columbus College of Art and Design, and sculptor Barry Gunderson (Kenyon College). Learn more at http://artaccessgallery.com.

'Altars and Icons #1-17' by Marty Kalb
'Altars & Icons #1-17' by Marty Kalb

Also in September and October, paintings from Kalb’s “Altars & Icon” series are being exhibited at the Jewish Community Center 1125 College Ave., Bexley. His work is on display in the JCC’s Goldberg Gallery. Learn more at http://columbusjcc.org/cultural-arts/exhibits.

In his artist statement, Kalb said:

“The paintings in the show at the JCC are all based on the visual similarity that I believe exists between most, if not all, structures that are used in all religions for devotional purposes. In my travels, to many parts of the world, from Europe and the Middle East, to Asia and Central and South America, I have noticed that places devoted to mediation and spiritual concerns use very simple symmetrically balanced architectural forms. These basic simple designs help focus the participants’ attention on intangible spiritual elements. These paintings, both large and small, start with a straight forward basic ‘house’ shape not unlike what a child might draw as he or she makes their first attempts at rendering reality. This simple linear scaffold sets up the boundaries within, which are suggestions of solid shapes or fluid lines. By containing the action inside a stable ‘universal’ frame, I want the viewer to feel the importance of the action as something unique with an energy akin to that felt when believers revere the special significance of a religious artifact.”

The opportunity for an artist to concurrently present an extensive look at in two completely different bodies of work is unusual. It is a first for Kalb, who taught painting, drawing, and modern art history in the OWU’s Department of Fine Arts from 1967 to 2007.

His next exhibition will be a 50-year retrospective at OWU’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum in the fall 2017.