Speaking of Color: Trish Weeks at The Carnegie

By Jane Durrell

Trish Weeks calls her show at The Carnegie Speaking of Color, a topic her work explores with zest and spirit. Weeks is enamored of color, besotted by it, can’t get enough of marvelous shades. She slips easily from almost naturalism (a couple of renditions of flowers in vases) to highly expressionistic views of nature that need their titles if the viewer is to know at all what the subject is. The ostensible subject is not of great importance however; the overriding topic, as she says, is color.

Considerable thought has gone into the hanging of this show, as the works play off one another. An end wall of small works is a good place to begin looking. These are framed, mostly in wide, flat, gold-colored frames, and include the flowers in vases mentioned above. Two or three dissolve into abstraction in different ways. “Natural Impression” is shaped by palette knife, while others look to me to be the result of exuberant brush strokes plus knife. Skies are whatever color she wants them to be. An example of nice pairing is “Spring Marsh,” all thick paint spread like butter, next to “Serene,” in which the paint is thin and transparent.

Weeks seems to be equally at home in vertical or horizontal formats. The dominant wall in the this gallery has three large works, all unframed. Reading from left to right, the colors grow more intense. “Cotton Candy” at left feeds into “Feeling Sunshine” in the center and culminates in “Going Coastal” at right. “Feeling Sunshine” makes a token stab at including blue in the sky, but not a lot, and “Going Coastal” as I remember it ignores blue entirely.

Speaking of Color appears upstairs at The Carnegie, in the Rieveschl Gallery, which has an odd niche leading to a side door at one end. The Carnegie, of course, was a library before it became a gallery and odd niches may be expected. A line of small works which include one with uncharacteristic use of white and pastel leads the eye in to its narrow end wall where two unframed canvases, each the same shape and size, are hung one above the other. The blues of “Deep Blue Seas” become reds in “River Grasses;” greens dominate one sky and yellow is the energy of the other. The pair make the point of how easily Weeks’ paintings reinforce each other.

I could have wished for dates on these works, as the artist’s progression would be interesting to see, but none were provided. I suspect her use of palette knife has grown over the years and that she has been increasingly drawn to the classic landscape format, i.e. foreground and sky, although what she does within those boundaries is contrary to nature as we usually see it. The larger the work the less likely it is to have a frame, and in fact these lively excursions are more effective without being boxed in. Weeks, a graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program, finds her pleasure in individualistic permutations of the natural world and an unending delight in color in and of itself.

Speaking of Color is one of six exhibitions on view at The Carnegie through February 14. Others are Take It From Me, by the late Ron Thomas; So They Say:Wisdom and Foolishness, a group show by the Northern Kentucky Printmakers organization; Genus Machina, drawings by Andrew Dailey; images and sculptures by David Hartz; works by Rachel Birrer, Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts Carnegie Scholarship Winner.

It should be noted that The Carnegie will be closed for the holidays from December 24 through January 1 and that new gallery hours have been announced. During exhibitions the galleries will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, closed Sunday-Tuesday. The Carnegie is at 1028 Scott Boulevard in Covington.


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