PINEDALE – Asking 19 contemporary artists to explore that one word – “nocturne” – and where it led them was the goal of David Klarén’s new show through Dec. 31 at his Mystery Print Gallery in Pinedale.
“I like words that roll off the tongue in a certain way, words that conjure unique and interesting visual associations, words that ebb and flow in a varied context,” Klarén said of his inspiration. “At a point last year, the word ‘nocturne’ surfaced in the dark seas of the covid-19 chaos.”
The invited artists from Wyoming, California, New York and Kentucky took up his challenge to produce an intriguing, thoughtful and eclectic range of interpretations using light provided by nature – sun, moon, stars and planets.
“The invited artists were asked to take a deep swim in the waters go the night,” Klarén said. “Nocturne” opened with a Nov. 4 reception at the gallery. People buying the artworks are asked to leave them in place until Dec. 23 in time for Christmas. They range from unusual paintings, ceremonial ceramics, prints and mixed-media sculptures.
The artists are, alphabetically, Dan Abernathy, Cristopher Amend, Cristy Anspach, Richard Burkje, Matt Daly, Holland Dutton, Favian Hernandez, Jennifer Hoffman, Jun Ishida, Charm McLellan, Mae Orm, Linda Ryan, Jocelyn Slack, Lost Marie Smith, Sue Sommers, Robin Sruoginis, Connie Wieneke, Christ Wimberg and Kathy Wipfler.
To single out one is almost impossible; every piece in Nocturne shares a revelation of the artist’s personality and survival mode over the past year and a half, from hope to weariness to joy and despair. Stars shine through clouds, thoughts race across a cold moon, a rabbit hides, detritus litters a landscape. A civilized mouse carries on underground; a person seeks suspended sleep; a poet thinks of the solar eclipse.
Words used by the artists to discuss their works – dreams, shadows, peace, disquiet, whimsy, disconnection, outer space, weariness, mystery, lightning, renewal – show the wide play of impressions that keep me thinking about “Nocturne.”
Mystery Print Gallery, 221 S. Sublette, is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 1-6 p.m.