Eric Painter likes to play around with the concept of “concept” — both in language, what he calls “verse vica,” and in art, specifically his “meteor metaphors” and “painture.” For the exhibition “Out of the Frame” opening Thursday at Marshall Arts, he’s joined by two artists, Steve Webb and Miller Pipkin, whose approaches also lean toward the mind-bending.
Painter began his meteor metaphors several years ago with a stone sculpture that reminded him of a meteor, which got him thinking. “Life is like a meteor,” Painter says, explaining that he sees the energy released from a fallen meteor like that of a person who may no longer be around. His “paintures” are a mash-up of sculpture and painting turned inside-out. Instead of drawing a plan for a sculpture, he makes the sculpture first, free-hand, and then makes a painting, creating a work that is literally outside the frame. “It’s two different ways to use perception, the illusions of form in space,” Painter says. “Sculpture is solid, more form itself, while painting is infinite.”
Webb defines one of his large paintings in the show as “urban archaeology.” Webb, who is a builder, did a painting of a wall in a Second Street building he worked on. A removed staircase had left an image on the wall, and what Webb saw there was a history of people going up and down the stairs.
Miller says his abstract-expressionist paintings and sculptures are philosophy-driven and forms of self-expression that arise from human experience. That’s not always easy. One series of works showing at “Out of the Frame” represents pure torment for him. “It’s hard for me to look at,” Miller confesses, “but it’s good to have that dialogue with myself.” — Susan Ellis