The University of Michigan announces a new exhibition presenting the work of Dennis Guastella and Ron Teachworth, two active Michigan artists who have been making and showing their work for forty years. Titled Four Decades, the exhibition will present a retrospective selection of each artist’s work from the 1970’s to the present. The exhibition will be open to the public at the Duderstadt Center Gallery at the University of Michigan (North Campus), Ann Arbor, MI from October 1 through 25, 2013 (Gallery hours: 12 noon — 6 PM, Monday — Friday) A public reception honoring the artists will take place in the Gallery on Sunday, October 13, 2013 from 3 – 5pm.
Dennis Guastella and Ron Teachworth have earned graduate degrees in painting and are experienced teachers. Their paintings are included in numerous corporate and private collections. Both artists work in a variety of media, and have an ongoing commitment to non-objective painting. The richly developed surfaces of Dennis Guastella’s paintings demonstrate his passion for the physical beauty of paint explored through a variety of application methods ranging from squeeze bottles to thick layers of acrylic paint that are dried on a non-absorbent surface, removed, and then cut and collaged onto a final painting panel. The rich color layers and inventive textures that Guastella creates attract the viewer’s eye but are always at the service of the artist’s compositional strategy that balances a kind of crisp precision with the intuitive moves of a painter. Though these are non-referential works, they seem “constructed” and can evoke thoughts of fantastic girder structures, aerial views, or ancient eroded masonry. The sense of space is deftly controlled from painting to painting and can be seen as very compressed or flattened as well as suggesting a limitless space. Guastella’s work invites contemplation. The eye is drawn to the physical beauty of paint and the mind is engaged by the artist’s thoughts. Ron Teachworth’s abstractions evolved from his early landscape paintings. These interpretations developed into paintings called “Sky Fields” where the entire canvas became a unified surface activated by thousands of small brush strokes of color. The compositions were often based on a grid structure and counterpointed with representational elements such as the wooden lifeguard chairs seen on a beach, a canoe or enigmatic color spheres that create an intriguing visual tension between what is known and what is imagined. Teachworth’s recent non-objective paintings feature lively patterns that take some cues from artists such as Vassily Kandinsky and the contemporary painter Thomas Nozkowski. Employing irregular grids and repetitive shapes of shifting color notes, there seems to be a kind of lively musical whimsy about Teachworth’s canvasses that captures the viewer’s interest. Guastella and Teachworth have often exhibited together in group exhibitions and in 1999 their first two-person exhibition was presented at the Cary Gallery in Rochester, Michigan. In 2011 two-person exhibitions were on view at the Saginaw Valley University Art Gallery, and the Central Michigan University Art Gallery.