November 27, 2010–January 9, 2011
Struck by Lightning More Than Once, She Didn’t Yield
Oil on canvas
24 x 20 inches
Struck by Lightning More Than Once, She Didn’t Yield features work by Dallas-based artist Michael Tole dating from 2007 to the present. Working in the tradition of the Photorealists, Tole’s compositions are based in photography. His subjects are never staged, rather they are captured in situ, and painted as they were found, although he introduces “the element of chance” by shaking the camera while taking the photo. The resultant image captures the blurs and streaks, over saturation of color and light, as well as quirky cropping and shallow depth of field that one might associate with an amateur snap-shot of Christmas lights—out-of-focus, semi-recognizable subject matter enlivened by ribbons of brilliant color. “I love the telltale signs of photography: blurred edges, double images, red edges between dark and light, and harsh cropping. They seem to add a sense of other worldliness to the subject matter, yet as photographs, those signs don’t feel incorporated into the imagery.… Once painted, those charming, mysterious telltale signs of photography become fully integrated into the image,” Tole notes.
Untitled (Chariot with Silver and Purple), 2008
Oil on canvas
30 x 40 inches
The exhibition will include oil paintings on canvas and prints dating from 2007 to the present. One series is of reproduction Fabergé Eggs he came across in a Dallas gift shop. In works such as Untitled (Chariot with Silver and Purple), 2007, rich jewel tones and streaks of golden embellishment reflect the baroque richness of the era in which the original objects were created. Tole writes that his paintings become consistent with that realm by becoming “beautiful baubles that embody the power, wealth and prestige of their patrons.”
Untitled (Gazebo), 2009
Oil on canvas
48 x 60 inches
The most recent works in the exhibition focus on a group of Asian curiosities the artist encountered at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum in St. Augustine, Florida. Peaked pagodas, dragons, and robed figures occupy the imagined and seemingly floating miniature worlds carved from Chinese camel bones. In Untitled (Green Grotto), 2010, swirls of jade green foliage hover over a group of glowing red figures, implying a narrative that is left to the viewer to construct.
Michael Tole was born in Dallas in 1979. He earned a BFA in studio art from The University of Texas at Austin in 2000. Recent solo exhibitions of his work have been held at Caine Schulte Gallery, San Francisco and Conduit Gallery, Dallas. In 2007 he was awarded the Hunting Art Prize for painting.