By Matthew Gundrum —
Robert Atwell is an associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History here at University of Wisconsin–Stout. He also acts as the director of the Furlong Gallery. Since Nov. 12, Atwell has featured his own art show cleverly titled “CHROMA(A)CHROMA.”
The event acts as his sabbatical show. All pieces under his name were created during academic leave in the fall of 2013.
The title itself is enough to pique the curiosity of potential attendees. Understanding the wordplay behind it reveals the theme behind this particular exhibit.
“The title comes from the words chromatic and achromatic,” says Atwell. “Chromatic in art terms meaning containing color; achromatic means no color or a series of grays. I knew the work in the show was going to be both chromatic and achromatic. My typical work is very colorful, but for this show, I did the large painted mural that is all grays.”
Atwell has developed a signature style characterized by “shapes so minimal they are almost instantly recognizable yet remain ambiguous.”
This description comes from his event last summer at the Gilman Contemporary Gallery in Ketchum, Idaho.
The show is unique in that the display methods differ from your typical art gallery.
“There are site specific installations, in the form of paintings and drawings directly on the gallery walls. There are digital projections with algorithmic-based projections on paintings,” says Atwell. This gives viewers a chance to experience art in a way they are not accustomed to.
However, the show is not entirely Atwell.
“Dragana Crnjak from Youngstown, Ohio and Matthew Kluber from Cedar Rapids, Iowa are also part of the show. I invited them to be in the show with me as I knew there work would also be abstract, and work with my work.”
Atwell wants students to attend because he believes the experience transcends merely looking at art in a gallery. “They may not like everything, or understand everything, but seeing it may create interest, or questions, or stir something else in them that later on down the road causes them to recall what they saw at the show.”
The Furlong Gallery will be showing “CHROMA(A)CHROMA” until Dec. 15. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday 12 to 4 p.m.