Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gwynn Murrill ~ Coyote VI and Karl Hofer ~ Early Hour

Usually I don't think of Coyote VI when I'm looking at Karl Hofer's Early Hour from Week 15 here at Fifty Two Pieces. But as I walked down the corridor where Early Hour hangs, the image of the dog looked so much like a coyote that I stopped in my tracks to look again at Hofer's painting. The dog is very stylized. Your mind makes it a dog probably because it's lying in bed with the couple early in the morning. But look again and perhaps it's not really a dog, perhaps it's a coyote and a metaphor for something else.

Gwynn Murrill's animals are all highly stylized. She looks to the positive and negative space. The next time you're in the plaza area of the Portland Art Museum you should definitely take a close look at the surface of the sculpture. The skin of Coyote VI is an amazing combination of gold, brown and red. Then compare the surface as it reflects the light of the sun and compare it to the darker under belly that is in the cooler shaded area. Different surfaces, different effects. Spend a few moments with Coyote VI at different times of the day. You'll come away with a different impression each time.

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