Rush Baker IV Exhibit Opens Saturday at HEMPHILL
Thursday March 17, 2022
American Sunset is politically charged. Reflecting upon the cause and effect of abolitionist John Brown’s 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry which accelerated the nation into civil war, Baker has created a cycle of paintings conjured from a process where representation generates abstraction. Large and colorful, both beautiful and terrifying, his paintings possess the currents of emotional energy felt within the present-day fight for social justice. Baker interleaves the events and geography of Harper’s Ferry with textural applications of acrylic material, varying between matte and glossy, dark and light. The bits and pieces of representational content still visible in his work are caught in a storm of spinning, broken alternately disappearing and reappearing parts. Although the show references a historical event, it could not be more of the present. Baker’s ability to depict this maelstrom from an observer’s distance places the viewer in the calm at the eye of a storm. A position where the question arises; “how will you respond when the next wall of the storm overtakes us?” Like exhibitions of other great political artworks, American Sunset is both lamentation and inspiration.
American Sunset runs through Saturday, April 30. Visit HEMPHILL at 434 K Street NW to be among the first to see this exciting new exhibition!