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Painter Norman Grandstaff Explores “Two Styles” in a new show


The show will feature a dozen works that aptly mirror the show’s theme.

Half the works were produced with oil paint and lacquer, two media that result in a smooth surface reminiscent of Asian lacquer paintings. The other half were produced with encaustic paint, which results in a rugged surface, and incorporate found objects and pasted words and texts that clearly reflect the influence of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg on Grandstaff’s art.

Raised in the 1960s amid the violence and crime of poverty-ridden South Bronx, Grandstaff spent summer vacations on a farm in Midwestern Virginia. This immersion in dual worlds–one harsh, one pastoral–had a profound effect on the artist’s psyche and informs and drives much of his work.

“Two Styles” opens October 17 with a reception for the artist from 5 pm to 8 pm and continues through January 2. Hours of the show are from 11 am to 6 pm on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; and from 11 am to 9 pm on Friday and Saturday. The show is closed on Tuesday.

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Norman Grandstaff “Out of My Head”


Grandstaff's art is exubert ad inventive and yet he maintains tight compositional control over the diverse elements in his painting. These inlclude found objects that are attached to the canvas, cut and pasted words and abstract passages. The artist is forthright in declaring the influences of Johns and Raushenberg on his work. However, his grippling with the interface between the abstract and the concrete has earlier precedents in Schwitters and Braque, and it is of an ongoing interest to many of today's artists.

The artist has two inclinations: to produce smooth and nuances surfaces that oil and lacquer provide, and the tactile, rugged surfaces on encaustic paint In both media, color is primary importance, and it is often intense and saturated. In a sense, the riot of color is like the costumes and sets in a play, and the painted or real objects are characters in the play. It is in the interplay of the two that the drama emerges.

The title of the show, Out of My Head, is subtly different from Out of My Mind, in that the former indications an inner source of inspiration, and the latter suggest a lack of control. It is the reconciliation of two forces of chaos and control, in both human affiars and the rest of the universe that interests Grandstaff. Emotion and reason are certainly key elements to the duality and are driving forces in Grandstaff's dynamic art.

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