Gallery Art Exhibit Review: Fort Worth Community Art Center’s “Along the Rio Grande’s Big Bend”

In the Fort Worth Community Art Center’s gallery, titled “Along the Rio Grande’s Big Bend”, the photography displayed is black and white photographs done as pigment inkjet prints. The photographs portray the landscape around the Rio Grande with contrasting viewpoints.

Ken Spencer the photographer titled the gallery “Along the Rio Grande’s Big Bend” because his photos all portrayed the area around the Rio Grande. Though the way he worded the title almost made me think about life’s journey which I think fits because his pictures almost portray a theme of life and death. “Although the area is remote and the environment harsh, the beauty and solitude of the Chihuahuan desert and Chisos mountains can be almost overwhelming” (Ken Spencer). He captures pictures that show nature really strongly with luscious plants and the appearance of animals and pairs them next to pictures that show ruin and absence of life.

I think the artist definitely decided how this gallery was displayed. Every piece flowed well and complimented each other thematically and compositionally. As I was stating previously he matches pieces that have similar compositional patterns that flow well next to each other. He also contrasts them by having a piece that represents life next to a piece that represents death which makes them stand out more because you look at them closer to find the similarities and differences.

One pair that really stood out to me was Case Grande w/ Turkey Vultures and View to Castolon Peak. Casa Grande w/ Turkey Vultures portrays a mountain in the distance with the focus on a big flower plant with tinny tiny vultures in the background. The picture uses rule of thirds to really emphasis the flower and the life within the picture. Although the vultures almost seem to be foreshadowing the message of death approaching in the picture placed next to it but they are small enough you don’t immediately notice it. View to Castolon Peak also has a mountain in the background but the main focus is the broken ruins of some structure with the edge of a house in the corner. The picture uses rule of thirds again and has almost the same structure as Casa Grande w/ Turkey Vultures which makes them flow together. The ruins represent the theme of death foreshadowed in the previous picture but the house in the corner represents the rebuilding of life again which is showed in the next picture. I think I would like these pictures because they have a really cool hidden foreshadowing and his photographs of the landscape are gorgeous.

The other pair that stood out to me was Horses at the Rio Grande and Morning in the Desert. Horses at the Rio Grande shows a luscious green land, with a river running through, a mountain in the background, and a horse drinking from the river. The picture uses rule of thirds with the landscape and horse as well as leading lines with the river. The picture represents life again since it’s teeming with water, plants, and animals and most of the pictures focusing on the earth. Morning in the Desert replaces the luscious greenery, river, and horse, with cactuses, sand, and crosses. The picture follows the same composition as Horses at the Rio Grande with the rule of thirds and leading lines. It represents death and focuses primarily on a cloud sky almost symbolizing heaven. These two pictures also do the foreshadowing with Horses at the Rio Grande having a barren mountain in the background and Morning in the Desert having a luscious green covered mountain in the background. I also really love these two pictures for their quality as well as their foreshadowing so I would display them in my house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Spencer, Ken. 2016. Pigment inkjet photography. Along the Rio Grande’s Big Bend, Fort Worth Community Arts Center.

Spencer, Ken. Casa Grande w/ Turkey Vultures. 2016. Pigment inkjet photography. Along the Rio Grande’s Big Bend, Fort Worth Community Arts Center.

Spencer, Ken. Horses at the Rio Grande. 2016. Pigment inkjet photography. Along the Rio Grande’s Big Bend, Fort Worth Community Arts Center.

Spencer, Ken. Morning in the Desert. 2016. Pigment inkjet photography. Along the Rio Grande’s Big Bend, Fort Worth Community Arts Center.

Spencer, Ken. View to Castolon Peak. 2016. Pigment inkjet photography. Along the Rio Grande’s Big Bend, Fort Worth Community Arts Center.

 

 

 

 

 


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