July 2022 – Excerpt
SEE IT DIFFERENTLY
By Ulrike Bender
“The whole idea behind Blizzmax is to promote art and artists,” says former vineyard manager and architectural designer turned gallery owner Alice Mennacher. She has invited 12 artists to contribute to the current show, which she calls “As I See It,” on view until August 14.
Now in its 29th year of summer exhibitions, Blizzmax, in a repurposed barn in South Bay, for the first time showcases the work of exclusively women artists—their points of view as individuals. Be prepared for a variety of styles and mediums, a few surprises and a bit of intrigue. Some works tell a story, some elicit questions, others delight with their whimsy or their aesthetic richness. All require a close look. “I wanted to mix it up,” explains Alice. “These are artists that over the years caught my eye.” . . . . .
[ Two large oil paintings by Gudrun Gallo will speak to gallery goers who have been to Iceland. Recognizable is the hilly, rocky, treeless land punctuated by waterways and waterfalls. Some might consider the Icelandic countryside bleak, but in the smaller of the two paintings the artist, a former designer and art director, has animated the landscape with expressionistic brushstrokes, intense contrast and colours, and what photographers call “leading lines” in sky and landforms. (Kudos to Alice for positioning this painting above Pillar’s sculpture: a suggestive juxtaposition.) Gallo’s powerful larger painting takes this viewer by surprise. The landscape, in similar tones, has morphed into an abstract composition focussed on a gushing, dripping, swath that pours forth from the somewhat sinister surroundings.
And yet, still recognizable. ]