Zoey Brookshire: A New Applause; “Sunday Conversations with the Artist” At Art Cellar July 29

Published Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 11:53 am




By Linda Kramer

The ingenious and unrelenting abstract expressionism of artist, Zoey Brookshire will be in the line-up at the much anticipated July summer showing at The Art Cellar in Banner Elk. Lavish ovations are due.

       Since the late 1990’s. Zoey has been creating, in the mountains of western North Carolina, large provocative works on canvas with paint and powerfully managed ink on paper. Whether figurative, landscape or abstract, large scale or small, each of her paintings comes from the depth of her artistic spirit and the strength of her commitment to intellectual honesty. Over the last 35 years, her exhibition history includes 21 solo exhibitions and 45 group exhibitions and a cadre of loyal followers.

      Zoey’s art expresses many moods and characters. Some show a Chekhovian wise sadness, while others, an inhibitive frivolity; all ever adjusting to new creative contexts. Don’t try and pigeon-hole her works, you can’t.

      The July gallery showing gives viewers a hint of the depth and scope of her work and reflects her progression of styles. Zoey magically transports the viewer, through her art, to emotionally laden places; many filled with pathos as she reaches into unlikely corners and inexplicable states; unleashing the Chang, that brave and mystical Chinese warrior who lives inside all of us.

      In addition to the art installation, an explosive and much anticipated new book, Visual Energy, presents Zoey’s art in 50 well-selected inks and paintings and will be available for purchase at The Art Cellar at an exclusive book signing on July 29 from 2-4 pm. The event will be highlighted by an artists talk about her recent works.

      In Visual Energy, Zoey invites readers to open their eyes and see a new visual language; a unique kind of awareness that teeters between coherence and absurdity while maintaining a sure-footed balance between the two. Within it’s pages, Zoey engages the reader’s senses from the simple lines of her inks to the hidden complexity of her oils that express profound themes; many based on the natural world, a favorite theme of hers and one she returns to again and again. If you believe that an artist must leave the beholder with something to guess, Zoey invites many intriguing questions to test the intellect. A hint of her questions, again, lies in the inspiration that comes from the natural world, suggesting that we can never escape nature.

      And as J.M.W. Turner said, “Every look upon nature is a refinement of art.” Zoey is always searching for new perspectives, in human and natural form. This curiosity is demonstrated by the images in this book that beg us to think about the visual energy in the world around us.                                                            Because Zoey asks the viewer/reader in both her book and her static art, to see natural elements from a different angle; that task sometimes results in mischievous results. She is both plainspoken and mysterious at the same time and knows when to be clear and when to be illusive; leading us almost unaware into intriguing realms that lie only within the language of art.

      Zoey also entertains and tells stories that move in masterful and unpredictable directions. Graphically strong, her art never apologizes and always challenges viewers to step inside. Sometimes it is a unique marriage of under-statement and other times, sheer dramatic expression; but it is always a profound visual language. Visual Energy is the perfect vehicle for this union

      Zoey makes her points intellectually clear, “The three formal inventions underlying the aesthetic found in all my art and extended to my book are form, material and context. It is always my great hope that these elements will combine to produce a lyric depth from these ongoing visual explorations.”

I can hear the applause already.

Zoey Brookshire’s artist talk and book signing will be held on Sunday, July 29 from 2pm to 4pm at The Art Cellar in Banner Elk.

The Art Cellar Gallery focuses on North Carolina artists while including select artists from across the Southeast, showing work from large scale canvases to smaller works on paper as well as sculpture, glass and clay. A High Country arts destination celebrating 26 seasons, The Art Cellar Gallery is located on Hwy. 184 in Banner Elk and is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm. For more information contact the gallery online or by phone at www.artcellaronline.com or 828-898-5175.  

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