February 3rd, 2012
William Reaves Fine Art: “Explosive Color/Dynamic Paint” by Dick Wray
With rain in the forecast I thought I would visit Dick Wray’s last exhibition. I’m always eager to see what new imagery Dick Wray creates. His last body of work is being exhibited at William Reaves Fine Art, a gallery nestled in a quiet neighborhood on Brun Street. As I walk around the gallery I’m a little saddened to see that these paintings are Wray’s final thoughts on his art and life. If you ever want to know about an artist just study his art. Everything you ever wanted to know about Dick Wray is put on canvas: his beliefs, his feelings and philosophy.
Cat. No. 28, Dick Wray, Untitled (invt. 1893), 2007, oil/canvas, 40×30 in.
Roaming around the room there is a feeling of sorrows. Large colorful pieces fill the room like statues. My eyes are bursting from all sorts of colors and splotches. The large viewing area pulls you in every direction. Untitled #28 2007, is a whimsical puzzle. Forcing the viewer to review and focus on double and triple images. Wray uses a thick black line to entangle shapes and create forms. I see animals like an elephant, a bear’s head and mountains at the bottom of the painting. At the top there is a sky filled with purple, yellow and green swirls.
Cat. No. 41, Dick Wray, Untitled (invt. 1920), n/d, oil/canvas, 68×84 in.
Untitled #41, n/d is by far the largest painting at 68×84 inches. Though the piece is untitled I would have called it Jumping Jack. I’m mesmerized by the colors. A mixture of modernism and contemporary strokes Wray blends Expressionism with current Abstraction practices.
What I love about Wray’s work is that he gives you clues to every Artwork. It’s up to the viewer to solve the mystery. I have to ask what is this central figure dominating the painting? And why does it seem to have an extending nose and crooked smile toward the lower end of its body?
It is surrounded by splatters of yellows, touches of green and oranges that bring warmness to the painting.
Cat. No. 23, Dick Wray, Untitled (Invt. 1848), 2003, mixed media, 48×36 in.
Untitled #23, 2003 is just marvelous. It reminds me of Downtown Houston at night. Very jazzy and quite frankly explodes with blues, blacks and hints of yellow. So much of Wray’s work encompasses drawing and this piece is a testament to that. The painter creates lines pushing and pulling you every which way. This is my favorite painting. Everything that Dick Wray is as an Artist is embedded in this 48×36 painting. Not only does it describe a cool spirit it describes Wray’s philosophy. Stop by William Reaves Fine Art to see a legend in painting, you won’t be disappointed.
Dick Wray “Explosive Color/ Dynamic Paint”
Until Feb. 4, 2012
William Reaves Fine Art
Open Fridays and Saturdays 10 am-5pm, other times by appointment.
2313 Brun Street, Houston, Texas 77019
Submitted by Jesse Kantu