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Andrew Denman Between the

Lines

Don Rambadt August 1st – 10th, 2019


Between the Lines

Known for his unique style combining elements of realism, stylization, and abstraction, Andrew Denman is at the forefront of an artistic vanguard of the best contemporary wildlife and animal painters working today.

Forward At the time of this writing, I am finally settling into my new studio space in Tucson, Arizona. I’ve moved studios on three previous occasions in my life, and the one thing I am sure of is that one can never predict how much or in what ways a change of scenery will cause his work will change, only that it will. Though this show is comprised of several series I had already begun work on prior to moving, I have no doubt that trading the hustle and bustle of the San Francisco Bay Area for the clear skies, wide open spaces, and abundant wildlife of the desert is working its magic. Certainly a few notable Southwestern birds are already finding their way into my heart, and my compositions.

Born in California in 1978, Denman an early Andrew Denman exhibited fascination for art and nature and a degree of commitment well beyond his years. At just thirteen years of age, he started teaching afterschool art classes for children and soon went on to offer private art tutoring and workshops to artists of all ages. By age sixteen, he was exhibiting with a top commercial gallery. A BFA from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA, further fueled his love of art and art history and helped transform his passion into a career.

Preparing for this show, which occurred during the move, has been a challenge to say the least. There were months when I desperately wanted (and needed) to paint, but didn’t have a studio in which to do so. When I was finally able to get into my new and vastly improved work space, the ideas I had been fruitlessly obsessing over for months came rushing out in a torrent of inspiration and enthusiasm. In recent years my work has become more colorful, more expressive, more modern, and ultimately, more me. I hope that that joy and commitment come through in this body of work, even without having to read Between the Lines.

Early exhibitions almost immediately following his college graduation quickly cemented Denman’s reputation as a noteworthy new talent and attracted feature coverage in such publications as Southwest Art, Western Art Collector, and International Artist, among others. Since then, Denman’s work has toured nationally with his solo retrospective show Andrew Denman: The Modern Wild, at the highly regarded Birds in Art exhibition, and with the Society of Animal Artists, which has thrice honored Andrew’s work with Awards of Excellence. The artist is a regular participant in the Western Visions Exhibition at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, an institution that named him the Lanford Monroe Memorial Artist in Residence for Winter of 2009. Denman’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, The Nature in Art Museum, Gloucester, England, and numerous private collections around the world. The artist maintains Denman Studios at his home in Tucson, AZ, which he shares with partner307-733-4016 and fellow artist Guy Combes. phone:

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Andrew Denman

“String Theory #2: Chickadees” 20" x 16" Acrylic on Cradled Board $5,600

Detail phone: 307-733-4016

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Andrew Denman

“String Theory #4: Vermilion Flycatchers” 11" x 14" Acrylic on Cradled Board $2,600

phone: 307-733-4016

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Andrew Denman

“String Theory #5: Verdins” 12" x 9" Acrylic on Cradled Board $1,900

phone: 307-733-4016

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Andrew Denman

“String Theory #6: Cedar Waxwings” 12" x 16" Acrylic on Cradled Board $3,200

phone: 307-733-4016

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Andrew Denman

“String Theory #7: White-Crowned Sparrow” 16" x 8" Acrylic on Cradled Board $2,200 phone: 307-733-4016

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Andrew Denman

“String Theory #8: Orioles” 24" x 30" Acrylic on Cradled Board $12,000

Detail phone: 307-733-4016

Detail 8

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About the String Theory Series

Last year I started “String Theory,” a new series of paintings that sinks its roots years back in my study of art history in college. I have always been fascinated with minimalism, and among my favorites historical examples are Piet Mondrian and Barnett Newman. Both artists brilliantly illustrate the simple but undeniable power of spatial and color harmonies, and the almost magical ability of just a few lines to create mood and meaning. The contrast between illusionistic imagery and flat decorative treatments has been at the conceptual core of my work for nearly twenty years, owing largely to my study of modern art, so it should come as no surprise that an image of birds essentially flying into a Barnett Newman painting came into my head like a thunderbolt. Simply by virtue of their proximity to more descriptive elements like the birds, otherwise completely flat areas of color become alive and animate in three-dimensional space. The title of the series is not only a humorous play on words and reference to the fact that the avian subjects are, quite obviously, interacting with “strings” or stripes; it also alludes to the manner in which these contextual clues require a re-envisioning of the surrounding space, much as String Theory has (for its proponents anyway) changed our understanding of the cosmological landscape and how its component parts interact. Of course, the concept evolved well past this initial point of inspiration to become something entirely new and very much my own. These pieces suggest the dislocation of birds from their natural environments and their adaptiveness to the urban and suburban habitats we have made. These colorful stripes are not meant to “describe” anything as mundane as a fence posts, branches, or bird feeders; rather they become their own nonobjective environments, beautiful, evocative, and otherworldly. Andrew Denman, 2019

phone: 307-733-4016

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Andrew Denman

“Totem #8: Stacked Crows” 48" x 24" Oil over Acrylic on Cradled Board $19,000

Detail phone: 307-733-4016

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Andrew Denman

“Totem #9: Stacked Owls” 36" x 24" Oil over Acrylic with 22.5 KT Champagne Gold Leaf on Cradled Board $14,500

phone: 307-733-4016

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Andrew Denman

“Totem #10: Stacked Quail” 24" x 12" Acrylic on Cradled Board $4,800 phone: 307-733-4016

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Andrew Denman

“Totem #10: Stacked Jays” 24" x 12" Acrylic on Cradled Board $4,800 phone: 307-733-4016

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About the Totem Series

The Totem series began in 2016, when a lifelong fascination with the totem poles of the American Pacific Northwest met with my new awareness of an unusual natural phenomenon, the “toteming” of Harris Hawks. For reasons ornithologists still don’t understand, these birds will sometimes stand on each other’s backs in stacks up to four birds high. Inspired by the sculptures of Tony Hochstetler and Peter Woytuk, some of whose works evoke totem poles, I had already been ruminating on how I could reenvision the Native American totem pole in a modern context within a series of paintings. The toteming of the Harris Hawks crystalized that idea, and I set to work painting stacked birds and animals. These tension-filled and gravity defying columns of familiar creatures suggest the fragile balance of ecosystems under increasing pressure from man, and they are yet another outlet for my continued obsession with pattern and repetition. The repeated juxtaposition of the same or related animals, and the re-contextualizing of those subjects outside of their natural habitats, encourage viewers to consider what they know (or think they know) about those animals in a new light. Most importantly, these paintings explore the iconic significance with which human beings imbue wildlife. Just as Native Americans did (and still do) use characteristics of various animals as metaphors for our own human qualities and aspirations (the wiliness of a fox, wisdom of an owl, or speed of a puma for instance) so too do even the most technologically distracted among us use, recognize, and relate to animals in our logos, apps, and product branding. In this context, the title, Between the Lines, alludes to this symbolic underpinning. Andrew Denman, 2019

phone: 307-733-4016

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Andrew Denman

“Study #1 for ‘Playing the Field” 8" x 8" Acrylic on Cradled Board $1,100

“Study #2 for ‘Playing the Field” 8" x 8" Acrylic on Cradled Board $1,100

“Study #3 for ‘Playing the Field” 8" x 8" Acrylic on Cradled Board $1,100

“Study #4 for ‘Playing the Field” 8" x 8" Acrylic on Cradled Board $1,100

About Playing the Field

I began work on “String Theory” in early 2018, and had completed two pieces by the time I came to Jackson Hole for last year’s Fall Arts Festival. During that visit, I observed a flock of crows on the soccer field near the elementary school and children’s museum not far from the historic Town Square. Here were birds interacting with white, blue, and yellow lines on fields of green, art imitating life if ever I saw it. The four studies in this show will eventually lead to a much larger 48 x 48” exploration of the same theme, “Playing the Field.” Andrew Denman, 2019 phone: 307-733-4016

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Andrew Denman

“Pinnacle #2 – Rufous Hummingbird” 24" x 6" Acrylic and 23KT Gold Leaf on Cradled Board $2,500 phone: 307-733-4016

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Andrew Denman

About the Pinnacle Series

The “Pinnacle” paintings are more formalized outgrowths of both the Totem pieces and my previous “Ornament” series, which featured a variety of birds interacting with or perching on golden baubles. In the Pinnacle series, those baubles have evolved into exaggerated plinths terminating in delicate perches for hummingbirds. The use of precious metal leaf emphasizes the jewel-like quality of the birds. Andrew Denman, 2019

“Pinnacle #3 – Broad-billed Hummingbird” 24" x 6" Acrylic and 12KT White Gold Leaf on Cradled Board $2,500 phone: 307-733-4016

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The Artist Describes His Process: The vast majority of my sculptures are one-of-a-kind. I generally start a piece by coming up with an idea of what species of bird or animal I’d like to work with, the story I’d like to tell, and what I want the overall feel of the sculpture to be. I rarely do a preliminary sketch as I’ve found that I’m much more effective at working out a design directly in metal than on paper. This allows me to see the piece in three dimensions right from the beginning and gives me a great deal of freedom to alter the design to be as strong and appealing as possible.

Don Rambadt Internationally acclaimed artist Don Rambadt, of Milwaukee, WI, was the 2017 inductee as “Master Artist” by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum during the International Birds in Art Exhibition.

As for materials, I use primarily bronze in my work as it affords the broadest range of finishing options, and is a time-honored and durable sculpture material. I also use a lot of sterling silver for smaller works, and steel and other metals are used when I add colors that I can’t achieve using bronze, such as natural rust or bright yellows from brass. The actual construction of the artwork takes a delicate touch. I cut the metal into shapes using shears, and then bend and manipulate the pieces before welding them in place. I tack weld the pieces at first, then add more weld once I know I have the piece where I want it. I don’t cut all the pieces out at once, as I never quite know what direction the sculpture will take as I’m working on it. The majority of the composition generally falls into place with relatively fast and spontaneous work, then I slow things down for refinement and spend several days (or weeks, or even months) fine tuning the subtleties and editing the piece. The sculpture is then sandblasted and chemical patinas are applied to achieve the coloration of the finished work. For my new “Uncut Series” that is being debuted in the Between the Lines showcase, my focus has been exploring a rawer, more spontaneous approach to my work. While these sculptures still capture the stylized, open forms that I am known for, I have been challenging myself to compose the works using only cut-offs and “scraps” from my other projects. I am using these metal pieces with a bare minimum of manipulation and editing, focusing on strong form and design. Don Rambadt, 2019

phone: 307-733-4016

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Don Rambadt

“Uncut 3 - Blaue Reiter” Welded Bronze 12” x 12” x 4” $2,800

phone: 307-733-4016

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Don Rambadt

“Something Old, Something New I” Bronze/Silver/Iron 7” x 4” x 4” $1,800

phone: 307-733-4016

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Don Rambadt

“Western Bluebird” Welded Bronze/Copper 25” x 6” x 7” $6,000

phone: 307-733-4016

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Don Rambadt

“Prime Lie” Wall-Mount Sculpture Welded Bronze 34” x 82” x 8” $8,500

phone: 307-733-4016

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Don Rambadt

“Uncut 2 – Bison” Welded Bronze 7" × 11" x 3" $2,200

phone: 307-733-4016

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Don Rambadt

Detail “Distant Cricket – Screech Owl” Welded Bronze 46" x 8" x 8" $7,500

phone: 307-733-4016

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Meet & Greet with Andrew Denman

Thursday, August 1st from 5-7 pm

phone: 307-733-4016

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On the Town Square 35 E. Deloney Ave. | PO Box 2397 Jackson Hole, Wyoming 83001 (307) 733-4016 www.astoriafineart.com

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Andrew Denman & Don Rambadt "Between the Lines" ~ A showcase of new works  

Featuring new original paintings by Andrew Denman and one-of-a-kind sculptures from Don Rambadt, two brilliant Contemporary Wildilfe and Ani...

Andrew Denman & Don Rambadt "Between the Lines" ~ A showcase of new works  

Featuring new original paintings by Andrew Denman and one-of-a-kind sculptures from Don Rambadt, two brilliant Contemporary Wildilfe and Ani...

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