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ALLAN O’MARRA’S “CLASSICAL ABSTRACTS”

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My first impression was “WOW!” This is California; Mozart taking Pollock for a ride to sunny Disneyland. A tsunami of colour smartly framed in simple black. But it’s curious how music as diverse as Mozart and Holst can evoke a disturbing sameness as presented here. The common denominator music is downgraded to an M word. Such commonality should not interfere with the enjoyment of the expertly flowing pigment, which it happily does not.

On Holst’s “Jupiter” what else but his godly forefinger points at fingerpainting. Gustav Holst’s frigid immensity of space, the big bang and such, escapes this viewer. I’m not unsympathetic to abstract ideas, it’s the trite arguments they nourish which unfortunately their practitioners don’t let go. Myself included. So let Jupiter’s finger point to the harmony of all great music.

Accepting that music is the most difficult of the serious arts, connecting any other with it should be a happy piggyback ride which would put a smile even on the most dour two colour canvas by Mark “Two Square” Rothko. O’Marra  takes us back to the 50’s and 60’s, happy, tipsy drippings of Pollock and the lovely flow of colour reminiscent of Paul Jenkins’ abstract work which he preferred to call action painting.

All said, the gallery has done a great job! We need variety and ideas, even a fresh revisit of the past. The workshop connected with this show must have been a success as Allan O’Marra demonstrated great communicative skill when introducing his work and its musical compliment at his opening.

*Footnote: Paul Jenkins, American artist, is not to be confused with our loyal local counselor, an exceptional character, who even cut short a ski jaunt in the French Alps to attend a gallery opening.

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Arne Roosman: Lithographer, Designer of Books, Stage and Murals. Illustrator and Painter. Born in Tallinn, Estonia. Studied art in Sweden. Came to Canada in 1957. Has exhibited in Canada and abroad. Winner of many awards. Resident of Bancroft, Ontario since 1988.

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Guest Tuesday, 26 September 2017

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Art Gallery of Bancroft
10 Flint Avenue
P.O. Box 398
Bancroft, Ontario
K0L 1C0

Phone: (613) 332-1542
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