Friday, October 9, 2009

Christopher Brady at Mississippi Library Commission

Since the Mississippi Library Commission opened their new building several years ago they have been exhibiting some nice art shows. Similar to my last post though, the building is worth visiting simply to appreciate the architecture... it is just a plus that you get to see art there as well. Hanging through October is a group of paintings and drawings by Christopher Brady called People, Places and Things. You can also check out the fused glass work of Phyllis and Jess Tackitt of Southern Fired Glass, but I am going to focus on Brady for this post. He is an art instructor at East Central Community College in Decatur, MS. I pulled a quote by him about this show from

"This show is an exploration of people, places and things that we may take for granted. My hope is to take these familiar and ordinary sights and transform them into something deeper and more extraordinary."

While the show as a whole does not come across as a cohesive body of work, there are some very nice individual pieces. The tight watercolors are well executed and the watercolor monotypes have a unique and appealing character to them. There is also a charcoal drawing, a pen and ink drawing, an ink wash, and a silverpoint drawing. Silverpoint, or metalpoint drawing is not common these days, but when you see one handled well it is a treat. It was a very popular method of drawing in the Renaissance period because of its durability and that it doesn't smudge. Metalpoint drawings are done on coated paper with a stylus that would have some type of metal point to it, e.g. silver, gold, copper, lead. It is a very delicate and beautiful medium, but one of the most unique qualities of metalpoint is that over time the metal will tarnish and each type of metal tarnishes to a different color. To me, the silverpoint drawing "Ray" and the other work that embraces a modernist approach with a subject on a flat background like "Yo-Yo", stand out in quality. One interesting thing that I found out about Christopher Brady is that his thesis project while at the University of Mississippi landed him in the 2008 Guinness Book of World Records for the longest wood block print measuring at 282 feet. Congrats to him on that. Here's some of the work...

Yo-Yo (watercolor)

Vessels (watercolor)

Tom (Ink Wash)

Ray (silverpoint)

Oxford Square (watercolor)

Central High (watercolor monotype)

Berries (watercolor)

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