Gilman Contemporary – Deck the Walls

Each December and January, Gilman Contemporary celebrates the diversity of the artists they bring to Sun Valley with their group exhibition, Deck the Walls. This dynamic group exhibition teases upcoming feature exhibitions with works by Joanne Freeman, John Westmark, and Matt Duffin and introduces new artists, Tony Hernandez and Jason Wheatley, to the gallery. The gallery will also feature one of Jill Lear’s most recent large-scale works on paper mounted to wood panels alongside new mixed-media paintings by Thai Mainhard.

The gallery is pleased to present Tony Hernandez, whose work is whimsical and controversial. Born in 1964, Hernandez has been professionally painting for the last 35 years. Focusing on children, Hernandez highlights the powerlessness and imagination of those who have no choice. Working on handmade birch wood panels using the technically demanding process of encaustic painting, his works are simple visually but psychologically complex. The children in his work are caught floating alone on the panel, caught in a daydream. The viewer is pulled into this land of childlike curiosity and wonder with nothing to distract from the subject.

Jason Wheatley is well known for his dreamscape paintings of animals, birds, and fish placed together fantastically. He has painted animals throughout his career and uses them as spirit guides to venture into the aethereal realms. Wheatley’s early influence was French realist Gustave Courbet. Although Wheatley may be inspired by Courbet, there is nothing derivative about the work of this 21st-century fantasy realist. He brings his contemporary blend of tension, intrigue, humor, and beauty to his still-life canvases. By juxtaposing odd objects that wouldn’t normally be grouped together, Wheatley succeeds in getting the viewer to suspend disbelief.

Joanne Freeman creates reductive abstract paintings that are about the beauty of singular color, the impact of pure abstract forms, and the quiet order that cuts through the noise. “As an abstract painter, my studio practice does not rely on direct observation but rather process and precedence.” By layering color onto treated raw linen or paper, Freeman’s work recalls qualities of mid-century low-tech graphics, color field painting, and collage. Each medium has its inherent qualities examined and accentuated as the pigment is scraped onto canvas.

Photographer Michael Massaaia brings us his new series, Beginnings. Focusing on Manhattan, Massaia starts on Wall Street and moves towards Midtown in the same way that New York began and developed. His haunting late-night/early-morning images, devoid of humans, evoke a sense of nostalgia in these modern spaces: documenting the present while remembering the past. Much of this film noir feel can be attributed to his mastery of the silver gelatin print. Massaia meticulously handprints his work, creating the cinematic scenes of some of New York’s most recognizable architecture.

The gallery will also present new works by Thai Mainhard, Kelly Ording, Paul Béliveau, Ellie Davies, and Matt Duffin.

Image captions:

Squares and Strokes A
By Joanne Freeman
Gouache on handmade paper
20” x 18”

Radio City
By Michael Massaia
Split-toned silver gelatin print
Various sizes

Columbos Flamingo
By Jason Wheatley
oil on canvas
44” x 23.5”

By Matt Duffin
linocut on paper
18.5” x 18.5”

Summer is not what it used to be
By Thai Mainhard
Flashe, acrylic, oil sticks, pastels, latex, and spray paint on canvas
36” x 24”

661 Sun Valley Road | Ketchum