- Courtland Blade, "The Movie Theater"
Here in these United States, we're surrounded by architecture that's hard to love. Maybe that's because a lot of structures are built without any connection to the past, place or nature.
Courtland Blade seems to be drawn to such alienated buildings, such as in "The Parking Garage," which lacks a human presence and, as such, has a somewhat sinister feel. But there's an oddly attractive element to this oil on canvas painting, and its repeating round circles of light on the concrete floor of the parking garage draw you in like the luminous masses of color in certain Mark Rothko paintings.
One finds more of the same in "The Movie Theater," which depicts an empty multiplex interior but suggests a human presence through posters that display movie stars in silhouette. Although Blade works with photo references, he's by no means a photorealist. He's attracted to the possibilities of manipulating color and light in the kind of places most of us take for granted.
Blade's Gallery 924 show also includes pieces based on Indy landscapes that may surprise you after seeing his depictions of empty super stores, offices and hotels. Surprising because they depict structures that actually draw on a sense of place, like "The Red Bridge," based on the bridge over the Broad Ripple Canal near the Butler campus. Through August 21 at Gallery 924