RK Mills: INSIDE OUT, STILL
May 23 – June 17, 2023
Opening Reception: Thurs., May 25, 6 – 8pm
“As with rosy steps the morn
Advancing, drives the shades of night;
So from virtuous toils well-borne,
Raise thou our hopes of endless light”
- sings Irene, from Handel’s oratorio Theodora
$10 at gallery
Blue Mountain Gallery is pleased to present the paintings of Richard Kirk (RK) Mills in his second solo show here. Mills’ work explores light, darkness and solitude during a difficult period of Covid lockdown and family crisis. Light indeed is the principal subject; its shifting moods through the seasons encouraged careful observation and distillation.
A catalog is available.
The paintings in this exhibit were primarily done between late 2019 through the pandemic isolation of 2020 into 2021. A solitary and quiet focus on my immediate surroundings, mostly my Delaware County studio and the light flowing in and out, helped keep me somewhat sane. Though the paintings did get dark. A narrative arc emerges.
I wanted to work larger, hoping to get it all in one go, sometimes successfully, though there were later tuneups. I was interested in the daylight streaming inside; then at night the studio lights pouring out into the landscape. The bright light of early fall 2019 gave way to a long Catskills winter and the forced enclosure of Covid.
The light, the darkness, and the solitude are all in the paintings.
By the 2020 winter solstice I became fascinated by the few minutes of fading quicksilver light between day and night. I could see inside (reflection) and outside at once. “One Hour” compresses many moments as in a time lapse; “Between the Glass and the Bed” bends toward fading daylight; “Inside, Almost Dark” towards the long night. I used thin washes of oil on heavily textured jute. I associate a rough texture like jute with a heavy impasto, but instead allowed the surface to come forward, the unsteady image teetering near the picture plane.
I am interested in abstract, built and composed painting without losing the specific place, time or emotion. Finding that intersection is tricky.