Some of all Roots

Gallery 1516 exhibit surveys artist’s evolution in abstraction


Gallery 1516 continues its celebration and exhibition of some of Nebraska’s most established contemporary artists with its upcoming Larry Roots: A Survey, which opens Dec. 9 and continues until Jan. 29, 2017.

This survey, not unlike previous exhibits of work by Allan and Lisa Tubach, currently on view until Nov. 27, and Dan Boylan, will feature some 40 paintings and 10 sculptures created since 2000.

Roots, owner/director of Modern Arts Midtown, shows regionally and nationally, and is included in numerous corporate, public and private collections. The painter/sculptor creates mostly in the style of abstraction, which he says suggests a common opportunity for interpretation for both artist and viewer.

“Our world view of reality is increasingly complex and abstract, which offers an imaginative, complex response,” Roots said. “I’m not personally moved by ‘the Renaissance window’ and conventions of representational imagery.”

Likewise his abstract imagery, while neither objectified nor completely familiar, is “most reliant on an emotional, psychological or intellectual interpretation of the viewer.”

Overall, the survey will focus on an evolution of Roots’ mark making, diverse painterly styles and sculpture over more than 15 years with an emphasis on recent work.

If anything at all like his retrospect, On the Surface, in 2012 at the Sioux City Art Center, this Survey promises an update on what he has referred to as “improvisational abstraction.” Though that implies a certain amount of spontaneity, it also explains the numerous types of abstraction he has explored and experimented with during his maturation. 

What seems to tie it all together, besides sophisticated mark making and a refined palette, is a somewhat understated and reserved variation on a style of art Roots has delivered successfully with a degree of professionalism  over the years as both artists and curator.

Larry Roots: A Survey opens Dec. 9 at Gallery 1516 and continues until Jan. 29, 2017. For details and gallery hours go to gallery1516.org.


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