Posted Originally at: http://artworksmagazine.com/2009/05/in-black-and-white/
in BLACK and WHITE on May 8, 2009 

new tie in BLACK and WHITEArtHaus Gallerists, James Bacchi and Annette Schutz, present in BLACK and White“ a show depicting new inspirations, and exploring intriguing directions in painting for Bay Area artists Carolyn Meyer and Kenney Mencher. While both treat the act of painting with extreme diversity, each has been trademarked for incorporating intense color in their works. This exhibition could well change, or at least tone things down in that regard. What these artists share is a nostalgic tension as they look to the future, and to their work.

Carolyn Meyer's latest interpretations of the streets of San Francisco and New York City nod back to the Ashcan school of painting and to the tonalists who emerged during the Depression. Her toothsome paint application reveals her commitment to combining traditional techniques with modern subject matter. While she is not concerned with realism, Meyer not only captures the emotional rush of these cities, but appears to hold them for ransom.

According to the artist, Bright color just doesn't seem to describe the state of the World right now. It's not so much black and white as it is the values of gray in between. By contrast, black and white are extremes. These extremes are what interested me in further exploring this palette. Though dramatic, lack of color resembles a lack of hope. I've managed to squeeze color out of a place I thought did not exist, and what I found was a promise of hope.

Meyer earned her MFA in Painting at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco where she also holds positions as Associate Director of Painting and Director of Galleries. The artist's works have been exhibited at The Riverside Museum and at several galleries throughout California, New York, Montana, Taipei and Kauai. Her works are included in private and corporate collections worldwide. 

Everything is not always so black and white for narrative painter Kenney Mencher, either. Sometimes I see in shades of gray and sepia. " Realist in execution, the subjects of Mencher's narratives make confessions and declare intentions, but the silence of the paint leaves only a visual trace as to what's being said and what understandings are being clarified. By combining calligraphic gestural brushstrokes with passages of tight traditional glazing techniques, Mencher's work explores the thread of human connection woven into our own experiences. 

ode to urn1 300x288 in BLACK and WHITEThe artist cites literature, television and film as major influences in his work. Since childhood, the New York native was drawn to black and white life seen on TV. Later, it was the films "Manhattan" and "Raging Bull" that cemented his relationship to the monochrome world. Mencher confesses that an illustration by Frederick Remington at the Chicago Art Institute truly sealed his attraction to the less saturated.

Mencher obtained a MFA in Painting from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. He has taught at several institutions including The University of Chicago, Texas A&M University and Ohlone College here in Fremont.  He is the author of Liasons: Readings in Art, Literature and Philoisophy.  His work was recently featured in a solo exhibition at the Los Gatos Museum, while solo and group gallery exhibitions are extensive."

Carolyn Meyer and Kenney Mencher in BLACK and WHITE continues at ArtHaus through June 27, 2009 

ArtHaus is located at 411 Brannan Street in San Francisco.
Gallery Hours are:
Tuesday-Friday, 11am - 6pm 
and on Saturdays from Noon-5pm.