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Figuratively Speaking:
Eriks Rudans, Mary Daniel Hobson, Paula Wittner


FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING: Eriks Rudans, Paula Wittner, and Mary Daniel Hobson

Dates: January 9th – Marth 17th, 2007

Reception: Saturday, January 27th,  7 - 10 p.m.

Location: Etherton Gallery
135 S. Sixth Avenue

Hours: 11 - 5 Tuesday through Saturday, 11 - 7 Thursday

Contact: 624-7370 :: Terry Etherton, Hannah Glasston, Daphne Srinivasan

Etherton Gallery is delighted to present well-known Tucson artist Eriks Rudans and Patagonia painter Paula Wittner with emerging photographer Mary Daniel Hobson in its new exhibition, Figuratively Speaking, a show of wonderment, myth, character, soul and miracles. Figuratively Speaking is about the “emotions and experiences that are imprinted on our bodies.” All the work in the exhibition is “inspired by personal history,” yet “transcends its origins” to the universal.

Rudans’ work ranges from the small scale to the monumental. He uses found scrap wood and repurposes it to create colorful, optimistic and mysterious images. His new paintings are monumental full-length female figures in romantic natural settings. In Blueberries, Alaska (2005), he captures the tender elongated beauty of a woman eating blueberries in Alaska, soaked in blue moonlight with fantastical plants. She exudes an earthy, mysterious maternal beauty.  Rudans also creates small scale images of wickedly amusing saints, such as Santo Muerte, Patron Saint of Good Beer & Cigars (2006). From Blueberries, Alaska to Santo Muerte, the viewer enters the Rudans world of big hearts, tiny creatures and even an eel hunter or two.

You cannot help but create stories to go along with the fairy tale birthday cake processions, violin-laden characters and lyrical portraits of Paula Wittner. The distinct soul behind every ancestor she paints, from rabbis to captains and their wives look out at you directly, proudly framed, perhaps in a fine rose hat such as in Spring Mourning (2005). Wittner highlights her family, painting thoughtful, penetrating and idiosyncratic figures in large scale works.  Her stories and people remind you of the family portraits that might hang in your own home. However, as Wittner says, people “shouldn’t need her story for the work to be meaningful and good to see.”

California photographer Mary Daniel Hobson adds her own miracles to this soulful show with a mix of photographs printed on transparencies laid over beautiful collages, composed of maps, botanical drawings, hand written postcards as well needle, thread, butterfly wings and shells. Her work explores what lies beneath our tender skin and the emotion that can be conveyed through simple gesture.  In Flight (1998), she creates a delicate photographic collage using a small photograph of a woman’s back, laid over sheet music, stitched together with needle and thread and topped with butterfly wings. We must literally look beneath the skin to understand the fragmentary past that informs her figures.

Opening with a reception from 7-10 pm Saturday, January 27th, this may be just the show for you to float away on.

Eriks Rudans, Mixed Media  

Eriks Rudans has lived and worked Tucson since 1984. Born in Latvia, Rudans came to the United States in 1949 via a displaced persons camp in post-World War II Germany. He received a BA and MFA in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He taught there for several years and also at the Art Institute of Chicago and St. Cloud University at St. Cloud, MN.  His work has been exhibited at several local galleries including Philabaum, Apparatus, Obsidian and Dinnerware.  In 2003 Rudans was the recipient of the Arizona Arts Award given by the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.

Paula Wittner, Oil on Panel

Paula Wittner has lived and worked in Patagonia, AZ since 1972. She attended the University of Maryland and received her BFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design.  Her work has been exhibited at several notable galleries and museums, including the Tucson Museum of Art and the Rhode Island School of Design. Wittner’s work is in the permanent collections of the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, the Scottsdale Museum of Art and the Streich Lang Corporation.

Mary Daniel Hobson, Mixed Media

Mary Daniel Hobson lives and works in San Francisco, CA. She received her BA in Art History from Vassar College in 1991, and her Masters in the History of Photography from the University of New Mexico in 1996, where she also studied with photographers Betty Hahn and Tom Barrow. Her work has been exhibited at several well known art institutions, including the Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA; the De Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA; the Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA; San Francisco Camerawork, San Francisco, CA; and the Fine Arts Center at Taos, NM.  Hobson’s work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; the Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM; and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY.

Represented in Tucson by Etherton Gallery, these artists are available for interviews upon request.  Please contact the gallery at info@ethertongallery.com to schedule an interview or for more information about the artists or their work.

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