BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Staff Writer
BOUNTIFUL – Stan Elmer isn’t willing to be limited by reality.
Elmer, who is the featured artist at Bountiful’s Lamplight Art Gallery now through the end of the month, uses vivid colors and graceful lines to bridge the gap between abstraction and realism. Shapes from nature become too impossibly bright to be real, and solid blocks of color follow the same sweeping curves as elements of the natural world.
Laid out in a line, the pieces could serve as a transitional study between realism and abstraction. One of Elmer’s most realistic pieces is “Ceremonial Mask,” but even here the background insists on being unconfined. It’s nothing more than slashing red and purple on a black background, but it instantly brings to mind a dark cave full of boiling lava.
In “Dance of the Trees,” the entire painting begins to shake off the rigors of realism. The lines are fluid and almost blurred, as if the trees had been caught mid-motion during the dance suggested by the title. In “Overgrowth,” leaves stretch, sharpen and curve to take on an almost menacing quality. They seem to come alive, poised to attack the spot of light at the center of the painting.
Even in his most abstract work, however, the tie to the natural world remains strong. In “Canyon Flora,” bright, puzzle piece-like shapes evoke a desert flower. In “Struck By Lightning,” dark shapes become a midnight sky cut through with slashes of lightning. It looks like nothing in nature, and yet I could almost hear the thunder.