Tula Telfair: Located at the Edge of a Momentary Convergence: New Landscape Paintings

Los Angeles, California – Forum Gallery presents the exhibition Tula Telfair: Located at the Edge of a Momentary Convergence: New Landscape Paintings from April 11 – May 30, 2008 with an opening reception Friday evening April 11, from 7-9:00 pm.

This Forum Gallery exhibition of Tula Telfair’s work includes fifteen beautiful, dramatic landscape paintings, each a masterful combination of clarity, mystery and contradiction. While Telfair’s paintings appear to contain the detailed observations of earlier artists, they are actually not observed but invented from the vast repertoire of Tula’s memories and travels, and spring forth from the well of her life experiences.

Seven of these recent paintings focus on twilight, from its subtle onset in Justified by the Possibility to its crepuscular climax in Using a Selected Vocabulary. Instead of referencing a single moment in time, however, as is true of much traditional landscape painting, each work is a continuum, a time path that includes remembrances of what preceded and anticipates what will follow. These are expressions of memory, hope and desire: metaphoric visual short stories alluded to by her contemplative titles which take place in a universe beyond the plane of daily life.

In Reality Defeats Theory and There Are Different Kinds of Truth Telfair employs water to lead the viewer through her compositions. This water reflects the light in the sky and conveys the mood of the scene. Yet its direction is indefinite, as its source and destination are left to the imagination. In works such as Strategies of Co-Existing Difference and Perception Becomes Action the artist uses wide bands of color which lead the viewer, as do the streams of water, from position to position within the picture plane, setting images off one from another. These bands have an intensity that yields a sort of sensual roadmap, magnifying the viewer’s approach and deepening the desire to penetrate the landscape’s suggested story.

A brilliant extension of the progression of landscape painting from the backdrops of the Renaissance through the travelogues of the nineteenth century and the realism that followed, Tula Telfair’s paintings are fully contemporary in their inspiration and execution. They are in fact exceptional realizations by a woman at once a gifted artist and a powerful intellectual presence.

Tula Telfair spent her childhood in West Central Africa. A grant recipient and graduate of Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, she was a graduate fellow and received a Masters of Fine Art degree at Syracuse University. First employed as an instructor at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, she became in a few years Chair of the Department of Art and Art History and then acting Dean of the school. Painting all the while at her studio in upstate New York, Telfair has exhibited at galleries in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and Connecticut, and her paintings have been included in museum exhibitions throughout the United States.

Location: Los Angeles