Voice of the Turtle at Tops Gallery

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Artists: Kenneth Lawrence Beaudoin, Peter Bowman, Jim Buchman, Guy Church, William Eggleston, John Fahey, John McIntire, Johnathan Payne, Terri Phillips

Exhibition title: Voice of the Turtle

Venue: Tops Gallery, Memphis, United States

Date: December 13, 2014 – February 8, 2015

Photography: Courtesy of Tops Gallery

Tops Gallery is pleased to present Voice of the Turtle.

This exhibition features the work of nine artists who have spent significant time in their creative lives working in Memphis. It takes its name from the title of an adventurous 1968 album by John Fahey whose painting and likeness are both in the show. The earliest work on display is John McIntire’s 1962 drawing of a 23 year old Fahey. The drawing was made at the Bitter Lemon, McIntire’s coffee house, where Fahey often performed. It is a record of the artist and subject at the outset of their working lives.

In addition to his drawing is McIntire’s Italian marble “game” sculpture, a beautiful essential form penetrated with a maze of tunneled holes. Fahey’s work in the exhibition is a mysterious abstraction from a body of paintings he produced in the last part of his life and is a visual representation of his American Primitive approach he took in music.

The show also includes abstract drawings from William Eggleston and Johnathan Payne and several tension filled genre drawings by Guy Church. Peter Bowman is represented by a heavily impastoed still life and Jim Buchman’s two miniature concrete sculptures rest in a seemingly viscous state at each end of the main gallery. Terri Phillips’ Tower of Song, a sculpture composed of a brown clay mound supporting a rigid sugar cube turret contradicts itself in both content and form. Lastly, Kenneth Lawrence Beaudoin’s “eye poem” collages, composed like ransom notes, take words from the world and arrange them to suit obscure personal needs.

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