Denise Kanter’s Talent and Vision

Denise Kanter is a local artist and graduate from JMU; her medium is oil and her show is up at The Artful Dodger. To say it is a fine display of talent and vision only leaves me wanting to say more, but I do so with trepidation. I’ll try and explain.

Denise’s stylized oil paintings depict people or beautifully abstracted realities, and sometimes they depict both on the same canvas. Many of her figure paintings in fact seem to be emerging out of some abstract world or emotion. Stirring our curiosity with such subject matter, she further draws us in by the precise execution of her own unique style.

The figures in her paintings seem to take no notice of us, the viewer, but instead present us with an unconscious presence. The figures in her paintings seem so wrapped up in their own cosmos that their emotions reverberate out from the abstracted portions of the painting and into viewers. 

Her paintings illustrate to viewers the ability to know or understand in the absence of the ability to explain such a knowledge and/or understanding. As the previous sentence would suggest, it is useless to go too far trying to extrapolate meaning from such works of art. I’m attempting it here and perhaps failing miserably, but I can say that I at least understand or know what the paintings are about at some visceral level, as subjective as that is. But it is from this level that truth and beauty consistently seem to emerge. Words seldom emerge from this level of understanding without losing much of their meaning and intent; however, Kanter shows us that paintings can and do emerge from this deep level of existence and understanding filled with meaning. This is the level of feeling, where art thrives and it is the level I believe Kanter’s paintings were created on and speak to.

So if I had to explain what I see in these paintings and the worth of the feeling they give me I could not. Perhaps I could depict what they mean, but I would do so knowing if they looked any different than the paintings themselves it would be a total failure. The point is then for you to go and see these works of art for yourself and think about what they represent to you. I’m certain you won’t be disappointed in the truth and exacted beauty Kanter depicts in every painting. The show will be on display until the end of June, so hurry.

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This post was submitted by Paul Somers.

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