Landscape has always been and will continue to be a source of inspiration for artists of all kinds. From Monet’s plein-air paintings to Ansel Adams’ black and white photography of Yosemite National Park, the natural world has enthused artists of all mediums and styles. However, there is beauty in the developed, industrial world as well, which highlights the theme of urban landscape. Three of our artists illustrate this concept exceptionally well.
Rick Dula specializes in photographing, then painting in meticulous detail, run down and decaying industrial outskirts of various parts of the United States.
He is interested in the idea that once-bustling factories and plants are now near death, victims of deterioration and desertion. He is fascinated by dramatic light, corrosion, rust, and urban putrefaction. This curiosity reflects the idea that American buildings do not have the deep history that much of the Old World possesses, causing what Dula describes as ‘patina envy’ in our culture. His large-scale paintings have been shown all over the country, and his work resides permanently in the Denver Art Museum, the Oakland Museum of Art in Oakland, CA, Rutgers Archives, Zimmerman Museum of New Brunswick, NJ, Springfield Art Museum of Springfield, MO, and the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.
John Musgrove is an illustrator, designer, and painter.
His cityscapes attempt to capture the fleeting moments of beauty, splendor, and drama in everyday life. He is attracted to lesser known areas of San Francisco and other parts of the country that are “off the beaten track.” Musgrove’s goal is to evoke a distinctive sense of place and provide the audience with an alternate view of the world. He is attracted to compositions in which structure, form, color, light, and shadow work together to create balance and contrast. His work often features powerlines, which suggests a sense of interconnectedness between technology, humans, and our natural environment.
Roland Kulla’s artwork also centers around the theme of cityscapes and the urban environment, specifically focusing on bridge structures.
He is interested in the built environment, and what it says about the creators, inhabitants, and the interaction between the structure and the natural environment over time. Kulla visits “bridge cities” such as Chicago, New York, and Pittsburgh for sources of inspiration, combing the urban landscape to find a compelling structure/image to work with. He is also very fascinated by out-of-the-way structures and lesser known bridges. Like Rick Dula, Roland Kulla also uses photography to capture the images and then works to re-create the beauty of the constructed form through photorealistic painting.
Rick Dula, John Musgrove, and Roland Kulla use their artwork to shine light on the magnificence of the constructed world. They provide an alternative to traditional landscape paintings, while encouraging the viewer to find beauty in unexpected places. ZIA Gallery is proud to represent artists whose work transcends various themes and styles, and these artists are no exception.
By Shannon Gallagher, MAM