the work----->
Michael Allen Lowe
the work
the artist
exhibitions
michaelallenlowe@yahoo.com
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"Les Animateurs"                                                                      Oil on Canvas 42" x 56"  2010
Exhibition Statement
This exhibition represents my continuing influences and fascination with eighteenth
and early nineteenth century artists such as Fuseli, Blake, Romney, and their
contemporaries.  Dynamic compositions, powerful narratives, and sensually drawn
lines, are indicative to the work of all the great artists during this time.  Henry
Fuseli's drawing
Symplegma, c.1809-10, one of his more erotic, I found to be a perfect
example of this, representing all of these traits.  The drawing depicts a scene of
choreographed nudes; three women, and a prostrate man.  It is both illustratively
titillating and masterfully academic, a contrast I utilize in my new body of work of the
same title.

The word
symplegma, from the Greek, defined as a complex group, entangled, or
intertwined.  Many classical sculptures, paintings, and drawings of amorous wresting
couples, even groupings of an anomalous, bestial sort, have been affixed this label.  
Befittingly, this term is used to title the more erotic drawings and studies taken from
the sketch-books of eighteenth and early nineteenth century Masters, including
Fuseli and his circle.  Given the blatant subject matter of these works, many of them
could be viewed as mildly pornographic, if not for the overriding references to
classical mythology and literature, which softens their vulgarity.

I have developed my paintings in this way, referencing a variety of amorous scenes
depicting the follies of lust and love, and contrasting them with fragments of classical
paintings that radically exaggerate and reinforce these narratives.  I have gathered
this variety of diverse imagery as an investigation into the more tantalizing aspects of
painting, both in subject, and craft.  The narratives of these works reference history,
philosophy, mythology, allegory, psychology, and sexuality.  Along with the variety of
conceptual aspects, the works contain a variety of painting techniques as well.  
Expressive color fields, figurative and free-formed abstraction, action painting, and
the freedom to reveal process pull the imagery across the centuries from the classical
to the contemporary.

I am greatly inspired by the master painters Rubens, Van Dyke, Watteau, Boucher,
and Ingres, and have learned a great deal from them through referencing fragments
of their works.  I find the technical ability of these artists to be inspiring, challenging,
and a functional contrast to the lines of narrative drawing and illustration which I
also include in my work. The conception of these paintings has been a wresting of
entangled and opposing imagery born into an exhibition of new works entitled
Symplegma.
A Collection Of New Works By Michael Allen Lowe
K A N S A S   C I T Y   M I S S O U R I
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