Tower View shows have paintings, potteryNew work by two Red Wing artists — one an established leader on the local art scene and the other a relative newcomer still exploring techniques and styles — will be displayed Jan. 25 through March 15 at the Anderson Center.
By: Ruth Nerhaugen, The Republican Eagle
New work by two Red Wing artists — one an established leader on the local art scene and the other a relative newcomer still exploring techniques and styles — will be displayed Jan. 25 through March 15 at the Anderson Center.
A public reception for the artists will be at 7 p.m. in the main residence, followed by the opening of “From 2D to 3D: The Art of Len Guggenberger and Ted Florine” at 7:30 p.m. in the restored Tower View barn.
Pianist Neal Topliff will perform throughout the evening.
Guggenberger, born and reared in rural Minnesota, spent much of his adult life doing commercial art. He worked at Josten’s, designing and drawing diplomas, certificates and awards for the company, before becoming a full-time studio artist.
After years of painting in oil, acrylic, watercolor and pastel, he turned to casein, a milk product-based paint he likes for its versatility and the fine matte finish it provides.
Several national awards have come his way since Guggenberger switched exclusively to casein.
Most recently he received the 2012 award for casein painting from the National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic for a new work, “A Perspective.” He also won the award in 2010, plus a 2007 third-place award in casein from American Artist Magazine.
The 2012 winner depicts the underside of a railroad bridge, a steel structure over water near Lanesboro, Minn., Guggenberger said.
“I was there biking in the early summer,” before the trees developed leaves, he said. Noticing a path off to the side, he walked down and found himself under the bridge.
“I took a picture of it,” he said, then applied his own interpretation to create a strong sense of light and color in a painting. The result has elements of contemporary realism as well as impressionism, particularly in the water and the weeds.
The image is very different for him, Guggenberger said. However, he added, “I am very familiar with perspective and architectural” styling, as he previously did architectural renderings.
For the Anderson Center show, Guggenberger said he will show about 15 new works that have not previously been exhibited.
“It’s more impressionistic,” he said. “If you look closely, there’s a lot of pointillism in it,” and illumination in the style of the Hudson River School painters.
“It’s been pretty intense,” he said, “but I’ve got it all ready to go. … People will see a lot of different things from me.”
Guggenberger also will show some works from his own collection that are not for sale, but demonstrate how he has progressed.
Like Guggenberger, Florine has been participating in Anderson Center public events, plus Red Wing’s annual Studio Ramble. But this will be the young potter’s first gallery show since leaving college.
Florine, born and reared in Red Wing, was educated at Rochester Community and Technical College and at the University of Minnesota, where he studied under highly respected potters and was exposed to a broad range of ceramics.
After earning his degree in art in 2006, he returned to Red Wing to help with the family-owned business — Buchanan Grocery — where he works as a sixth-generation butcher. For almost two years he also has worked in a studio at the Anderson Center, where he has an electric kiln.
Florine works primarily in clay, creating sculptures and wall pieces as well as pots, bowls, vases and other traditional vessels that are influenced by traditional Japanese and American pottery styles.
He likes to make functional pieces, and to put his hands on his creations so he can get a tactile sense of how they are made.
For the Anderson Center show, Florine created an all-new group of work using his college experiments with cylinders as a stepping-off point.
“It’s a thought I’ve always had,” he said — to dissect a pot then build it back up. Repositioning the parts of a cylinder creates different forms, Florine explained.
Some resemble tornadoes — which, coincidentally, were an object of fascination to Tower View’s founder, scientist A.P. Anderson.
In addition to free-standing pieces, Florine is incorporating some of the cylinders in three-dimensional wall pieces to create a different perspective.
He’s also using some different mediums, incorporating melted glass and applying running glazes that flow down the cylinders as if melting.
This Guggenberger-Florine exhibition is made possible in part through grants from the Jones Family Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Minnesota Cultural Heritage and Legacy Fund, Minnesota State Arts Board, Target Foundation, and Xcel Energy.
For more information, call the Anderson Center at 651-388-2009 or go online to www.andersoncenter.org.