by Leslie Newell Peakock 

Benton artist Warren Criswell opens an exhibit at the Historic Arkansas Museum Thursday, July 12, that features both narrative and still life paintings. The distinction is contained in the title of the show, "Conceptions and Perceptions," and illustrated by works done from 1979 to present.

Criswell is best known, perhaps, for his mythical works that often feature leering or magical men (with Criswell as the model) and naked women (sometimes as offerings, as in "The Seer.") His subjects are often lit by a central-canvas source, making them glow against a dark background.
In this show however, in the HAM's Trinity Gallery of Contemporary Art, the non-narrative Criswell gets an airing: a painting of his wallet by the side of the sink, of a house on a winter's night, a misty road. Devoid of people, they are more about Criswell's manipulation of night-time light than wallets or sinks or roads.

Criswell is one of Arkansas's best talents; his works are included in the permanent collections of the Arkansas Arts Center, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the McKissick Museum of the University of South Carolina.

The exhibit runs through Aug. 16. A reception for Criswell will be held at the gallery from.7-9 p.m. July 12.

From Arkansas Times, July 13, 2001


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