Trinity Gallery gets lighter
shade of Criswell


The Historic Arkansas Museum has opened its new Trinity Gallery for
Contemporary Arkansas Artists with a show by Benton artist Warren
.....You mean that Warren Criswell? You mean the painter who has made his
reputation by painting dark works that often put the artist in the middle of
grisly or, at the very least, tense scenes? You mean the guy with the canvases
that sometimes seem like snapshots from a nervous breakdown?
.....Yes, more than 50 works by the prolific Criswell will grace the walls of
Trinity Gallery, a new venture for the newly named and recently renovated
Arkansas Territorial Restoration. The choice of Criswell is significant. In a
bold stroke, Historic Arkansas Museum has announced that it won't shy away
from serious artists.
.....That's not to say that Criswell is all doom and gloom or that the
"Conceptions and Perceptions" exhibit is a downer. The art on display covers
many moods as well as different periods in Criswell's development. There's
the lighthearted, sunny Sunday at Yogi's from 1979. There's a slew of
somber portraits from December's ice storms.
.....Although Criswell pops up as a subject in a handful of these paintings, the
exhibit as a whole steers away from the intense self-examination that is
Criswell's signature. And that's probably a good sign. This collection is able to
sustain interest without resorting to or relying on old patterns.
.....Viewers intrigued by Criswell's work would be advised to check out his
interesting Web site, There is a funny, querulous
note about the exhibit where Criswell argues with himself about the title.
That's a return to form.

"Conceptions and Perceptions," through Aug. 16, Historic Arkansas
Museum, 200 E. Third St., Little Rock. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $2, $1 adults ages 65
and over, 50 cents children 16 and under. (501) 324-9351.

..................This article was published on Sunday, July 15, 2001

..................Copyright © 2001, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written
permission of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc.


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