Interrobang: A show of abstract art

Abstract art can raise eyebrows, conjure questions and declare truths leaving the viewer excited while possibly questioning what the artist is communicating. Abstract art also provides that statement piece or the subtle accent to complete the perfect space.

Three artists will be showcasing their abstract works during “Interrobang: A show of abstract art” opening Thursday, December 5, in a Scottsdale art gallery. Their works ranging from traditional encaustics to modeling paste with acrylics and oil washes on canvas and panel are sure to cause an emotional reaction.

Joseph Maruska’s unique style of abstraction is based on a lingering intimacy with two major concerns – light & shadow and positive & negative. To tell his stories of life in this abstract manner, he uses colors from his heritage and is even known to use punctuation marks for expression and emotion.

“There is life, death, sex, despair and poetry in my work,” explains Maruska. “This ups the ante on pure abstraction. These psychological landscapes host mysteries of their own, hinting at romance and fantasy.”

Jeff Juhlin uses the temperamental and ancient medium of wax to create his works. Having practiced his art around the world, his encaustic paintings are inspired by the arid lands he calls home.

“I live in the high desert of the great basin in the west,” Juhlin said. “The contrast between the deep space of the western sky and the large open expanse of the terrain seems to always make its way into the work.”

By using the land as his muse, Juhlin is able to strike a balance between his organized style and the natural textures and sheen inherent in the encaustic process.

At the same time, Debra Corbett’s works are emotional responses to nature and travel. Using plaster, paint and glaze mediums she layers, subtracts and manipulates what’s on her canvas until the finished result gives the viewer a unique surface that has a rich, almost sculptural feel.

“My work is all about surface,” said Corbett. “I want there to be some sense of mystery to the painting. I hope the viewer has a true emotional response, lingers awhile and discovers new imagery, meaning and joy when looking at my work.”

In every way the best punctuation to describe abstract art is the interrobang – the mark made by combining a question mark with an exclamation point. It is used to express an attitude of disbelief, a rhetorical question, or an excited query. Through bright colors, mottled textures and non-specific subjects, these three artists convey emotion that will evoke the desire to excitedly ask if there’s more.

Featuring works from Massachusetts-artist Debra Corbett, California-artist Joseph Maruska and Utah-artist Jeff Juhlin, The Marshall | LeKAE Gallery of Fine Art will host “Interrobang: a show of abstract art,” opening Thursday, December 5, during Scottsdale’s annual Holiday ArtWalk and running through January 4. All three artists will be at the opening.

These artists’ new works will be viewable beginning December 2, on the gallery’s website and Facebook page.

Celebrating its 15th season in Scottsdale, The Marshall | LeKAE Gallery of Fine Art is proud to represent more than 70 world-class artists of diverse yet complementary genres and styles. With more than 60 years of combined experience in the art industry, the gallery staff’s keen understanding will help discerning art collectors find, purchase and install beautiful pieces of fine art.