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Spiva Center for the Arts Joplin MO


January 8 – March 5, 2022

Wild Things: The Art of Christopher Lynch and Barbara Martin

Two artists who have never met nor had previously seen each other’s work are being brought together for an exhibit that explores the subconscious and the primal. Exhibits Director Shaun Conroy immediately felt a kinship between the artists’ work. “After seeing Christopher’s work, Barbara said that if her paintings became three-dimensional, that’s what they would look like. That’s all it took to seal the deal.”

Currently residing in Philadelphia and descending from a long line of herbalists and story tellers, Barbara paints intuitively with many primordial (and sometimes surreal) connections flowing naturally into her work. She finds further inspiration in repressed dreams and the natural world. Her subjects range from the serenity of a landscape… to the horror of a nightmare.

Using a wide variety of media, she says, “I typically begin with automatic painting, using my fingers and palms to manipulate the paint into textured layers containing swirls and patches of color as well as creating unique marks… I cover, obscure and re-cover the surface as I work through a dialogue with the piece, intuitively applying paint and glazes, veiling or scratching away, perhaps detailing with a touch of pencil or oil pastel. As the piece nears completion, I learn its true title.”

A graphic designer for over 30 years, Missouri artist Christopher W. Lynch carries that attention to detail into his intricate drawings and mask boxes. He says, “In my work, I explore common materials using fairly rudimentary tools to ‘organize’ them into sources of mystery.” Lynch uses found objects to create captivating, 3D pieces that engage the viewer’s curiosity and imagination.

“Masks and ritualistic objects generally have always held a fascination for me. The forms these objects can take are limitless. In ‘primitive’ cultures, these objects are painstakingly constructed with a real purpose, with function first over mere ornamentation. This I find very exciting. I’d call myself a modern primitive, creating from the gleanings of an industrial society.”




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