The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Friday, October 31, 2014

Works by Mitchell Lonas on view at Callan Contemporary in New Orleans
Kauai Waterfall. Incised painted aluminum, 59" x 47".
NEW ORLEANS, LA.- The precision and poeticism of natural forms are central to Mitchell Lonas' new series of incised and painted aluminum panels. Many pieces in this body of work were inspired by the artist's fascination with the Fibonacci Sequence, a mathematical proportion that undergirds the visual balance and harmony seen in growth patterns within the animal and plant kingdoms. Lonas captures the beauty of these patterns in his lyrical interpretations of trees, root systems, shells, and waterfalls. He adapts his exacting technique to each of these subjects, utilizing an array of customized tools to incise metal panels with gracefully arcing lines of controlled depth and angle. Each line catches the light in different ways, sending luminous rays through the exhibition space. The light seems to change and move along with viewers as they look at the artworks from different vantage points.

Lonas' unique technique, which he created and developed over many years' time, mirrors both the organicism and perfection of nature itself. Each line is intuitive and cannot be taken away once inscribed into the picture plane. In concert, the lines work together like musicians, contributing to an overall symphony of harmonic forms. But for all their spontaneity of gesture, the pieces are meticulously structured, from the pristine purity of their matte-finish backgrounds to the ingenious system of cleats that makes each piece appear to float serenely in front of the wall.

Lonas studied art history at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His work features prominently in significant private, public, and corporate collections, and he has been commissioned to create large-scale works for a variety of clients, including well-known Fortune 500 companies. Viewers are consistently riveted by his expressive sense of line and dramatic use of scale. With his technical virtuosity, Lonas zooms in on the essence of a natural object giving viewers a magnified awareness and appreciation of details that might otherwise go unnoticed. "When you really focus your attention," he observes, "your eye starts noticing the existence of small worlds all around you... You're walking along a path, and suddenly you see something as simple as a feather on the ground. If you pick it up and look at it, you begin to see the design, the embedded code, the perfect balance in nature. Even in the smallest object there's so much to feast your eyes on and you can find the perspective to a whole new universe."

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August 18, 2014

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