A painting should sweat; it should exist anxiously in a state that reflects its maker.Walter Matthews
Tempus Projects’ stunning show X included 55 international, national and Tampa artists encompassing performance, sculpture, photography, mixed media, painting and drawing. This exhibit remains on view through January 3rd, so you can still check it out yourself. I’d like to share some highlights from the show, particularly the standout work of four contemporary abstract artists working in Tampa right now.
Edgar Sanchez Cumbas is a fascinating artist working in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in West Tampa. Cumbas works in a variety of media including installation, sculpture, and painting. Cumbas uses a palette of flesh tones to invite contemplation on the assumptions we make based on skin color. In this video, Cumbas talks about his work in “Community of Flat Faces” as an invitation to actually “meditate and contemplate each other” rather than simply jumping to judgment based on appearance.
His recent solo exhibition Dormant at HCC Ybor 2018 was interpreted as “a rough topography of built-up anger and resentment to the political climate” that “questions our internalized bigotry—the sleeping beasts within us—concerning colorism, racism, and identity” by critic Caitlin Albritton.
The work on display at Tempus, a series called “Black Hands” is highly tactile and raw, using a limited palette, thickly applied paint, and bold gestures to demonstrate how abstraction can provoke contemplation of perception, identity, and difference.
Walter Matthews‘ Blue Aloe 2019 (above) was one of the larger pieces in the show, an abstract painting that employs gesture and mark-making to create a sense of space and energy. Matthews is a recent MFA graduate from the University of South Florida but has been exhibiting consistently in solo and group exhibitions in Central Florida and New York since 2011. If you would like to learn a little more about Matthews, there is an excellent video on his studio practice here.
George Anderton is an artist and art collector originally from London, England who has been working in the Tampa area for a number of years. He shared a series of works from 2013-14 called Henry’s Play, which juxtaposes geometric and organic shapes in a progression of paintings.
Finally, Joe Griffith, an abstract artist from Seminole Heights who has been affiliated with Tempus Projects for a number of years, shared an intriguing work in gold and blue. Griffith is also a member and co-founder of Experimental Skeleton, a not-for-profit group that promotes research and development in the field of visual arts.