Preschooler Art: An Appreciation

Okay class, settle down.  Let’s get started.

Welcome to Art Appreciation 101 – An Introduction to Preschooler Art.  Today we will be looking at “mixed- and multi-medium expressionism,” an exploration of the many and varied artistic approaches that can be undertaken by a single artist.  Our case study for this session will be the young, upcoming artist Grace Rempe.

For starters, we need to acknowledge that Ms. Rempe’s art is quite controversial in certain circles.  Some critics have argued that many of her pieces (or, “projects,” as Grace likes to call them) consist solely of small objects taped or glued to pieces of paper or slightly larger objects.  Others have claimed that her art is acquired taste which is somewhat obtuse and hard to digest.  (Her younger brother Samuel is among these critics, having tasted and attempted to digest several of the artist’s works in the past.)

I would posit, however, that such analysis fails to take into account the subtleties of Ms. Rempe’s work.  Imbedded in her work is a celebration of the ordinary – an exaltation of the mundane.  In it, Grace displays the beauty implicit in everyday objects, and does so in a way that challenges societal conceptions of attractiveness and desirability.

Let’s examine a number of the artist’s works more closely.

Untitled, acrylic on canvas, circa. 2013 (Rempe Family Gallery, Virginia)

Slide number one is an early untitled piece.  Here, the artist issues a statement on conformity and segregation in an abstract, geometrical style borrowing from the art deco tradition.  Lines are straight and unyielding, yet the bleeding colors indicate the inability to restrain creativity, stretching beyond the intended confinement to other elements.  One can almost sense the tension as the cool blue, green, purple, and gray colors reach beyond their borders toward the more dangerous reds, oranges, and pinks.  Even at an early age, the artist is showing a willingness to challenge authority and upset cultural norms – themes that recur in the artist’s later work.

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