Meyer East Gallery
Ray Turner's paintings transport viewers into a universe of his own creation, one that is bound to leave them in awe while also wondering what exactly it is they are seeing. Romanticism, grandeur, myriad permutations of beauty and, quite possibly, the divine are what inspire Turner to paint in the manner of 19th century artists who regarded nature not as something to be exploited but as something worthy of veneration. Evidently well versed in art history he is, none the less, a very contemporary painter who may incorporate select elements of his predecessors' work into his own and still come across as an original-a poet wielding a brush.
Like the masters of the Hudson River School and renowned individual landscape painters like Albert Bierstadt, Williams Bradford, Thomas Cole and James A. Whistler, Turner is intrinsically a romantic who does not only paint what he sees but what he perceives. His depictions of pristine vistas or turbulent seascapes blending into dramatically lit clouds and, lately, the transitory terrain surrounding newly established communities suggest a multi-layered pristine vistas or turbulent seascapes blending into dramatically lit clouds and, lately, the transitory terrain surrounding newly established communities suggest a multi-layered process of creation that he attributes to a sense of spirituality. He may begin a painting on locations but invariably finishes and embellishes it in his studio where he feels uninhibited by what he has seen and driven instead by what he wants to convey.
With relatively few deft brushstrokes, a superb sense of line and color and an uncanny ability to edit, Turner suggests rather than spells out detail. Since he regards every painting as a new journey, he challenges his audience to enter the work and to experience the joie de vivre induced by a glorious sunrise or the haunting sense of longing that may imbue a lone cityscape or an unpopulated expanse of land. His strength lies in his skill at creating an atmosphere and his ability to suggest, through impeccably place sight lines, movement and transition, permanence and stability-all in one single painting.