Haynes Galleries presents “Stories in Paint”
Through November 19

NASHVILLE— In addition to their Zoey Frank exhibition, Haynes Galleries proudly presents “Stories in Paint.” The show is comprised of paintings that tell stories through a single image. It features work by several top Realists with different aesthetics. “Stories in Paint” runs through November 19 alongside “Zoey Frank: Connections & Changes” at the gallery on the Music Row Roundabout.

Narratives in painting have a long tradition. It’s difficult for a visual artist to tell a story in a single image. But when they do the painting can connect with the viewer more deeply and communicate the artist’s idea more elegantly. The most talented artists, from the past and today, do it by embedding their image with one or several elements. It can be the way light falls across the room, the elements a character is surrounded by, the expression on their face, or even the way they look out at the viewer. No matter the combination, the best narrative paintings suggest something came before and that something will follow the specific scene depicted and the viewer will want to be a part of that story. 

Bo Bartlett, who splits his time between Georgia and Maine, paints the underlying epic nature of the commonplace. Following in the great tradition of American Realism, his scenes are remarkably ordinary but are heavy with implications as if his characters are wrestling with some internal quandary. But visually they have a modernist twist and a flatter style. In The Present a young woman in a swimsuit braids another’s hair by the sea. They are connected by the intimacy of the act but are also incredibly isolated from one another, barely touching, each absorbed in their own world. 

Andrea Smith’s figurative work is ripe with narrative elements. With remarkably few extraneous details she is able to imply a greater story in just a single image. The carefully balanced compositions and soft diffusion of light lend the paintings a mature, unrushed mood, letting the viewer take the whole scene in and immerse themselves fully in Smith’s story.

With more whimsy but no less care, Seth Haverkamp produces portraits that capture a moment in time for those closest to him. Usually that means close friends or his children who he often dresses up with playful and homemade accessories like headdresses. His goal is to take one moment in time in his subject’s life and freeze it. He does it with amazing results, paintings that are personal but also broadly appealing.   

The passage of time in our lives is a central theme in Agnieszka Pilat’s paintings. Pilat says “time is out most previous commodity. It defines who we are.” She places her characters at the intersection of past and present during a critical moment in their singular story. Her painterly approach and nearly monochromatic palette add to the drama of her scenes. 

Accompanying “Stories in Paint” will be a select group of vignette shows showcasing the range of Haynes Galleries artists and collection. Sculptures of bronze, plaster, and marble  are on view in “Poetic Sculptures” with works by Alicia Ponzio, Alan LeQuire, and Chippie Kennedy while Jody Thompson’s detailed and sometimes quirky still lifes of everyday objects are seen in “Jody Thompson’s World.” Finally, a miniature version of our larger “ArtNashville” exhibition from earlier this summer brings together some of Nashville’s most acclaimed artists.

There is plenty of extraordinary work to see and experience this Fall at Haynes Galleries. “Stories in Paint” will be like stepping into a great book written by a great author. The accompanying vignette shows highlight the diversity of the gallery’s roster and exceptional things Realists are making today.