On display in Gallery O is Tom Torluemke’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, “Sweet and Sour,” which will showcase current abstract watercolors by the ever-prolific, uber-expressive artist. Traversing back into a medium that he controls with the fluidity and ease of a master provides a respite of sorts from the more typical work Torluemke is known for. Vacillating between the deeply personal to the complex social issues and political atmosphere of our times, his work generally graphically depicts and comments upon struggle, trauma, and violence. With a first responder’s urgency to react, Torluemke’s “hold no prisoner” approach is how he channels the world around him. Veering between representation, figuration, sculpture, painting, collage, and installation, Torluemke uses his expertise to satisfy his ever ongoing need to communicate.
Thus the mark making and forms, along with his profound use of color in these newest abstract compositions, may seem deceptively simple, yet they powerfully still relate to the human condition. The act of wetting paper with water, this gentle medium, is like a cleanse or rebirth for both the artist and viewer. Like catching a breath in the struggle to simply exist; like a sort of vacation from the madness around us. Like a quiet pause for self-discovery and reflection. An enriching calm before the next storm.
Exhibit runs through June 17.