The power of the creative mind is great. The power of creative collaboration is infinite.
Collaboration, a duo show featuring Wendy Weldon and Robert Hauck, explores the uninterrupted space of creating in solitude and then the intersections of symbiotic artistic influence. After all, “Painting is a solitary enterprise...Collaboration as a cross-fertilization of intent and method has a rich track record,” says Robert Hauck.
And how right he is.
These two artists eagerly embarked on a journey of trust to break up the monotony of social isolation. Over the last few months, they explored hypotheticals and gave and received constructive feedback. If you were familiar with their work prior to this show, you may recognize the meeting points as their styles converge.
For example, Wendy traditionally favors vibrant color palettes and Rob, neutral. See how they keep an open channel of communication and shift to complement one another.
Wendy shares that, “Rob has influenced me by having me see muted colors as acceptable colors...Rob has commented on balance in my work and the weight of one area as compared to the weight of another area...That change may be just what the painting needed.”
To mirror, Robert shares, “I challenged my reliance on a neutral palette because of Wendy's devotion to intense color. An example of this is Carnival. Wendy and I alerted each other whenever our pursuit of harmony risked ending in a one-note hum rather than a complex symphony.”
Similarly, by sharing their processes, their techniques also altered. Wendy states, “Rob asks me lots of questions about different parts of the work that I may not have examined myself in detail...Rob has suggested to turn the painting upside down or sideways and this allows me to see what is working or not working. Sometimes I paint on the painting in this direction and then turn it around and sometimes the painting stays upside down forever.”
This meeting of minds led to a fresh perspective and an everlasting bond between two artists who admire and respect one another. It has furthered their respective practices, pollinating each to produce effervescent works and a cohesive duo exhibition.
The idea for this show began with a simple question, what would these two artists specifically experience if they worked together creatively. The creative process can be so isolating and yet it is just what most artists desire in that moment. Enjoying the uninterrupted space and time to think, to reach inward and bring forth inner thoughts and feelings that manifest into visual images as a means of expression. Having been restricted from socially interacting over the past year Wendy and Rob were excited about the idea of collaborating to break the silence and isolation. This experiment was timely and created a trusting, safe space to explore what if questions as well as received constructed feedback that encouraged them to try new techniques. In some way due to the timing of this request the pandemic created an opportunity that Wendy an Robert may not have considered in a different time. If you are familiar with Wendy Weldon and Robert Hauck’s work prior to this exhibition you might recognize some immediate differences in the way they approached painting this series. Collaborating encouraged each to influence the other artist’s style, technique. The most obvious is the use of color. Wendy uses a vibrant palette and Robert’s palette is neutral. It is clear in certain pieces that both Wendy and Rob ventured outside their comfort zone to try bright or subtle colors in ways that they may not have selected with out influence from the other.
Read further, statements from Wendy & Robert who share their personal thoughts about this collaborative journey.
Wendy writes reflecting on how Rob has influenced her process. “Rob has influenced me by having me see muted colors as acceptable colors. I gravitate towards vibrant colors but with his influence, I have experimented with new palettes. Rob has commented on balance in my work and the weight of one area as compared to the weight of another area. Are these areas the right weight? Maybe their shapes or their hues or values could change to make them more balanced. Because of his comments, I may change a color of an area by brightening it or muting it. That change may be just what the painting needed. Rob has suggested to turn the painting upside down or sideways and this allows me to see what is working or not working. Sometimes I paint on the painting in this direction and then turn it around and sometimes the painting stays upside down forever. Rob asks me lots of questions about different parts of the work that I may not have examined myself in detail. He helps me to see my paintings in a different light.
Robert writes reflecting on how Wendy influenced his process “Painting is a solitary enterprise. Artist collaboration has been described as two or more artists working on a single canvas, responding to what the previous painter has put on the canvas. According to Wikipedia, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michael Basquiat, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray were examples of conscious collaboration.
Collaboration as a cross-fertilization of intent and method has a rich track record. Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, close friends, created "combines" by separately incorporating objects in their respective pictures. Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler, and Motherwell and art critic Harold Rosenberg shaped each other's work.
Wendy and I are examples of cross-fertilization. I challenged my reliance on a neutral palette because of Wendy's devotion to intense color. An example of this is Carnival. Wendy and I alerted each other whenever our pursuit of harmony risked ending in a one-note hum rather than a complex symphony.”
would be produced by two artists the idea that two artist who approach painting differently … creatively engaged in sharing new ideas and ways of being. , innovatively The idea for this show started with a simple thought…. Let’s plan a show which includes Wendy and Rob’s work. Why not? It seemed like a powerful match of two artists who are friends, admire each others work, and I thought would compliment one another.
We have spent enough time alone in the past year and the creative process can be solitary. When artists come together to critique each others work I have found that
This time of creating and critiquing each others work something began to unfold. The artist began to try techniques used by the other artist. From dark more sullen colors shifted to a more vibrant and the vibrant pallete incorporate the use of darker colors and layers.
Knowing each of these artists prior to this collaboration might not see how these two artist work fit together. The outcome brought the artist into a new creative space.