Tim Bavington: Rock & Roll Abstraction
On view July 13–October 19, 2018
Closing Reception + Artist Talk: Friday, October 19, 2018, 5–8pm
Since the early 2000s, British-born, Las Vegas-based artist Tim Bavington has translated rock and roll music into brightly colored, abstract paintings. Hypnotic and rhythmic, the varying widths of the stripes relate to the sound’s length, whether it is a guitar solo or full song. Here, titles serve as clues to music by the Rolling Stones, Cream, the Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix, all of which form the foundation of each painting. In Rock & Roll Abstraction, Bavington’s complex musical compositions become plausible visible surrogates for music.
Systematic and improvisational, Bavington’s process begins with studying sheet music. A colored chord wheel, a tool that he created, pairs musical notes with specific colors—by turning the wheel he selects the color values for each work. He first creates studies on paper to finalize the color selections before moving to canvas, where he applies synthetic acrylic paint with an airbrush to achieve a greater visual impact.
In The Best of Me, for example, wide bands of a Caribbean cool-like blue bookend the stripes, indicating the note’s length. Over time, Bavington deconstructs a complete music track, as visible in A Kind of Magic, where edge-to-edge stripes reverberate across the canvas. For Bavington, the abstract paintings do not replicate a song nor are they a literal translation, but rather serve as musical analogies to his favorite things: color, painting, and music.
– Guest Curator, Jaime DeSimone
Friday–Sunday, 11am–5pm; First Friday of every month until 8pm.
About Bob Crewe
Bob Crewe (1930 – 2014) was a legendary record producer for the Four Seasons and co-writer of many hit songs as well as being a visual artist. Bob had one of the most innovative and varied careers in pop music and appears as a supporting character in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Jersey Boys. He crossed genres with fluidity, approaching music visually, painting and sculpture aurally and back, forth and sideways. A true original, he carved out his own distinctive voice in the studios of sound and sight.*
“My work was always instinctual. I believe in chance, thrift shops, found objects. In crafting records, for instance, I might hear an old Harry James riff and weave it into a Freddie Cannon song. The sound of someone slamming the studio door might become the hook. I view art the same. In the fifties I was close to Otto Fenn, the fashion photographer, who introduced me to Andy Warhol. I was working with linen and burlap, applying resin, molding, hardening and covering it with sand, beads and shells. Very organic, very physical. Andy considered my stuff edgy and arranged a show at Bodley Gallery. Reviews were strong, interest high, but in the sixties the music business shot even higher.”
– Bob Crewe, 1968
The Bob Crewe Program in Art & Music at the Maine College of Art was made possible by the largest gift in the College’s 135 year history, a $3 million grant from the Crewe Foundation. The program prepares students to cross traditional boundaries as musicians, performers, sound artists, and artists.
* writing credit, Donna McNeil