Obvious Invisible presents a selection of paintings from Thomas Scharfenberg’s extensive body of work, created over the past few years. Executed on stretched canvas or paper in colored pencil, charcoal, pastel, ink, watercolor, acrylic and spray paint, with melted glass, and even beet juice, they describe the multi-layered, interconnected nature of life in all its complexities. With an enthusiasm that is reflected in the abundance of color and generosity of shapes, patterns, and textures, Scharfenberg arranges his compositions over several strata, each symbolizing a different facet of our perceived reality with its own set of rules and behaviors.
Here, as in real life, order and chaos live side by side – not as opposites, but as parallel aspects of a joint reality, expressed as hard-edged, geometric layers and structured patterns on the one side, emerging within liberally applied paint drips and splatters on the other. Attentively observing, photographing, and recording our surroundings, from which he then makes his drawings freehand, Scharfenberg reveals structures and patterns in everything from flower fields to floorboards to light reflected on a TV screen. Some patterns are obvious and easily recognized, while others may require that we open our minds to the possibility of their existence – right before our eyes. In addition to the paintings on view, visitors will be able to observe the artist and follow his progress as he creates a mural on one of the museum walls.
Thomas Scharfenberg was born in 1984; he lives in Denver, Colorado. He holds a BFA from Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (2007) and is currently a resident creative at Wazee Union, where he regularly shows his work. Recent exhibitions include America Runs on Double Ds at Madison Museum of Post Contemporary Art, Madison, Wisconsin (2010) and Love to Hate/Hate to Love at Redline, Denver, Colorado (2009).