Ray Turner: Population

September 14 - November 10 2013

Huntington, West Virginia

Huntington Museum of Art - hmoa.org

Once reserved for society’s elite, the art of portraiture is revitalized by Ray Turner, who invites viewers to contemplate identity from an individual and collective standpoint. Population is a unique and expanding series of portraits that celebrates a cross-section of people from across the country – including our own community. Portraits of several Huntingtonians are intermixed with selected paintings from the larger, ongoing series in a large-scale installation. Primarily executed with oil paint on 12 x 12” glass, Turner’s textural paintings are fluid, much like notions of identity. Interpretive rather than purely representational, they emphasize elements such as color, value and composition, and reveal the inner essence and character of his subjects.

Population entices the viewer to decipher each sitter individually – the facial features, expressions, and emotions as captured in Turner’s sculptural brushwork – as well as search for relationships across the entire group of works. As the exhibition evolves with the addition of new portraits from different communities, the body of work will increasingly reflect the nation’s cultural makeup as well as the complex and changing nature of “place”. Good Man, Bad Man, a subset of the original Population project, explores both sides of our human nature through expressive, imaginative portraiture, and speaks to the perpetual contest between good and evil.