events reviews

Review: “Élan Vital” by Michael Page @ White Walls SF

In 2011 at the Shooting Gallery in SF, Michael Page opened his solo show Into Passing (reviewed). The show was outstanding, and for the past year I have keep my eye out for the new work by Page. I was surprised to see that his new show entitled Élan Vital would be at White Walls, directly next door, as the space there is much larger. Often White Walls hosts large group shows, street related art, and shows that contain large assemblages such as the show by Jonathan Darby (reviewed). I was very curious to see how Michael Page would use this space. Would he use all of it, would wee see larger paintings by him? I finally managed to check out the show in person, and was not disappointed. Read on for the full interview and more photos.

The entire floor of the White Walls gallery was occipied by a painting by Michael Page. In the front of the gallery, large paintings 72″ x 72″ and exploded with shape and color. The back of the gallery had the smaller works. No matter the size, each on of the paintings in this show were dripping with color, energetic shapes and forms, and helped weave a new world around the viewer. The one thing I was surprised to see, was the amount of gloss on each of the paintings. While it made photographing them a challenge, the depth of these paintings and the textures was break-taking. One such painting Spirit Flow (seen below), looked as though it had gold powder embedded in the gloss.

Each one of the paintings begged the viewer to get lost in them. To stand there at a distance and soak in the colors, the textures, and figures. You then move in slowly and now a whole new world of details opened up. Flecks of color, tiny strokes of paint, and subtle details in the eyes of the faces. It was to hard to decide which painting stole the show for me, as they all seemed so cohesive, and connected. I did find myself coming back to a few paintings multiple times as I made my away around. The title piece Élan Vital, had these perfect classical styled figures in them, something I am always a sucker for. However Two Makes One (seen first above), had this energy radiating from it. The colors Page used in this piece are so intense. I was a big fan of the last elephant inspired painting (here) he did for his last show as well. That solo show at Shooting Gallery have a taste of the scale and content that was to come, and this new show delivered. If your in the area, you need to see this show in person. It closes May 5th at White Walls in SF

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