November 2nd, 2015

Courtland Blade’s Indy

by Pam Allee

30 x 40, oil on canvas. Downtown Indy Washington St. Looking East from the art Garden 2015

Come to the City Gallery this Friday and see Indianapolis through the eyes of painter Courtland Blade. This artist might seem an unlikely choice for a gallery that features place-based art. Blade is actually best known for his conceptual work that studies “areas not significant enough to be regarded as a place”–parking garages, corporate hallways and grocery aisles that have no distinguishing qualities. What makes this show so interesting is that he steps away from the generic places of his previous focus to embrace the city of Indianapolis, and specifically spaces downtown and in the King Park neighborhoods that he enjoys.

17th and New Jersey Facing west

The style of the work is instantly recognizable, the crisp colors and stark contrasts–maybe even a hint of the isolation depicted in his earlier work. The difference is in the subject matter, the recognizable and even beloved places he has chosen to paint. But, while the technique is the same, when uniqueness of place is introduced, the effect somehow changes.

17th and New Jersey, Facing west 8 by 10, Oil on Linen

This is definitely the Indianapolis we know and love: Washington Street, MLK Park, Herron High School, downtown city streets (complete with road construction), the skyline and more. It’s our Indy, but there is no question we are seeing it through the eyes of Blade. What a view!

“Embracing Our City, Indy: Through the Eyes of Courtland Blade” opens with an artist reception Friday, November 6 from 6 to 9pm. We hope you’ll join us.