by Hannah Sayle
Two exhibits opening in Memphis on Friday showcase the work of mother-daughter, father-daughter pairs.
The upcoming exhibit at Harrington Brown Gallery is “Cross Pollination” — a reference to the influence and inspiration passed between Paula Temple and her daughter, Ariel Baron-Robbins. “They both have completely different styles, but they complement each other,” says gallery owner, Rose Harrington Brown.
Temple is a Memphis native and has been a professor of art at the University of Mississippi for 25 years. This is the first formal exhibit she has done with her daughter. “Working with my daughter, we can be much more frank with each other, saying ‘I really don’t like that’ or ‘I really like that’ or ‘I think I need to take that off the wall.’” But the two have always been at least informally connected by their art. “She grew up in my studio,” says Temple. “She was not pushed to be an artist, but I couldn’t keep her out of the studio. She was in there all the time. She’d come to meet me after school and go right into my classes and just work with the other students. She just loves it and she has a lot of talent.”
The show runs through August 3rd, and the gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment.
Harrington Brown Gallery, 5179 Wheelis, Suite 102, 590-3008, harringtonbrowngallery.com
Opening Friday at the Dixon Gallery, “In the Blood” features the artwork of Memphians, Clare Torina and her father, John Torina. A nod to their artistic bloodline, “In the Blood” nevertheless contrasts John’s landscapes with Clare’s portraiture. “It’s a really great dynamic between his work and her work,” says Emily Halpern of the Dixon. “This is the first time their work has been displayed in the same place.”
John Torina was a long time professor at Memphis College of Art and is now represented by David Lusk Gallery. “His paintings are so classically beautiful,” Clare says. Since he’s retired from academia, John has been able to focus on his craft. “He travels all over the world and paints from life. He paints massive paintings. He’s a Wildman. It’s a unique lifestyle he has.”
One particular piece at the Dixon, “Bacchanal,” plays with contextual details to unveil unexpected similarities between seemingly disparate religious practices. “Of course [the painting] depicts a lot of orgies and complete loss of self-control,” says Clare, “but the photos I used for this were actually images of preachers or people being slain in the spirit or people being baptized. It looks like they’re involved in pornography, with the expressions on their faces. It’s about having these dualities, thing that seem one way but are in actuality another.”
The Dixon has long been a space for impressionist work, but over the last year, they have worked to bring local artists into the gallery as well. “We’ve been talking about doing a father daughter show for about five years,” says Clare. “It’s just amazing that it’s at the Dixon.”
“In the Blood” will run from July 2nd to September 26th. The artists will have a Munch & Learn lecture at the gallery next Wednesday, July 7th at noon. The Dixon is open Tuesday through Sunday, and regular admissions prices apply.
Dixon Gallery and Gardens, 4339 Park Avenue, 761-5250, dixon.org