Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Aug 05th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Ron Milhoan Paints Deep Memory in “No Place to Hide”

ae_art1History looks out steadily from the surface of old photographs, holding a pose, jaws clenched, arranged against representative scenery in tones of black and white. History also seeps through dreams in vivid color, and charged moments loom near, or fade back into the pattern and texture of the emotional environment. Ron Milhoan, in “No Place to Hide,” at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, draws deep from his childhood memories of a Nebraska family homestead to tap directly into the racial unconscious for this body of expressive narrative paintings, heavy with meaning.

A giant fallen tree holds a gathering of figures posing on its immense trunk above the glinting surface of a watering hole in “Family Tree.” Though faces are obscure, the figures are distinctive, each looking at the viewer across the deep foreground of placid water. Behind them the river continues far beyond, banked by a receding procession of trees toward the dark ultramarine horizon. The painting carries summer in its warm palette and emotion in its expressive brushstrokes, creating with most specificity a memory—that watering hole, that family, that summer.

“Goddess of the Plains” carves dimension out of abstraction: a gauzy veil obscures areas of the canvas; at one side, a statue overlooks the space while objects emerge from and recede into the golden glow of the many-layered image. Hanging at the exhibition entrance, “Goddess: introduces symbols andae_art2 techniques that recur throughout: areas of saturated color, dominant pattern and strong line contrasting with areas of modeling and transparency; nature creeping into, and as a context for, the human environment.

In “No Place to Hide” the artist remembers his Nebraska upbringing, referring to old photos of his pioneering family’s history in that unforgiving land of harsh winters and baking summers. In Homestead the sky burns with fauvist intensity; swirls of sunset clouds conjure Van Gogh’s Night Sky while the tilled fields become a brilliant pattern that meets the horizon in an expression of nature’s power. At the center of the composition, the sturdy house stands empty; light spills from its open door while a small family poses between spindly trees in front. As was common in portraits of such homesteads, the family’s belongings are displayed proudly outside the house against the backdrop of their land. The stolid figures stand within the luminous vastness: a testimony to hope and hard work.

Sun-darkened features of all humans are vague and stern with daguerreotype stillness. “Oconto” chronicles the artist’s memory of a claustrophobic gathering in his family home, while he, a shadow at the edge of the interior space, almost fades into the landscape beyond, where he wanted to be.


“Ron Milhoan: No Place to Hide” continues at the Museum of Art & History through July 17.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 31

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover