Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Aug 30th
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

 

The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

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

 

Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual