ARTisSpectrum Vol. 31, May 2014 - page 37

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 31 |
ax Werner
’s beautifully executed landscapes bring together both the documentary aspect and the personal touch of a
good travelogue. Werner works in acrylic on canvas from sketches and photos taken onsite in a variety of very different
environments. Deserts, mountainsides, and endless rolling meadows are all subjects. Though the artist describes his images as
more impressions of a place than faithful representations, his painting style is resolutely photorealistic. Colors and textures are
intimately observed, the brushwork is reserved, and detail is everywhere without being distracting. Each new terrain is depicted
so specifically that the viewer could almost place it on a map without any information beyond what’s on the canvas.
But the paintings have emotional and narrative depth that surpasses any map. Werner’s subject, no matter what exotic nook
of the globe he’s painting, is space – the emptiness of a mesa
top, the silence of a winding road covered in snow, or the
vastness of a cloudless sky. Portraying space is a way to draw
the audience in and allow us to place ourselves, and is also
a form of visual story-telling. In the empty horizons there is
the suggestion of many people, places, and events just out
of sight. Werner leaves his landscapes largely unpopulated,
though he does often include animals and even the occasional
distant figure at the fringe of the composition. Who inhabits
these places? What happens there? The narrative is left open-
ended. Werner describes his work as “inviting the viewer to
Werner was born in Ghent, Belgium and spent time in England
(where he had an etching workshop) and Argentina before
settling in his current home in the United States. He created
etchings exclusively for several years, and has also worked as a
printmaking instructor.
Max Werner
Yellowstone Meadows Acrylic on Canvas 44” x 58”
Racing The Storm Acrylic on Canvas 43.5” x 56”
The Pass Acrylic on Canvas 25.5” x 38.5”
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