Works of Franklin Engel + Christopher Engel
July 25 – August 15, 2019
Reception: Saturday, August 3, 5-6:30 PM
From The Searcher series by Franklin Engel and Messengers series by Christopher Engel
There is a tradition of artist families to carry on the work of the ones that went before them.
The exhibit “Searchers + Messengers,” the work of Franklin Engel, father, and Christopher Engel, son, follows in this tradition. In this collection of work, both abstract and figurative images reveal a connection of both artists’ desires to understand the mystery and complexity of who we are, how we got here, and where we are going. Both artists gather their inspiration from similar muses – the difference is their interpretation.
In the “Searcher” series, Franklin Engel has conjured up abstract paintings on aged, wooden planes, collaging ceramic, wood, and stones with hidden texts, symbols, and gestures reminiscent of cave paintings and early astronomical drawings. Converging lines, triangles, and circles dominate the work over a sea of white, rust, and gold with blue burnt edges. Recollections and elements of the mind of a searcher have been recorded, and the viewer observes the never-ending journey of the mind and spirit. Franklin Engel explains, “we are constantly searching for symbols and images, past and present, to catch a glimpse of the universe that holds us all.”
The same spirits speak to Christopher Engel in his “Messengers” series, depicted by eternal figures surrounded by symbols, text, and collaged images. With a bold use of color and brushstrokes, Engel’s “messengers” take the shape of angels, prophets, monks, nuns, rabbis, shaman, teachers, spirits, and ancestors. These works are “portraits” of those who, “summoned or not,” as Carl G. Jung has stated, “are present.” Christopher Engel explains, “these figures appear in every culture in different forms, with the same message – we are only passing through this life momentarily yet we are each part of something that never ends. We are not alone, we are part of the universe.”
Both Engels, father and son, are speaking similar “languages” in their work. Their language of images is the speech of the unconscious – the “collective unconscious” – where, perhaps, the searcher meets the messenger.