Monday, February 21, 2011

Artist Colin Noonan: Idle Exhibit in the Cultural District



Veronica Corpuz
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
(412) 471-6082

Colin Noonan: Idle

March 4 – April 3, 2011

709 Penn Gallery

709 Penn Avenue at Seventh Street

Downtown Pittsburgh Cultural District

Artist reception on Friday, March 4, 6-8 p.m.

PITTSBURGH, PA: Many of life’s every day moments of contemplation take place in an automobile. It’s a private, contained space where one can tap into a range of emotions. Pittsburgh fine artist and car enthusiast Colin Noonan’s collection of classically-inspired paintings drives viewers inward, revealing subtle nuances in color and form inspired by human introspection and expression.

Idle, Colin Noonan’s solo-exhibit of oil portraits on linen, canvas and plywood are purposefully cropped to depict sitters from the torso up. The still lives are further accentuated with tools and equipment from the German Motor Werks Garage, such as an oil pump, and a parts washer. Noonan works with an earth palette consisting of dark umbers and yellowish ochers for more dimly lit subjects. Many of the subjects in his paintings are lit from a lone light source reminiscent of baroque realism.

Idle refers to the state of the portrait subjects. They are not working or producing, but at a stand-still, detached from the narrative of time. The exhibition title also refers to a car being idle, relating to Noonan’s fascination with cars and the studio where he creates his art – the German Motor Werks Garage. These meticulous paintings are created layer by layer in oil, a slow process rooted in classical painting techniques. “I want to create a tangible presence through these people in their environment,” explains Noonan. “In a sense, they are portraits of the people they depict - not so much a narrative as a state of being, an idleness that sets the subjects apart from their environment. This idleness frees them of doing anything and allows them to think anything.”

About Colin Noonan:

Colin Noonan earned a BFA degree in Painting from Brooklyn's Pratt Institute and he studied indigenous and contemporary art at Southern Cross University in Australia. Upon returning to the States, Noonan studied still life with instructor Chris Wright. The classical influence would serve as a starting point for much of his still life paintings. A mechanic's apprenticeship in 2003 put his art career temporarily on hold. Though Noonan’s career as a mechanic was short lived, a car garage in Pittsburgh's Strip District continues to serves as both his studio and muse.


709 Penn Gallery is located on 709 Penn Ave. / Downtown Pittsburgh Cultural District

Hours: Wed. & Thurs. 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sun.11 a.m.–5 p.m.

709 Penn Gallery is a Project of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Education & Community Engagement department.


March 4 – April 3, 2011

Artist reception Friday, March 4, 6-8 p.m.


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