While too often drab and monotonous landscapes clutter local gallery walls, it is refreshing to encounter the work of Frank Huff Jr., something of a realist in his paintings of Utah. Granted, this is not in form but in spirit, and is lucidly uncanny. Brazen, hearty, unabashed, dynamic landscapes and small town myopia possess autonomy that is independent and detached from the world. These are monuments to beauty of amplified elements reflecting being and time- something majestic.
“Untitled” (Kentucky Fried Chicken) may be less than majestic, but only just. The canvas is stark yet with the same vibrancy of spirit substantiating the energetic landscapes. This is accomplished not by painterly complexity but via reduction. All references to particulars are absent, no signage or detailing but elemental boldness of a blazing red roof, white linear form and the vastness of azure Utah summer sky. The resultant absence creates a hollowness that invites a steely immersion within the soul. Such is absolute restraint from even the slightest allusion to cogency in an art entirely visceral.
A meditative contemplation on the possibilities of elements and the reduction of form allows sensitivity to and maximization of spirit. The image and viewer fall victim, consumed in the limitlessness of elemental substance. For “Untitled” (Out Crop) Huff uses rustic pumpkin oranges staggered against brick reds in the middle plane, dramatically contrasted with rich purples melting into a lushness of mauves behind. This out crop might have been just one, lost among many, but ascending beyond the fecund valley of rich ochres with a being likened to anamism, not so in the hands of Frank Huff Jr.