In Beyond the Surface, artist Mary Pettis draws upon the music and philosophy of Debussy to create a series of paintings to celebrate his Images For Orchestra, being performed by the Minnesota Orchestra on June 8, 9, 10 at the beautifully refurbished Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
By invoking the works of the past to inspire works in the present, Debussy and Pettis have created a collaboration across time, his fluency of the musical language inspiring her paintings. Pettis emphasizes the musicality of visual arts as a vehicle of deliberate expression. And like Debussy's compositions, this exhibition is designed to satisfy the viewer on both an intuitive and a technical level. It is for this reason that Beyond the Surface exemplifies a large, ground-breaking movement in contemporary art: Expressive Realism.
This movement is a fusion of the purest elements of art (such as color, texture, and form) and familiar, timeless subjects. Debussy (who always wanted to be a painter) is an appropriate choice for this show. As Debussy invited his audience to look for images in the music, Pettis invites the viewer to see music in the images. Debussy often used nostalgic images and songs as source material for his tradition-breaking style. Mary uses a similar approach: she translates the visual world into evocative sensory experiences. Expressive Realism employs, rather than shuns, the artistic language uncovered by the modern art movement. The result is an intensely fulfilling visual experience, both for the art novice and for those who are drawn to spend the time to look beyond the surface.
While seeing the MN Orchestra's performance of Debussy's "Images" requires tickets, Mary's exhibition is free and open to the public.
Of course, if you can do both, it offers the opportunity to explore the experience of the intersection between his beautiful music and the paintings inspired by it.
Click here to order tickets to the Minnsota Orchestra performances of DeBussy.
1111 Nicollet Mall | Minneapolis, MN | (651) 465-7012
St. Croix River in Winter, oil on linen, 24x48
Oil on linen, 29x48