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“Playing with Reality: 15 Years at Glen Echo Park”

By April 20, 2023No Comments

April 1 – April 30 at the Pop Corn gallery at Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo MD

Gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00-6:00pm

Opening Reception is April 1 from 6:00 – 8:00pm


See the Daily Campello Art News Review of the exhibition HERE

J. Jordan Bruns, Resident Artist at the Chautauqua Tower Studio, has been painting a variety of work in the Stone Tower Studio since joining the Park 15 years ago.  He is known for his large-scale abstractions depicting themes of order vs. chaos, but this retrospective celebrates his range as an artist, focusing primarily on his realism works. 

Paintings featured in this exhibition vary in their degree of realism.  The abstract paintings have an incredibly loose grasp on realism as the dimensions created defy gravity and laws of nature.  The portraits and landscapes are more loosely representational, creating mood and personality through their respective mediums.  The still life paintings are high realism, bordering “trompe l’oeil”, using oil painting techniques. 

Bruns’ portraits are created in the alla prima style in which one quick sitting completes the image.  This work challenges the painter to be intentional in the use of the paint in order to quickly render a realistic scene without editing. 

The ink washes depict landscapes where the focal point is painted with careful detail while other areas are bathed in what Bruns considers “atmosphere” and only suggested.  In this way, the ink washes are reminiscent of a faded photograph or a vivid memory.

The still life paintings are uniquely attached to the subject matter the artist is observing to make the painting in a sort of diorama.  The palette that was used to mix the paint is also attached, altogether making these works “assemblages”.  The artist hopes to show the viewer the subject, the painting, and the deconstructed painting (the pallet) all in one piece to demonstrate the artistic process more fully. When discussing the assemblages Bruns says, “Viewers of art typically only see the final product.  Observational painters often benefit from the subject matter never being seen by their audience, allowing the viewer to fill in the gaps with their imaginations where the painter didn’t give all the information.  Yet when the subject is exhibited alongside the painting, the expectations for the painting change.  The art becomes about the painter’s ability and skill to interpret the subject rather than the actual completed painting.”

Bruns’ growth and development of as an artist has been indelibly tied to the changes in the DC area, Montgomery County, and Glen Echo Park.  Ever changing, ever moving forward, ever reaching toward progress.