When I first saw Trey Egan’s paintings, I had made a visit to the University of North Texas to see an artist. I really didn’t think much of his art. I thought the work was too muddy, too random and I didn’t spend a great deal of time looking at the piece. The next time I encountered his painting was at Cris Worley Fine Art, but this time I took a little more time and began the see the variety of marks and the composition which I had not fully appreciated before, but I was still left a little unsure of my opinion. Was this noise, or was there flow and method to his abstraction?
I felt like some sort of narrative was involved but I couldn’t quite place it. Were the colors too understated or was his subtle stroke of colors balancing to the composition? Well, last weekend ended my internal debate and I began to kick myself for being so dismissive earlier.
Trey Egan’s solo show at Cris Worley Fine Art was a game changer. I suddenly realized his work was not about each individual mark randomly applied, but rather an intuitive stroke by stroke story of paint applied in time to create a truly all over effect of abstraction. This is not your AbEx rehash, but rather Egan has returned to the heart of abstract art. Egan goes back to Kandinsky to draw from his ever shifting and moving composition.
Just point to a random spot on Egan’s canvas, follow that paint mark to another, then move your eyes across the surface and allow Egan to guide you around the surface; you will find yourself lost in these shapes and brush strokes. You are experiencing the unfolding story of paint and the painting process. No attempt to fool you with something representational; Egan wants you to journey with him to a space and time that his process played out.
For me, what were muddy paintings has become further application for paint as mark making. And now, what was random is now more like musical improvising. I am glad it took me a while to come around to his work, because I was able to reconsider my own approach to viewing art. I find artists work I initially dislike and grow to love, tend to sustain my interest over the years; more so than those that I instantly fall in love with. Maybe it is an intellectual hurdle to a new understanding of aesthetic, or the familiarity of the works breeds riskier leaps of personal taste. Whatever reason, I have arrived at a place where Trey Egan’s paintings speak to me.
According to Egan, his only real career passion is making art, so I look forward to seeing more paintings from him in the near future. Right now you can see his work at Cris Worley Fine Art until February 16th.
ModernDallas.net for more images.