Upon strutting into the Kimura Gallery in the Arts Building at UAA, the echoes of every minute sound became multiplied tenfold. The room was empty! Was I late? Yes, but only by 30 minutes, and the opening reception was supposed to be two hours long. It angered me that there was no food spread or refreshments. Forget people to talk to, I came for the free food. Storming out of the open room, stomach growling, I began writing an angry e-mail to whoever was in charge of this “opening ceremony” in my head. After five steps, I decided the walk I had made from across campus was too far to walk back without attempting to write anything useful, so with what last energy I had left I picked up pad and pen and once again entered the gallery. Lucky for you.

‘Songs from Exile’ featured monotypes, etches and paintings by Denis Keogh. A total of 27 paintings and illustrations lined the walls of Kimura Gallery. It would have been a peaceful setting if it weren’t for the florescent bulbs rudely buzzing overhead.

Keogh’s pieces incorporated dark colors: black, green and blue were prevalent in most of his watercolors and monotypes. A handful of the monotypes held within their boundaries various shapes, such as spheres, cubes and triangles, while others depicted human-like figures (creatures?) with rings of green and gold hung around their heads and necks. The settings for a handful of the pieces appeared either surreal or interstellar.

Colossus: Night Vision

In the monotype ‘Colossus: Night Vision,’ dated 2003, the artist created a giant figure staring off into the distance; light beaming from where eyes should be, or maybe the light is coming from an eye. With an arm missing and pins protruding from the giant’s chest, the figure seemed somewhat damaged. Holding a club in its one remaining hand, however, the figure gave off a feeling of omnipotence.

Self-titled

Four paintings gave the gallery its namesake. Song from Exile (self-titled), Song from Exile: Winter, Song from Exile: Dawn and Song from Exile: Dusk all feature a large smokestack bellowing exhaust of peculiar colors. Under a dreary summer day the smoke appears blue while in Winter the landscape is an ice-shimmering blue and the smoke a pinkish light blue. The four monotypes made me ponder the issue of environment and industry, which is a growing topic of interest to Americans.

Winter

What do the Song’s from Exile make you think about?

Have environment and industry become one and the same?

Is the Colossus mere mortal or god-like figure?

How much free food should be offered at opening galleries?

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