Andy Cherewick (b. Detroit) and Jeffrey Whittle (b. Atlanta) have been sharing conversations about their studio practices for decades. Jeffrey even currently paints in the studio Andy built in the late 1990s. Only once before, briefly, have they exhibited works side by side. Their exhibition at the Lyndon House Arts Center, which was the result of an exhibition proposal, places the two beloved Athens artists’ paintings in one gallery. The connections between the works are visible in the textured compositions, even if the styles used to apply paint vary greatly.
Jeffrey and Andy are both articulate communicators. Dialogue, both internal and external, is essential.
Jeffrey Whittle communicates through paintings in a different way than he would speaking with a person. His paintings often have twins or pairings of objects and animals engaged: two elephants, two birds, two portraits (the artist and her reflection). These pairings suggest multiple ways of seeing and/or being.
Red and white striped objects, such as buoys and barrier floats, set off areas in Andy Cherewick’s paintings to warn viewers and the artist alike, protecting a cherished area from the disaster of over-painting and preventing a viewer from going too deep. Andy incorporates round lifesavers like those used poolside into the small cast of characters that repeat in the “Follies” series. The action takes place on a deserted island. Andy began this series of paintings before the pandemic, when a shipwreck might almost seem like something to long for. After a year of isolation, the setting feels almost uncomfortably familiar. Andy’s “Follies” paintings emerge from the wilderness of one artist’s unconscious, far from civilization.