Red Arrow Gallery is hosting Your Arm On My Shoulder, a solo presentation from Nashville-based artist Aaron Worley. The exhibition, his first at Red Arrow, opened with an artist’s reception on September 3 and continues through Saturday, September 24, 2022.
Aaron Worley is a young abstract painter who employs gestural mark-making in oil on canvas, approaching his paintings with the title first. Combining bold and vivid colors such Cadmium yellow, Ultramarine violet, Cyan blue, Zinc white, and Payne’s grey to name a few, and details he’ll share when talking about a piece, are also an integral part of his approach and signature style. The oil paint is thick and textured, swept from end to end and perfectly displays the bodily movements he makes while creating a work.
“My paintings seek to bridge the gap between visual language and the actual motion of the paintbrush, highlighted by elements such as velocity and bristle type,” says Worley. “With the title taken from a poem I wrote in 2018, Your Arm On My Shoulder underwent major thematic changes throughout 2021 and 2022. Once it was halfway finished, I started thinking about logistics and order with the paintings included and constantly froze because I overanalyzed how they would and should stand alone, both in size and palette.
“I abandoned this; I knew I was working in the wrong direction. I took off my painting shoes and re-laced them- a little tighter this time. In less than a week, I completely changed how I thought of my pictures. No longer were they solely individual canvases, but each one fed off the other, starting and stopping, coming, and going. It was a funny thing to me, to picture my paintings as if I held them up and arranged them on a clothesline, putting the ones which dried faster near the front. I noticed how much I loved tacking heavy oil layers onto the canvases. Something about paintings being heavy strikes a chord in me still. Soon after, instead of thinking the canvases followed a pattern of A and B and C, my mindset changed into A to B to C; a dance, an ongoing parallel with color, movement, positive and negative space, technicality, and most importantly, freedom.”
Worley, born in 1996, as a painter is best known for utilizing long, sweeping gestures of highly contrasting and vivid oil paint colors on large-scale mediums. His pictures challenge the notion of having to fit certain lines and brushstrokes into a particular section on a canvas; often the brushstrokes continue in other directions on the surface, failing to reveal either the starting or stopping point. His works contain elements of symbolism and language- paintings in a series are often looked at as words in a sentence or paragraph. These sentences are then further broken down by fast, choppy paint marks and abstracted, energetic motions.
“I try to capture a sort of rhythm, becoming inspired by colors I see outside before the sun goes down. Some days, I hope it comes back into the same spot, that the glimpse will still be there,” he says.
Red Arrow Gallery is located at 919 Gallatin Ave Suite #4, Nashville, TN 37206. Call 615-236-6575 for hours and/or to schedule an appointment to view the exhibition.