In Celestial Movement, artist Tom Kirby’s latest exhibition at Winterowd Fine Art on Santa Fe’s historic Canyon Road, Kirby’s transcendental paintings explore the mysterious and limitless skies as the earth makes its elliptical path through space.
March 25–April 12, 2022
Opening reception: Friday, March 25, 5-7 pm
Winterowd Fine Art, Santa Fe
Tom Kirby’s lifelong interest in classic books, mathematics, philosophy, and meditation has influenced many of his works. However, this new body of work is inspired by the artist’s interest in astronomy and exploration of the night sky.
“Every morning and evening I walk taking note of the planetary movements. I am a witness to the celestial universe turning like clockwork.” As a student of Isaac Newton and early scientists, Tom Kirby shares, “The natural movements of objects in space are circular and elliptical. The circle and ellipse are natural shapes to the movement and motion in space. The orbit of our planet follows an elliptical path. This activity in the sky is a great source of inspiration to me.”
“I want to capture a spacious quality of mysterious vastness of the sky; something without limits. On my canvas, I paint shifting colors of value from dark to light. This repeats what is seen on the horizon.” Tom Kirby’s exhibition Celestial Movement explores on canvas these concepts of unlimited potential.
While the artist’s creative muses are celestial sources, Kirby employs materials that come out of the earth like natural pigments, powdered marble, and gold dust. In a recent visit to the artist’s studio, we found him at work on a new painting using lapis lazuli, grinding up pigment, and formulating his own paints. The alchemy of creating paints harkens back to days of old when art supply stores did not exist. He combines the very best of ancient techniques alongside new contemporary materials. Classical materials include fine Belgian linen, amber resin, damar resin, mercury, iron oxides, and manganese oxides. Modern materials include polymer compounds, titanium, cobalt, zirconium, and holographic mylar.
Drawing inspiration from both contemporary and ancient cultures, Tom Kirby seeks to express a universal aesthetic of beauty. After twenty-five years of travel all over the Northern Hemisphere, the artist believes that the best art embodies the same ethos: lyrical use of color, harmonious proportion, and life-affirming spirit.
In this exhibition, Kirby’s work has moved toward this new exploration of nature beyond our earth’s crust, one that is completely focused on the night and early morning skies. Like the sky, these paintings have depth; one can see in and through them to something beyond surface colorations. As the artist states, “I hope the viewer feels transported by this newest body of work.” Learn more about his materials and processes in this inside-look video of Kirby in his studio, and then join the gallery for an opening reception with the artist on Friday, March 25, 5-7 pm.
Celestial Movement is on view from March 25 to April 12, 2022 at Winterowd Fine Art, 701 Canyon Road, Santa Fe.