HP artist Ellen Tuchman opens a new show at the MAC

by Gail Sachson

In her first one-person show in Dallas, “Chapel Chromatica,” Highland Park artist Ellen Frances Tuchman has created an oasis of soothing colors and seductive sparkle at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary.

Six acrylic benches, designed by the artist and arranged in the center of the gallery, encourage visitors to sit and stay awhile. The twelve months of the year surround the viewer in an orderly installation of 16 60x40-inch floating painted and beaded panels. A bright, enveloping light emanates from hundreds of jewel-like plastic elements and glass beads painstakingly sewn onto mylar panels of mint green, blushing blue, pink, orange, and ruby.

“I want the viewers to enter the space and feel a hush, a wonderment,” Tuchman says. “It’s all about color. That’s why it’s called ‘Chapel Chromatica.”

Ms. Tuchman was inspired by the Rothko Chapel in Houston and Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze in Vienna.

“The poetic nature of different colors can be soothing, comforting, stimulating. The feeling of walking into a very light space with colors is very much to me like the sugar crystalline Easter eggs, where you’re peeking in, seeing a magical world that’s very safe and beautiful and somehow related to fairy tales and childhood, and you want to stay.”

“Chapel Chromatica,” The McKinney Avenue Contemporary (The MAC), 3120 McKinney. 214-953-1212. Jan. 3-Feb.1. Wed.-Sat. 11-10, Sun. 1-5.
Art Talk with Ellen Tuchman, Jan. 14, 7 p.m. Panel discussion, Jan. 28, 7: 00 p.m.

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