A Consuming Fire
Paintings by Eric Anderson and Luke Whitlatch
Keystone Gallery, Los Angeles
March 16 – 24, 2019
Opening Reception Saturday March 16 6-9pm
A Consuming Fire presents the visions of two seekers approaching one another from opposite ends of the eternal ontological tightrope strung between chaos and order, the line of meaning stretched tight across eternity.
Anderson’s paintings tightly render ancient Biblical narratives, referencing the highly structured symbolic systems of Byzantine iconography, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox theology, and even the archetypal forms of comic book illustration. Whitlatch’s work, on the other hand, juts obliquely out of some luminous swamp of generative primordial fecundity, relics of aeons now obscured behind the veils of time, whispering hints of rituals terrifying and transcendent.
However, digging beneath the obvious surface differences, the viewer can uncover a shared teleological aim in the work of these two painters. Ultimately these pieces, which appear so unlike at first, seek to orient us toward questions of ultimate truth, albeit using very different vocabularies. Both Whitlatch and Anderson are, in effect, constructing vessels for the sublime.
In light of that understanding, perhaps the tension between the work of these two artists can serve as a kind of focusing mechanism, and we as viewers can peer with them through Leonard Cohen’s famous crack in everything — that crack through which the light gets in.
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.
— Hebrews 12:28–29