Sunday, November 12, 2006

if ART Gallery Opening

Hand Out, 2006
Oil pastel on canvas
16 x 13 in
$ 550


if ART Gallery

1223 Lincoln St.
Columbia, S.C.

Gallery Hours:
Most days, except Sunday, from 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
& by appointment (call 803-238-2351)

For more information, contact Wim Roefs at if ART
(803) 238-2351 –

On Nov. 10, 2006, if ART, International Fine Art Services, opened if ART Gallery. The gallery is at 1223 Lincoln St., Columbia, S.C., in the Vista district, across from the Blue Marlin restaurant. For more information, contact if ART’s Wim Roefs at (803) 238-2351 or

If ART Gallery carries the work of South Carolina artists Leo Twiggs, Mike Williams, Carl Blair, Tom Stanley, Virginia Scotchie, Tonya Gregg, Peter Lenzo, Jeff Donovan, David Yaghjian, Anna Redwine, John Monteith, Christine Tedesco, Brown Thornton, Paul Yanko, Laura Spong, Steven Chapp, Katie Walker, Edward Rice, Aaron Baldwin, Bill Jackson, Herb Parker, Dorothy Netherland, Eric Miller, Mary Gilkerson, Matt Overend, Kim Keats and Phil Garrett. The gallery also carries work by Dutch artist Kees Salentijn, German artists Reiner Mahrlein, Roland Albert and Klaus Hartmann, and Washington Color Field painter Paul Reed.

The gallery also carries a wide selection of unframed and lithographs, silkscreens, etchings and other limited edition prints by such nationally and even internationally prominent artists such as Karel Appel, Richard Hunt, Bram van Velde, John Hultberg, Sam Middleton, Benny Andrews, Hannes Postma, Corneille, Lucebert and Alvin Hollingsworth.

Since March 2005, if ART, International Fine Art Services, has organized commercial gallery exhibitions in Columbia, mostly at Vista Studios/Gallery 80808. In addition to presenting gallery artists and special exhibitions at if ART Gallery, if ART will continue to organize exhibitions at Vista Studios/Gallery 80808. The company also provides curatorial and exhibition design services. 

Most recently, in September, if ART was hired by the Technical College of the Lowcountry to install dozens of art works at the college’s new building in Bluffton, S.C. Earlier this year, if ART installed two exhibitions of work from the South Carolina state art collection at the Sumter (S.C.) Gallery of Art. The if ART production “South Carolina Birds: A Fine Art Exhibition,” curated by company owner Wim Roefs, is at the Pickens County Museum of Art & History until Nov. 11, 2006. The exhibition opened in 2004 at the Sumter Gallery of Art and traveled to the Burroughs & Chapin Museum in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and the City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Charleston, S.C. Roefs wrote the essay for the exhibition catalogue, which he also edited.

In 2005, Roefs curated exhibitions of work by Leo Twiggs and Carl Blair for the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County in Camden, S.C. He also curated an exhibition of paintings by Marcelo Novo for HoFP Gallery in Columbia, S.C., and wrote the essay for the exhibition catalogue. Earlier this year, Roefs curated an exhibition with work by Dutch artist Kees Salentijn for the Center of the Arts in Rock Hill, S.C. In May, he curated an indoors/outdoors sculpture exhibition for the city of Dillon, S.C. 

Roefs contributed an essay to the catalogue for the exhibition “A Collection for Margaret: The Personal and Private Art of Carl Blair.” The exhibition is on view at Hampton III Gallery in Greenville until Nov. 11. Roefs teaches a course in African-American art at the University of South Carolina.

Since March 2005, if ART has published eight small exhibition catalogues. The catalogues featured short essays by Roefs about Aaron Baldwin, Mike Williams, Anna Redwine, Tom Stanley, Carl Blair, Janet Orselli, Matt Overend, Laura Spong, Leo Twiggs, Jeff Donovan, John Monteith, Dorothy Netherland, Herb Parker and Phil Garrett and Mary Gilkerson and the process of making monotypes.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Essay: Jeff Donovan

Man Considering Bird, 2006
Oil pastel on canvas
12 x 12 in

Jeff Donovan
by Wim Roefs

Jeff Donovan speaks of his art mostly on a technical and formal level rather than in terms of content. “My images,” he says, “evolve from a process of staining a surface with a mottled tone in which suggestions of form and space are discerned. Inevitably, the forms revealed are figures, owing to a prejudice on my part for that particular subject.

“Once the subject and the broad compositional framework have been determined, my concerns are largely with formal elements – movement, balance, color and tonal harmony or dissonance, texture, etcetera.”

The figure marks Donovan’s art, both in his paintings and ceramic sculptures. When a few years ago he began to create ceramic sculpture, Donovan to a large extent used the figures in his paintings as the impetus for his clay pieces. Sometimes the clay figures are a close translation of one painted earlier, but always clay and painted figures display similar characteristics. 

Those figures and the context they find themselves in are characterized by a wicked combination of wackiness and humor, solitude and lonesomeness, naturalist rendering and physiological incorrectness, cartoon-like and pensive qualities, expressiveness and disconnectedness, activity and stillness. Many a situation in Donovan’s paintings has a Surrealist or Magic-Realist twist. And with his figures it’s often hard to tell whether they are deeply depressed or perfectly at peace with themselves and the world. 

Three Monks hang out, cool-dude-like, at least one of them having a smoke. The Kneeling Woman is defined as much by her elongated neck bowing forward with her hair hanging down than by the fact that she’s on one knee. The guy in Hanging Out might just as easily be resting contently after a swim or wondering in desperation what to do with the rest of his life. With the Man Considering Bird, it’s not entirely clear whether the man is holding his chin contemplatively with his left hand or holding his entire, possibly detached head to keep it somewhat in place. In Striped Ties Are In, a big foot runs into a thin ankle/neck that supports a small human head; a yellow tie with red stripes hangs around the ankle/neck.

“My methodology dictates a somewhat inventive anatomy,” Donovan says, “making the figures less representational and more reflective of psychological and emotional states of being. My intent is for the final image to first register with the viewer on an emotional/intuitive level before engaging them intellectually. 

What his figures’ “psychological and emotional states” might be is a question that goes unanswered. “I’ll let you know when I come up with something.”

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Humans: October 6-17, 2006

if ART, International Fine Art Services
presents at
Gallery 80808/Vista Studios
808 Lady St., Columbia, S.C.

H u m a n s

Oct. 6 – 17, 2006

Artists’ Reception:
Friday, Oct. 6, 5 – 10 p.m.

Opening Hours:
Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.
Weekdays, noon – 7 p.m. and by appointment

For more information, contact Wim Roefs at if ART:
(803) 238-2351 –

For its October exhibition at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, if ART, International Fine Art Services, will present “Humans,” an exhibition with work by Jeff Donovan, John Monteith, Dorothy Netherland and Herb Parker. The opening reception for the exhibition is Oct. 6, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. Opening hours are Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sundays, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.; and weekdays 12:00 – 7:00 p.m. or by appointment. For more information or to make an appointment, contact if ART’s Wim Roefs at (803) 238-2351 or

Donovan and Monteith are both from Columbia; Netherland and Parker are from Charleston. All the art in the exhibition will have a human presence in the form of figurative elements.

“That doesn’t mean it’s a figurative show,” if ART owner Wim Roefs said. “It’s just that in different ways, the human factor shows up in this work. Monteith’s work consists of portraits but with a twist. Donovan’s pieces all have the human figure in them some way or another. Netherland paints symbolic compilations in which portrait and figures, often inspired by 1950s magazines, play an important role. And Parker’s sculptures are about humanity and typically include heads and the human body or part thereof.”

Donovan will be showing paintings and ceramic works. Monteith’s oil paintings are on thin but solid plastic sheets. Netherland’s paintings are on glass. Parker’s pieces will be mixed-media works.