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Spotlight on 37th All Florida Exhibit Best in Show ‘White Shirt’


On March 3, Juror Grace Gdaniec chose an oil painting by Dunedin perceptual painter Anders Fernach titled White Shirt as the 37th Annual All Florida Exhibit’s Best in Show. Although he paints a wide range of subject matter, Fernach often chooses to paint the everyday, the familiar, the mundane. “I find there is beauty in the every-day that is all too often overlooked,” says Fernach, who makes slow, quiet paintings in a fast, loud world.

“My paintings also tend to have a quiet calmness about them,” Fornach adds.

If you’re new to the term, perceptual art refers to works that challenge the viewer’s perception in both an immediate physical sense as well as a philosophical one. Often, it invokes a sensory experience that is influenced by the viewer’s physical position in the space in relation to the artwork. In other words, as the viewer changes their point of reference, the artwork will change in appearance. It looks very different from one angle than it does from another.

While this is perhaps easier to appreciate with respect to 3-dimensional works and sculptural installations like those created by New York artist Michael Murphy, it can also apply to two-dimensional pieces.

In the latter context, the viewer’s experience of the work will change not as they move from side to side across the composition, but rather depending upon their internal psychological or philosophical frame of reference. For example, a person will experience Fornach’s White Shirt differently depending upon whether they view the painting when they are feeling stressed due to deadlines or business pressures or they are calm and serene.

Interestingly, Juror Grace Gdaniec first took in White Shirt as she was working her way through the 720 submissions that the Alliance received for this year’s All Florida Show. It didn’t matter that she had hours of evaluation staring her in the face. White Shirt jumped out at here from the first moment she saw it on her computer monitor.

“Maybe I’m a sucker for painting because I have an oil painting background myself, but I just love the simplicity, and the artist did share that they love to capture that mundane every-day,” Gdaniec says of the piece. “And there’s just something very peaceful about it,” she notes, echoing the artist.

You too can experience White Shirt during the Alliance for the Arts’ 37th Annual All Florida Exhibit.

It is on view in the main gallery now through April 1.

All that’s required is for you to supply your own, unique individual perspective.

March 8, 2023.

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