An extensive review of BFA Illustration and Cartooning Department Chair Thomas Woodruff’s recent exhibition at PPOW Gallery, “The Four Temperament Variations,” is featured in the May 2012 issue of American Artist. “Woodruff paints worlds drenched in phantasmagorical color, richly layered with glittering detail and possessed of their own eerie logic,” writes artist and SVA faculty member John A. Parks in the magazine.
Parks notes that Woodruff’s series is carefully organized into four distinct groups of works, each devoted to one of the four temperaments, with a connection made through color—sanguine is represented by red, the choleric by yellow, the melancholic by black, and the phlegmatic by white. “With his fluency in pictorial strategies and a knowledge of art history that encompasses Symbolism, Surrealism, and Mannerism, the artist brings a highly original take on this subject matter,” writes Parks.
The author also praises Woodruff’s mastery of acrylic paint, although Woodruff himself declines to discuss his technique. “I’d really prefer just to have the viewer see it as magic,” he says. Whatever it is, Parks is impressed by the result. “Woodruff’s intensely atmospheric, disorienting, magical, and fascinating realm utterly seduces but nonetheless rewards us with some profound insights into ourselves and the very real world we inhabit. The artist returns us from his dream stimulated, challenged, energized and thoroughly pleasured—no small accomplishment.”
For the full article, pick up the May issue of American Artist.