October 14, 2012

Art Review: Whalley puts twos and twos together


(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

John Whalley’s “Devotional Harmonist,” is among his 20 pieces in the show “World of Wonders” at Portland’s Greenhut Galleries.

Courtesy photos

click image to enlarge

John Whalley’s “Testament” is among his 20 pieces in the show “World of Wonders” at Portland’s Greenhut Galleries.

Additional Photos Below




WHERE: Greenhut Galleries, 146 Middle St., Portland

WHEN: Through Oct. 27

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

INFO: 772-2693; www.greenhutgalleries.com

Whalley's work isn't narrative or even nostalgic. Rather, it's about the fascination with how we invest objects with ideas and histories.

My favorite piece in "World of Wonders" is "Nation's Business." It depicts venerable keys and seasoned coins on a well-worn, over-stuffed envelope dated 1936 (and backed up by the cancelled 3-cent postage), all sitting on a hand-marked accounts ledger.

It's a drawing of awesome skill. But the content here is uncannily directed at us; a time of economic crisis and war blossoming across the ocean. This is us at another time -- concerns about the economy, security and the relationship of the government and business. It's an extraordinary image.

Once again, Whalley includes a box of the artifacts in his pictures. I wish he wouldn't, but it is fun, and reveals both his incomparable skill and the extent to which he departs from the objects he depicts.

The 20 works in "World of Wonders" represent an extraordinary feat. Whalley is a great artist, and this is a fascinating and mind-bogglingly impressive show. It's also sweet, fun, smart and immensely enjoyable.

Freelance writer Daniel Kany is an art historian who lives in Cumberland. He can be contacted at:



Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

John Whalley’s "Nation’s Business” is among his 20 pieces in the show “World of Wonders” at Port land’s Greenhut Galleries.


Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)



More PPH Blogs