The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 05, 1976, Page page 7, Image 7

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    daily nebraskan
thursday, february 5, 1976
rfist finis island experiences'
with traditional, surreal styles
) J:
Photo by Mvin Higlay
The traditional blends with the surreal in Hawaiian
born artist Reuben Tarn's mountain and seascapes,
displayed at Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery.
By Charlie Krig
Reuben Tarn describes his paintings as "the marks of
nature, chance marks, drips,' scratches, scorches. Wherever
something has happened to something else and leaves
its mark. It makes the marks of time."
Tarn, whose paintings will be displayed at the Sheldon
Memorial Art Gallery until Feb. 29, was born in Hawaii,
and attributes his art sources to island experiences.
At a Sheldon press conference Tuesday, Tarn said,
"1 like analogies. I can't arrest an image with clean-cut
definitions. . .To an abstract artist I'm neat, to a
traditional artist I'm messy."
His collection of Hawaiian mountain and Maine coast
scenes encompass both traditional and surrealistic styles.
To,accomplish this style combination he said he begins
with the subject's shape and tries to preserve its "basic
structural design." He then shades a two-dimensional
outline of the subject, sometimes using unusual colors.
Although Tarn claims that his work rarely changes, he
admits to experiementing with new colors and
Tarn used the example of a Hawaiian lava flow, one of
his favorite subjects.
"There ar views that tourists very rarely go to see,"
he said. "Tljey ask, 'What is there to see?'. I emphasize
elements of nature such as fault lines, cracks, stratifica
tion and shapes."
"I think the whole purpose of being an artist is to go
beyond what we already know, to further the horizon of
convention," Tarn said. He said that he taught his students
to "look for the beauty in common things, like a dirty
Tarn was an instructor at the Brooklyn Museum Art
School from 1946 to 1974 and acted as a visiting profes
sor at Oregon State University (1966), Haystack (Ore.)
School (1971), and Queens College, City University of
New York (1973).
After quitting teaching two years ago, Tarn said he has
devoted work to his personal art. When a new subject
or technique, interests him, he said he isolates himself
for up to two months to perfect the idea.
He said his ultimate goal, however, is to create a paint
ing with a counterpart in nature that is seen in recog
nizable forms but enhanced abstractly.
loo Ex is iisiy's irdIoinip,S'IGii
Canada's opera troupe
performs at Pershing
Puccini's La Boheme, performed in English by the
Canadian Opera Company, will be presented at 8 p.m.
Friday at Pershing Auditorium by Lincoln Community
Tickets are by season membership only.
Jan Rubes, director of the Canadian Opera Company,
devised rear-screen film projection techniques for this
By Bill Roberts
All The Strange Hours, by Loren Eiseley Charles
Scribner's Sons, New York, $9.95.
Nebraskan Loren Eiseley contradicts himself in his
haunting autobiography, All The Strange Hours. The 68-year-old
scholar, former hobo, poet and essayist looks at
his life and decides it has had little or no purpose. But the
reader must disagree.
True, Eiseley spent his life seeking something perma
nent to believe in, something that always holds true, and
he never found it. But the honesty of his search and the
fact that he made a book of it redeems his life, gives it
dignity, grace and purpose.
Eiseley is a scientist. He demands proof and consisten
cy of explanations, but he can't find a perfect explanation.
Although he thinks Darwin's theory of evolution
answers many questions, it does not tell how life began
from inorganic material: "It is as if matter dreamed and
muttered in its sleep," he writes. "But why, and for what
reason it dreams, there is no evidence."
For Eiseley, a new fact or discovery brings an emotion.
"Always, standing above excavations," writes Eiseley
the archeologist, "I have been both excited about what
the shovel would reveal and disconsolate and stricken at
the sacrilege done to the dead."
Remembers prison break
The method of All The Strange Hours is to take an
event, often a slight incident, and delve into the thoughts
and feelings that accompanied it.
The first public event he remembers is a headline
making prison escape. Three convicts from the Lincoln
penitentiary killed the warden and a guard and then
blasted their way through the front gate with nitroglycerin.
But the warden was cruel, recently had fired a chaplain
who tried to reform prison conditions, and the convicts
escaped into a terrible blizzard that contributed to their
quick recapture. The line between good and evil was not
clear and the young Eiseley sided with the escapees.
"I was already old enough to know one should flee
from the universe " he writes, "but I did not know where
to run."
Recalling a more recent incident, Eiseley tells what
happened while he lectured at a college commencement.
He was nervous, gripping the podium and surrounded by
photographers with "police state" equipment. His mind
returned td his days as a young drifter.
Could have killed
He remembers clinging to the rods of a speeding freight
train as a railroad policeman tried to knock him off. As
they struggled, Eiseley recalls that he had an opportunity
to wrest the company man from the car and throw him to
certain death under the wheels.
He did not do it but he remembers that he wanted to.
In thinking back on the incident, he admits that he still
feels the "red glowing wire of murder" in his brain. This
kind and tolerant man realizes he is capable of killing.
Honesty distinguishes this book. But Eiseley's insis
tence that life comes mysteriously, goes out in a flash
and is not remembered simply does not apply to himself.
"I sometimes think that men and their thoughts are
like jack-o'-lanterns upheld on poles at Halloween," he
writes. "They float and grin awhile before some dark un
answering window, and then, like hollow pumpkins, they
are taken down, dismantled, and cast out."
All The Strange Hours is Eiseley's tenth book. He has
accumulated readers who will not let his thoughts be cast
out. With this autobiography he is sure to garner more
keepers of his special brand of melancholy wisdom.
Union photos
Dan Williams'
idea of reality
Viy pnuiogi apus uic iiiy pciSCAiu per
ceptions of reality. I try to be aware of
how light is capable of intensifying that
reality for me," says Dan Williams, creator
of the photographs now exhibited in the
Nebraska Union Main Lounge.
Williams, assistant professor of art at
Ohio University, has had works exhibited
in group and one-man shows nationally.
He has prints in the James Van Dcr Zee In
stitute and is represented in the Black
Photographers Annual, Vols. I and III.
Williams, born in Brooklyn, N.Y.,
studied painting at Brooklyn College with
nationally known artists Philip Pearlstein
and Ad Reinhardt.
The Union Program Council's Visual
Arts Committee is sponsoring an artist-in-.
residence program with Williams Feb. 9
through 11 in addition to the exhibit.
During his UNL residency, he will parti
cipate in informal sessions at 2:30 P.m. in
the Union Main Lounge and at 6:30 pan.
in the Abel North Lounge Feb. 10.
His illustrated presentation is scheduled
for 8 p.m. Feb. 10 in the Union Small
Auditorium. Williams also will conduct
workshops in the art department on Feb.
Williams' exhibit will be on display unUl
March 5.
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Photo nourtmy of Dan Wlllim