Last Light
Last Light, 2000-01, Oil/Canvas/Panel, 22'"x 30"
. . . "
Nothing is as simple as it may seem in paintings by John Hrehov. In a seductively glowing little painting called "Last Light," for instance, the litter of the forest floor combines with the litter of an irresponsible soft-drink consumer to make an oddly pretty image of green glass and scarlet maple leaves.

The work by Hrehov, of Fort Wayne, Ind., pulls multiple meaning from the composition. The empty bottle of Fresca that lies among nature's debris has a Monarch butterfly perched on it.

One of 14 drawings and paintings on view at Louisville's Yvonne Rapp Gallery through Wednesday, "Last Light" reflects the bittersweet sadness of fall. This first simple layer of meaning is quickly followed by other insights. The work is about the last light of today a carpe diem sort of image but also about the closing of a season and the need to move on. A butterfly's vacation is over. Monarchs migrate to Mexico in winter.

Or, perhaps, the work suggests, it will be the last light of human occupation if we don't clean up our act and take care of the Earth. That one can draw so many conclusions from maple leaves and a soda-pop bottle proves the point that a painting is constructed long before it is painted.

The magic of Hrehov's realism has little to do with serendipity or self-indulgent playing in paint. It is all about the careful setup of a still life, the idea, which then is sketched and later enlarged on canvas for a painting.". . .
There's a Message in Hrehov's Medium
Courier-Journal Critic
© The Courier-Journal
Louisville, Kentucky
Sunday, June 15, 1997

  ©2004 John Hrehov
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