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story.lead_photo.caption This polymer gravure etching by Brad Cushman is titled Though False But Intended True I.

Last year Brad Cushman's art was the subject of a retrospective of sorts, "Shadows in the Water," at the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock. The show mixed new works tied to poetry, music and reflections in water with selected pieces from throughout his career as an artist, including his 2002 Grand Award-winning work from "The Delta Exhibition" at the Arkansas Arts Center.

Photo by Courtesy of Boswell Mourot Fine Art
Brad Cushman’s Rivercrest I (Looking Northwest) is a graphite, acrylic and oil on board. It hangs at Boswell Mourot Fine Art.

The shadows and reflections are back in his new exhibit "Though False Intended True" at Boswell Mourot Fine Art in Little Rock. It hangs through July 1.

Cushman, gallery director and curator at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, says the new works in this exhibit are focused on landscapes, trees and their reflections, weathered surfaces and textures. The show includes paintings, polymer gravure etchings and drawings.

The palette used in his new works -- particularly the acrylic and oil landscapes -- is more vivid. Reds, blues and purples abound in landscapes, such as the lovely oil, acrylic and graphite on board Rivercrest II (Looking North), Rivercrest and Rivercrest in Red. Two polymer gravure etchings, Though False But Intended True I and II are exquisite treescapes with subtle coloration and a sense of mystery and magic. Moonlight uses shades of blue and black to explore shadows, light and texture, as it radiates a charged, intriguing presence.

Cushman describes his creative process as "not always about the local color of something, it's the expression of color and texture. That's something I learned from [Vincent] van Gogh and [Piet] Mondrian."

The title of his current exhibit draws on the same poem that inspired Cushman last year: 17th-century English poet and minister Thomas Traherne's "Shadows in the Water." Many of the tree etchings, he says, came from contemplating that poem.

"There is a line 'though false, intending true' that made me think of a reflection, which can look like the real thing but it isn't," Cushman says. "Image making is storytelling -- a visual fiction."

A couple of paintings have political themes, including a clever variation on the Twister game.

There's a hint of retrospective here, with three fine graphite drawings from 1992 (particularly Peasant Woman) that are inspired by van Gogh, and his bottle rack-inspired polymer gravure etchings Masculine and Feminine.

The exhibit is rounded out with works from the "Shadows" show, including the graphite, acrylic and oil on canvas painting Fireworks in Sitges, which was created from photos the artist took while visiting the Spanish city near Barcelona. His vibrant work puts the viewer in the middle of a Spanish street fair, with fireworks exploding all around.

Cushman's contemplation of Traherne's poetry has moved his new work in a thoughtful direction that invites a viewer to reflect on beauty, the nature of art and nature itself -- just as the artist has done.

Brad Cushman: "Though False Intended True," through July 1. Boswell Mourot Fine Art, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock. Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Info: (501) 664-0030.

Style on 06/20/2017

Print Headline: UALR's Cushman creates 'visual fiction' in new exhibit

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