Leigh Steinberg Presentation


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Mixed Media Collages by Phyllis Paxton

 Phyllis Paxton-SpielbergPhyllis Paxton-Smitet

Newport Beach City Arts Commission presents an exhibition by mixed media artist Phyllis Paxton. While living in Paris in the 1980’s, Paxton was working in watercolors and acrylics, showing her works through group shows. While this was interesting, her graphic arts background and work with ad agencies had kindled a desire to blend traditional art with the calls to action and emotional appeals of advertising posters. As Paxton explored Paris, she became fascinated with these peeling posters on the corners and walls of the city. Their artists were free from restricted academic boundaries and could explore colors and themes chosen in the hope of attracting viewers. Weather had worn them into peeling layers, exposing fragments advertising everything from nightclubs and theater to sports. They seemed almost to breed in layers that made Paxton feel like an archeologist as she peeled off strips and fragments to use in her paintings. After photographing the walls, the artist took pieces of paper to her studio where she soaked and separated them, revealing previously hidden layers that sparked fresh directions for her.

Traveling through Europe added more variations in colors and styles. At Phyllis Paxton’s studio, she embodied them in collages, adding emphasis with fragments of slogans or brand names in varied typographies. Paxton uses fragments and sometimes larger sections that she blends with her own acrylics to form a coherent hybrid of traditional art with modern graphics, Paxton’s intent was to bring to the viewer a sense of the emotions that the posters had tried over the seasons to stir in passersby’s. Her love of Paris and other great cities of Europe, combined with her graphic arts experiences, have led her to develop a unique painting style. The layers of Phyllis Paxton’s paintings are like the complex layers of these historic cities. As layers are peeled away, these remnants from urban landscapes provide fresh appeals to our senses.

The exhibition will be on display during library operating hours, January 8 through March 2, 2018.

Shown above: “Septembre 14” and “Smitet” by Phyllis Paxton


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