Art: Dick Waller

What happens when a serious musician gives serious attention to making paintings? The exhibition Contrasts now at Malton Gallery shows the results of clarinetist Dick Waller's picking up a paint

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click to enlarge Contrasts XCII by Dick Waller
Contrasts XCII by Dick Waller

What happens when a serious musician gives serious attention to making paintings? The exhibition Contrasts now at Malton Gallery shows the results of clarinetist Dick Waller's picking up a paint brush instead of his instrument and the works are — it seems trite to say but is true — lyrical. Waller, for 34 years the principal clarinetist for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, began exploring the making of visual art midway through his musical career and has continued to do so now that he is retired. He says his abstract works are “free-association painting” and that he often listens to music while he paints. The Malton show is a collection of recent works, titled by Roman numerals, like opus numbers, and the title Contrasts is lifted from a Bartok Trio composition of the same name. You can take the musician out of the orchestra, but you can't take the music out of the musician. The exhibition is on view 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday through Dec. 14.

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