Saturday, November 26, 2011

Co|So Exhibitions | Ted Polomis: Recent Works

With his fourteen oil-on-panel compositions, Ted Polomis lines the walls of Co|So’s intimate Red Room Gallery with his insightful still-life depictions. Polomis’ subjects arrange themselves into three movements: a nod to traditional still-life paintings, striking portraits of singular objects, and animated paintings of nostalgic play-things, whose witty titles surprise the viewer as much as the pieces themselves.  

White Vespa
oil on panel
22 x 32
Polomis’ traditional still-life suite opens with a triad of crisp compositions in a, primarily, blue palette. In Teapot, Little Blue Inkwell, and Touch of Orange, Polomis incorporates cobalt blue glass bottles and vases, accompanied by pristine painted china. Punches of color finagle their way into the composition by way of a crisp slice of lemon here, or rotund orange there. All the objects sit patiently and classically among each other, serenely situated upon the cloth-draped table. White Pail with Apple and Three Gourds are painted with equally exquisite artistry, yet embody a heartier and more inviting presence with warmer colors and associations with harvest-time foods. 

Little Blue Inkwell
oil on panel
8 x 10
 A marked intensity of study presents itself with Polomis’ Rainbird, Acoma Vase, Nautilus, and the signature White Vespa. Instead of being placed in a well lit and bright, open space, these somber objects reside in a pool of focused light crowded by the darkness of an undefinable space. Nautilus seems to be a painterly parallel to Edward Weston’s hypersensitivity to documentation of nature's organic shapes. Each of these portraits imbue its sitter with a well-defined and regal sense of identity. 

Acoma Vase
oil on panel
24 x 24
The culminating movement of Polomis’ “Recent Works” exhibition reveals itself in his earnestly painted tableau of playful and characteristically nostalgic toys. Each set of players in Top Cop, Bureau Quacks, Flight Lines, Gee Bee, and Sky of Blue and C of Green sit atop a whitewashed wooden cabinet or shelves. There is an evidence of cared-for wear in both the objects and their environments – slight dents in the toy’s metal or chipped paint off the wood. The positioning and interaction of the objects presents each of them with pride and certainty of their role as a toy, whether it be a model airplane waiting to take flight, a cop keeping a watchful eye on a precariously positioned spinning top, ducks parading about in a row (cunningly titled Bureau Quacks,) or a toy yellow submarine containing the personages of John, Paul, George, & Ringo. These images elicit a “Toy Story” type of fascination – have we stumbled upon the playthings frozen mid-action? Or did they arrange themselves, waiting to be found? Looking up at the playthings, as if peeking up to a high shelf our hands can’t quite reach, makes curious youngsters of us all. 

Sky of Blue and C of Green
oil on panel
12 x 21
 After studying art first at Thayer Academy, then at The Rhode Island School of Design, Polomis studied the works of the Great Masters throughout Italy and thirteen other countries, before returning to New England, where he has worked as an animator and illustrator. In 1992, he and his wife founded a graphics and multimedia company, Active Image. Polomis continues to paint in his home studio in Massachusetts. For further information, visit

“Recent Works” will be on display at the Copley Society of Art thru December 24, 2011! To view the full online exhibit, visit

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