Reviews: Albala’s “Acceptance” Exhibit Takes a “Dark Turn” and “Transcends Painterly Realism”



Mitchell Albala’s Acceptance and John McCormick’s Visitation remain on exhibit at Lisa Harris Gallery through March 31, 2014.

Video of Artist’s Talk: The Acceptance Series as Commentary on Human Consciousness

See complete series with  exhibition statement

Above: Mitchell Albala, Study, Apparition, oil on paper, 5.5 x 4.5.

Albala has turned realist powers of observation into imaginary scenes of real events. He has transcended painterly realism and suggests its possible fate in the present century. – Matthew Kangas, Visual Art Source

Landscape painter Mitchell Albala’s latest collection of works takes a dark turn. While still drawing heavily on soft, semi-abstract horizons, these paintings focus on historical human catastrophes … It’s beauty to ease the horror, and horror to make the beauty unsettling. – SeattleMet

There’s nothing bucolic about the landscapes in painter Mitchell Albala’s latest solo show Acceptance. – City Arts

There seems to be something very courageous about these paintings … in making the paintings in the first place, dealing with such pain and sorrow and death and destruction, and then also showing us that there’s beauty within all that. To be alive on this earth is to be forever faced with the shocking truth that there is beauty within catastrophe. You have shown us that in these paintings, and I, for one, am grateful for the reminder. – Margaret Davidson, author of Contemporary Drawing: Key Concepts and Techniques

Mitchell Albala creates startling juxtapositions in his work, pairing bright tonalities with catastrophic subject matter. – Fine Art Connoisseur

The Acceptance Series as Commentary on Human Consciousness

Trouble seeing the video here? Watch it at YouTube.pacer

Landscape painter Mitchell Albala posing with his painting "Insanity."

Mitchell Albala, Insanity, oil on canvas, 18 x 36. The first atomic tests conducted after WWII took place at Bikini Atoll in 1946. Between 1946 and 1992 the U.S. would test an addtional 1000 nuclear devices. The Soviet Union, between 1949 and 1990, tested 715. Including France, England, China, India, and Pakistan, over 2000 nuclear devices have been detonated on earth.

Lisa Harris and landscape painter Mitchell Albala.

With Lisa Harris.

Painter Patrick Howe and landscape painters Mitchell Albala.

With fellow painter Patrick Howe, author of The Awakening Artist: Madness and Spiritual Awakening in Art. Reviewed at this blog.

Additional Resources

Video: The “Acceptance” Series as Commentary on Human Consciousness

“Acceptance” Series on Exhibit at Lisa Harris Gallery

Book Review: Patrick Howe’s The Awakening Artist: Madness and Spiritual Awakening in Art


About Author

Mitchell Albala is a Seattle-based painter known for his semi-abstract and atmospheric landscapes. His book, "Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice," is a national bestseller with nearly 40,000 copies in print. Mitchell is also a popular workshop instructor at Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, Pacific Northwest Art School, and Daniel Smith Artist’s Materials. He led painting adventures in Italy in 2015 with Arte Umbria and in 2017 with Winslow Art Center. He has lectured on Impressionism and landscape painting at the Seattle Art Museum and written for International Artist and Artists & Illustrators magazines. His popular painting blog, which serves as a companion to his book, was awarded #12 on’s Top 75 Painting Blogs.

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