Ramblings of Anna Pratt, Twin Cities journalist


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Another art piece in this month’s Twin Cities Luxury and Fashion magazine (below).


Terrence Payne’s introspective works describe people’s clumsy actions and earnest beauty

By Anna Pratt

Local artist Terrence Payne presents “archetypes” of people that are coupled with telling objects and text throughout his beautiful oil-pastel drawings, silkscreen prints and textile designs.

His fanciful works are on display this month as part of the exhibit, “Regarding the Cartographer’s Germ,” along with artist Andy Ducett at Minneapolis’s Rosalux Gallery, which Payne helped found seven years ago to boost emerging and mid-career artists.

Payne’s striking pieces boast a strong narrative quality, synthesizing fleeting yet universal experiences. Forms are organic and refined, though not necessarily true to life. For example, his skillfully rendered people have bug eyes and over-sized heads (emphasizing the psychological), while their proportions are warped. Sometimes faces are obscured. Others may be repeated.

Figures tend to float against lightly hued backdrops alongside various artifacts, some of which are nonsensical. A confluence of delicate and bold lines suggests movement; people appear to be evolving before the viewer’s eyes. These elements come together to “bring into focus the clumsy actions and earnest beauty of humanity,” according to his online statement.

That metamorphosis is at work in the large-scale oil-pastel drawing, “This is the part of the movie where things start to get worse,” which is reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s film, “The Birds.” A young woman who is poised alongside a sinewy red branch is “running away from her own history,” Payne explains.

Viewers don’t know the nature of that history, but can certainly empathize with the woman’s impulse.

Similarly, “It May Always Be a Choice Between One Other or the Utter” is a Renaissance-like triptych that pictures a proper-looking lady who is wearing a pearl necklace, black dress and a halo made of twigs. She looks ‘put-out,’ so it’s appropriate that “Other” and “Utter” are spelled out across the form of two udders on panels on both sides of her. Altogether, Payne says, “It’s a reference to self-righteousness.”

In many of his pieces, complementary colors and graceful lines and shapes throughout make the bizarre seem palatable. A pattern showing a devil silhouette that runs repeatedly through one textile design, for instance, is pretty, not condemning, while the fact that bucks and stags pop up at random seems logical (absurdly so).

That’s what stands out about Payne’s work — not just the whimsical forms and apt use of color — but the way he allows his imagination to stretch the viewer. Payne gets his material from those around him. “I’m interested in what’s going on in people’s lives … If I could live forever, it would only be to see how the story ends,” he says.

“Regarding the Cartographer’s Germ,” is on view through April at Minneapolis’ Rosalux Gallery. For more information on the artist, check out


Written by annapratt

April 6, 2009 at 11:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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