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T.L. Lange

TL Lange (1965-2002) was born in Oil City, Pennsylvania in 1965 and grew up near Washington, D.C. After a childhood imbued with a natural creative impulse, Lange pursued formal training in fine art at Winthrop College, South Carolina. After two years of schooling, Lange realized his greatest education would occur in the presence of artists actively creating for a market, as opposed to the confined realm of the classroom. He found Deljou Art Group and moved to Atlanta. Here, Lange gained much of the knowledge he sought, and in turn imparted wisdom on other artists. His creativity and thought provoking works continue to influence others to this day. After his time in Atlanta, Lange moved to North Carolina, where he maintained his home and atelier until his untimely death at the age of 36.

In addition to the profound impact he left on other artists, he also made his mark with those who have an affinity for fine artwork. Lange was recognized early on in the art community for his startling yet seductive figurative and abstract paintings. His technique of mixing media and color enhanced his brilliant and diverse concepts. To add more drama to the work, Lange often combined additional elements of texture to his paintings on canvas or paper.

Of his artistic process, Lange said that he "begins with a sense of space and a glimpse of how an object can occupy that space. I then break up that space until I reach greater detail. In a sense, I magnify things until their details take on a life of their own and begin to shine. In this way, I've discovered that magnified details can become their own whole entity. The creative force behind my work may come from the mutterings of my psyche or from marks made unintentionally by spills or decay...I create with chaos. It is very simple: we all create our own form of chaos and then choose, over time, to continue or to change. While I am working, it is wonderful to be in 'non-thought mode' where there are no preconditioned rules, a meditative wave that has no time, and where I can forget what I am doing. I derive the compositions from the beauty of chaos in decay, the colors of rusty pipes, and layers of billboard advertisements. Paintings are everywhere. I keep the studio floor littered with photographs, torn paper, and flecks of paint-objects to trip over while looking for something else. I find purpose in the very act of discovering how to make all the elements work together in my space, in my time..."

Lange explained the greatest influences include "the spiritually wrenching Edward Munch, the playfully morose Paul Klee, and the colossal line of Franz Kline." All of Lange's work is characterized by soulful tones executed with a remarkable degree of technical skill. These tones intermingle with text and symbols that create a kind of secret code or mystery: "I use my own personal symbols as well as others borrowed from my surroundings. I use words and text because of their availability and pattern. The words create tension because they cover up other symbols. They also act as confessions, associations, and puns."

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