Another work day begins at home. I’ve created a place to focus and noticed this morning that greens and blues are the predominant colors in my space. The green bowl holds freshly cut sage from an overgrown side garden. Here it represents an honored place as a reminder that we are all tied to nature.
The small painting is by Penny Dell, featuring a collage of cubes created from the safety patterns seen on envelopes. Each cube is edged with gold encaustic paint, making the stacked cubes more precious.
Next to that is a jar created by Alexis Feldheim. This work has similar connections with the patterns Penny Dell uses – Alexis used her series of photographs and transferred the images onto the ceramic vessel. Having these things around me while I work reminds me how fortunate I am to be surrounded by a community of artists.
The Lockwood Gallery is known for mounting concept driven group shows featuring the work of exceptional Hudson Valley regional artists. During June, gallery proprietor and curator Alan Goolman invited artist Carol Struve to co-curate an exhibit, “Wall Flowers,” featuring six painters who are inspired by nature. The curators selected a body of work from each of the artists allowing viewers to appreciate each artists’ interpretation of the theme.
The front gallery features Carol Stuve’s lively monoprints filling the gallery with their exuberant colors and transparent layering of flower and leaf shapes. Struve commented, “While tending or walking about my gardens I witness colorful blossoms illuminated by the radiant morning light, dancing about in the gentle breeze.” Using these memories of her garden, Struve returns to her studio to capture the essence of color and light that are evident in her monoprints.
Joy Taylor also explores the natural world through her art and this exhibit includes paintings that suggest a narrative about the flowers she portrays. In one series, Taylor places the flower in a vessel; each painting describes an other-worldly flower as still-life with a curtain painted behind each vase. The work brings to mind the 70’s Hard-edge painters like Al Held and Ellsworth Kelly, however, Taylor’s style is unmistakably her own.
Kelly Schnurr exhibits 8 diminutive paintings with imagery that could also be successful on a grander scale. Schnurr is also inspired by the garden, citing that “a trail of sage highlighted in chartreuse, pops of vermilion, cornflower accents, and sprinkles of white lace ignites something inside of me.” The gouache paintings on paper exemplify the colors of the garden through gestural shapes and patterns.
Gabe Brown exhibits ten sumptuous paintings on paper. Brown’s work contains layers of water color and gouache which she embellishes with Prismacolor Pencils. The paintings are filled with references to the ordinary world that we see every day, however, Brown has teased apart each image, color, and shape and reorganized them in a way that creates meaning to her.
Don’t miss the back gallery filled with the series of what at first appears to be traditional paintings by Thomas Sarrantonio. Upon closer examination, viewers will see these luscious paintings of the grasses, flowers, and fields of spring are also a way to immerse yourself into nature’s beauty and detach for a few moments of bliss.
Sharing the back gallery are the magical ‘wall flowers’ created by Beth Humphrey, who provided this comment about her work: “I think about cycles in nature, gentle and violent forces at a moment of change and the shape of things at moments of transformation.” These whimsical paper creations are just what everyone needs dancing on their walls. Humphrey created these works by layering colors and embellishing with patterns, which the artist then cuts out into imaginative creatures. Humphrey’s wall flowers are displayed salon style on the entire wall and each creation has its own color, form and personality. Inviting one of these artworks into your space could bring the magic you’ve been seeking.
Another work day begins at home. I’ve created a place to focus and noticed this morning that greens and blues are the predominant colors in my space. The green bowl holds freshly cut sage from an overgrown side garden. Here it represents an honored place as a reminder that we are all tied to nature. … Continue reading “The art of patterns”
The Lockwood Gallery is known for mounting concept driven group shows featuring the work of exceptional Hudson Valley regional artists. During June, gallery proprietor and curator Alan Goolman invited artist Carol Struve to co-curate an exhibit, “Wall Flowers,” featuring six painters who are inspired by nature. The curators selected a body of work from each … Continue reading “The Art of Wall Flowers”
The Hudson River Valley region is fortunate to have landmarks designed by notables such as Calvert Vaux, Andrew Jackson Downing, Frederick Clarke Withers and Frederick Law Olmsted. Many world-renowned landmarks came out of partnerships between these 19th century architects and landscape designers that set the style and fashion for America’s grand places. Today we can … Continue reading “The Art of Architecture”
Jan Sawka was a world renowned artist with artwork held in collections of 60 museums. Originally from Poland, his life took on unexpected direction when he was exiled from his country during the Cold War. He landed in New York and eventually made his home in High Falls, where he continued to make art from 1985 until his death in 2012.
Currently, the Dorsky Museum has a one-person thematic exhibit of Sawka’s work, The Place of Memory (The Memory of Place), curated by the artists’ daughter, Hanna Maria Sawka and Dr. Frank Boyer. The artworks clearly show Sawka’s love for his new country and especially the Hudson Valley. This is seen in the large four-panel painting depicting the Ashokan Reservoir, a place that reminded Sawka of his home country. Hanna Sawka, the artist’s daughter, commented: “This was a favorite place for my parents to take walks. The Hudson Valley was a place tied to my father’s memories.”
Sawka, his wife and daughter would travel for summer vacations to Asbury, New Jersey. Sawka felt the urban decline of Asbury Park reminded him of the conditions in Soviet-dominated Poland. The painting, “Asbury Notebook,” contains a multitude of small sketches and paintings that describe one detail about the place. Together, the images create a symphony of visuals.
An entire gallery space is devoted to Sawka’s series, “Post-Cards,” which includes 36 drypoint prints of places around the world that were meaningful to the artist. What is especially exciting about this exhibit is a recent discovery of a letter from Sawka to Elena Millie, who was the Fine Prints Curator at the Library of Congress, where he described the inspiration and memories that he associated for each print in the “Post-Cards” series. Visitors will find these descriptions available in the gallery to guide their exploration.
Each of the artworks was created using drypoint, which is a scratching tool to create line on thick sheets of Plexiglas. Hanna Sawka provided this memory of visiting her father’s studio: “The persistent sound of a steel needle scratching Plexiglas is a part of my earliest childhood, it was a sound that I would hear well into adulthood.”
Artists scribe lines into the Plexiglas to create the imagery for a finished print. Lines that are deep and thick will print darker when put through the printing press. Hanna Sawka explained, “The length and the rhythm of the scratches would change with the length of the lines or hatchings. It was not a quiet scratch, but a determined, loud sound as my father scratched hard to create lines deep enough to hold ink for the printing process.” The exhibit includes a glass vitrine that contains two Plexiglas plates for the printing process as well as Jan Sawka’s drypoint scribing tool.
This article was originally published in the Hudson Valley News Weekend, February 26, 2020
Symposium: Jan Sawka: The Place of Memory (The Memory of Place): A two-day symposium co-hosted by The Dorsky Museum and The Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City including panels of scholars who will help illuminate aspects of Jan Sawka’s practice, his biography, and the social and historic context of his art. Speakers will include Peter Schwenger, Tom Wolf, Beth Wilson, the exhibition curators and others.
YouTube video exhibition views of Jan Sawka: The Place of Memory (The Memory of Place) Curated by Hanna Maria Sawka and Dr. Frank Boyer at The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art.
The Lockwood Gallery is one of the latest galleries to the Hudson River art scene and they finish off the year with a flourish with their exhibit In Pursuit of Color. Michael Lockwood, owner of The Lockwood Gallery and curator Alan Goolman organized the exhibit that includes 24 of the Mid-Hudson region’s extraordinary visual artists. Visitors can explore the smaller galleries organized around colors that showcase a variety of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and mixed media.
Andrew Lyght’s artwork, Painting Structures 645C, is prominently situated in the first gallery. Lyght created the three-dimensional piece with red oak and plywood, building negative and positive spaces that were informed by his observations of built structures during his early life in Guyana. The piece is embellished with drawings that may remind viewers of the Peruvian Nazca Lines. In the same gallery Stephen Pusey’s lively abstract painting, Nexus, is executed with colorful lines that dance on a rhodamine red background.
Joseph Conrad-Ferm’s painting, Cornu, was inspired by music. The artist stated, “My mood picks the music that drives my spirit in the studio: Monk, Coltrane, Davis, Parker, and others were in the studio with me.”
Congruence by Stephen Niccolls
In the same gallery space, see three of Stephen Niccolls’ exquisite paintings including Congruence, where the artist has created an abstract composition that quivers with energy using color and design.
David Provan’s petite sculpture, Primary Structure, is big on presence. The sculpture is created from rods painted the three primary colors; yellow, red, and blue, that crisscross forming interactions with the colors. Provan also exhibits Trance Stance, a painting with color gradations that suggest states of meditation and consciousness.
Susan Spencer Crowe’s work is informed by early training and work as a sculptor. Floating on Blue is a recent work where she has created a three-dimensional wall-hung painting by cutting and folding the artwork. As viewers walk around the artwork, each angle brings a fresh view of this complex work.
Talya Baharal’s painting practice has evolved out of her work as a studio art jeweler and sculptor. Her paintings bring unlikely colors together on one surface. For instance, in Untitled, pink and goldenrod yellow intertwine with an organic black line. The work is overpainted with layers and the surface bears markings where the artist has added and subtracted color, adding to the depth of the work. Laura Gurton’s work explores patterning and color, as does Ralph Moseley‘s One-Over-One color field abstract landscapes.
Several artists depict the human form including Angela Voulgarelis’ delicate study, Portrait of a Young Woman, and D. Jack Solomon‘s diminutive abstractions of the female form. Don’t miss Mike Cockrill’s collage paintings that present the humorous side to art school.
In this exhibit, the exuberant use of color is the focus until you approach Carole Kunstadt’s mark-making drawings that showcase color in a subtle way. The line of the pencil is the star of these drawings and the introduction of small bits of color teases the viewer, who may try to read the markings as a centuries-old text.
The artists retain all rights to images in this post.
The Lockwood Gallery is located at 747 Route 28, Kingston, New York. In Pursuit of Color was on exhibit November 2019 through January 4, 2020.
Summer in the Hudson River Valley is magical and one destination worth visiting during this time is Wilderstein Historic site in Rhinebeck. Landscape designer, Calvert Vaux created a winding set of walks and trails meandering through the 40 acres of Wilderstein, which also features a stunning Queen Anne mansion. Visitors to Wilderstein can experience the sweeping views along with the 5th Outdoor Sculpture Biennial Exhibition up now through the end of October. This is the second time that local artist and curator, Franc Palaia, has organized the Outdoor Sculpture Biennial increasing the exhibiting artists to 25.
The works have been thoughtfully placed throughout the property, creating a great visitor experience of surprise and discovery. On Wilderstein’s front lawn, you cannot miss “Plastic Bottle Man,” Willie Cole’s larger-than-life sculpture created from 5000 plastic water bottles. The sculpture lounges against one of the grand trees, perhaps unaware that his essence is a major source of world pollution. Turning towards the incredible views of the Hudson River, see William Scholl’s “Portal 409,” a sculpture created from Bluestone and mounted in a large tree.
Circling around towards the back of the mansion, see Alison McNulty’s “Hudson Valley Ghost Column 4.” The artist stated that “The Ghost Columns echo the Hudson Valley’s industrial history and architectural ruins, formalizing traces of the region’s geological, social, and material history.” Visitors will note the stacked bricks and Cormo sheep wool sourced from a historic Hudson Valley fiber farm. Julia Whitney Barnes is another artist fascinated with the historical context that bricks hold in the Hudson River Valley region. She has installed “Hudson River of Bricks,” at the edge of the front lawn of the mansion; an homage to the historical brick industry of the past. Visitors will note the glazed historic bricks included in the installation – the shape of the installation defines the places on the Hudson River that the brickyards formerly operated.
Inside one of the rustic gazebos on the property, see Hans van Meeuwen’s sculpture, “Melvin,” casually seated as if he is surveying the landscape. Nearby on the tennis courts, Namoi Teppich’s sculpture, “Snowflake Cactus” is centered in that space, the cactus spines jutting out from copper outlines provide shape and interest to the simplified sculpture. Step over to the edge of the mansion’s lawn and appreciate the sculpture, “Here I Am,” by Andres San Millan. The life-size sculpture of a horse has leaves of silver and copper that shimmer in the sun.
Poughkeepsie artist Suprina exhibits, “Someone Else’s Shoes” featuring a pump created from found objects. From a distance, the sculpture is in a recognizable form of a pump, but on closer examination, the five-foot-high sculpture could be a bench, a place to take selfies or a place to imagine what it’s like to be in some else’s shoes. Visitors will discover other delightful sculptures placed on the property along the Calvert Vaux designed walking paths, including Joe Chirchirillo’s “Deciduous Rings,” as well as Dave Channon’s “Flâneur,” a sculpture created from rusted metal resurrected from the junkyard.
Details if you’d like to visit:
Wilderstein Historic Site is located at 330 Morton Road, Rhinebeck.
The exhibit will be on view daily 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. through October 31, 2019. Hiking trails and grounds are open to the public free of charge.
For further information: 845-876-4818 http://wilderstein.org/
Photos by Linda Marston-Reid
This article originally appeared in the Poughkeepsie Journal on July 26, 2019.
Peter A. Bradley has led an enviable life as a successful artist and curator and was at the forefront of the contemporary abstract painter’s movement in the early 1970s. For the past few decades, Bradley has resided in Saugerties where he continues to create new work. For the month of June, Emerge Gallery in Saugerties has mounted a one-person exhibit of Peter Bradley’s paintings.
As a young man in the 1970s, Bradley developed his contemporary painting style. His work began to be known in what art critic Clement Greenburg called “color field” painting. Other painters using this style included Kenneth Noland, Mark Rothko, and Barnett Newman. As Bradley continued to work as a painter during this time, he made connections while supporting himself through work as a gallery salesperson, handling such artists as Picasso and Calder. These contacts led to Bradley being invited to exhibit his work at The Whitney Museum in the “Contemporary Black Artists of America” show. Bradley wanted his work to be considered with other contemporary artists and not simply as a black artist and declined to show. The criticism among the black community was that there was little black participation in organizing the Whitney exhibit and in response, the Menil Foundation planned to fund an exhibit that would place black artists and curators at the center of organizing an exhibit of contemporary art. Bradley was invited by the Menil Foundation to curate “The DeLuxe Show” in Houston, which he organized integrating some of the most well-known contemporary artists in 1971 with no regards to race. This was a turning point for black artists that began to change the dialogue about which artists get representation. In today’s contemporary art world, black artists have been recognized for their contributions to American culture and their work is now featured more frequently in group exhibits and increasingly in one-person shows.
Bradley continued to work through the decades and his work is held in the permanent collections of museums across the United States including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Art in Houston, The New York City Museum of Art, African American Museum in Dallas, The Fogg Museum at Harvard University, and Johannesburg Art Foundation in South Africa.
The exhibit at Emerge Gallery shows Bradley’s recent work that fills the gallery space with their explosive energy. The painting “We Should be Heroes” is a large abstract work that celebrates the relationship of colors to each other. Bradley is a master at the placement of colors and textures that creates a space that brings to mind a topographical map. “Not Quite Here” is another painting with surfaces reminiscent of the earth. The shock of the brilliant spring green at the top of the painting contrasts with the charcoal lava-like color and textures in the body of the artwork.
The exhibit in its entirety is a rare opportunity to appreciate one of the Mid-Hudson region’s internationally-known local artists that have produced a lifetime of important work.
This essay was originally published by the Poughkeepsie Journal Enjoy! magazine – May 31, 2019.
Collectors of outsider or self-taught art have led the way to preserve and honor this type of art. In fact, most self-taught makers don’t consider themselves artists, creating art out of self-expression to describe their lives, feelings, and beliefs. Vassar Lehman Loeb Art Center currently exhibits the work of self-taught artist Inez Nathaniel Walker, organized by Mary-Kay Lombino, The Emily Hargroves Fisher ’57 and Richard B. Fisher Curator at Vassar College. The exhibit of drawings shows the progression of the artist’s life beginning when she was in prison, through nearly two decades of life producing over 1000 drawings. The Vassar connection is important in that when Vassar alumni Pat O’Brien Parsons was shown her earliest works, she began collecting and selling Walker’s artwork at her gallery. Vassar now holds over 100 pieces of artworks by self-taught artists donated by O’Brien Parsons, including some by Walker.
Inez Nathaniel Walker first began making drawings and would use whatever scrap paper was available. In the exhibit, a vitrine holds one of her first drawings that was on the back of the mimeographed prison newsletter. The drawing is a profile portrait of a man dressed in a zippered sweater with hands in pockets. The artist spent much time creating the hairstyle with deliberate marks that indicate wavy hair. Many of the drawings use this formulaic style to arrange the composition featuring a portrait of a person centered within the paper and intricate patterns for hairstyles and clothing.
In the drawing, “Standing Woman with Raised Arm,” we can see how the artist first drew the woman’s figure in pencil and then went over the lines with colored pencil and marker. The figure wears a sophisticated striped dress, and her hairstyle is an intricate design of curved lines, the disproportionate size of the hands and feet contrast with the overly large head and eyes. The figure is standing before a background embellished with yellow patterning.
In “Man with Goatee,” Walker records fashionable men’s wear from the 1970s: large cuffs, collars, and wide pants are proudly worn on this figure. Walker spent the time to give this figure an on-trend Afro along with long sideburns, a mustache, and goatee. The clothing has been decorated with an array of curved stripes
, and the background has three horizontal groupings of unique colored patterns. The figure gazes directly at the viewer as he poses in his finery.
Not all of Walker’s artworks feature a single image – some of the more intriguing drawings have two or more figures engaged in a moment together: scenes depicted include exchanges of money, conversations, or lounging in fanciful surroundings. Walker describes details from a life seen or imagined and puts her vivid pattern imprint on each scene.
Mary-Kay Lombino wrote in her catalog essay: “Her art is made in an unselfconscious way and does not obey the criteria and principles of mainstream art but it is best appreciated for its formal liveliness and the incongruities that grab our attention and make us look more attentively.”
This article was originally published in the Poughkeepsie Journal Enjoy! section March 8, 2019.
Freehand: Drawings by Inez Nathaniel Walker is on view at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center through April 14, 2019. The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is located on the Vassar campus: 124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie.
February in winter brings us Valentine’s Day, where the color pink is synonymous with love and pleasure. Pink has also symbolized friendship, affection, harmony, and inner peace. In Poughkeepsie, NY, a recently formed artist cooperative, Queen City 15 gallery, exhibited “Tickled Pink” featuring 13 artists exhibiting their own artistic response to this theme. Barbara Masterson served as the juror for this exhibit and exhibits one piece, “Janell,” from her series on migrant farm workers. She wrote in her juror’s statement,
“The tickling pink concept is of enjoyment great enough to make the recipient glow with pleasure.”
Looking through the exhibit, the idea of pleasure is abundant: From
Carolyn Edlund’s realistic painting “Sledding,” featuring a child enjoying some blissful time out in the snow, to William Noonan’s lushly painted landscapes of Dogwoods blossoming in the spring. While the color pink is apparent in each of their paintings, each artist uses the color to help viewers recall that pleasure linked to walking in an orchard in spring or sledding in perfect snow.
Carl Grauer exhibits a large painting “Dorothy Ester Francis Judy” featuring Judy Garland in the four phases of her life. As the character Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, she stands to face the reality of her life. The four images of Judy Garland stand in a field of tall poppies and the sky is a fantastical shade of pink.
Julia Whitney Barnes exhibits “Bricks and Stones May Break,” featuring a rosy pink sunset over the water in the distance. The wall in the foreground is an intricate composition of bricks and stones, each painted in vibrant rosy hues. The dark silhouette of a tree serves as a point of transition between the wall and the sea and sky.
Nansi Lent’s mixed media collage “The Future is Female” represents the female voice with the gestural use of paint, text, and collage. Paola Bari’s work in porcelain tile painting is a traditional women’s craft that this artist has brought to new heights with her intricate designs and perfect surfaces. The final touch of framing them presents them as a venerated object that can be exhibited on the wall.
Donna Blackwell creates jewelry of gold, silver, and precious stones designed with a modernist flair and in the theme of the month, she has adorned the jewelry case with festive pink bows. The artist describes her jewelry: “All of it is designed with the hope that the wearer will feel pleasure each time it is worn.”
Sculpture is well-represented in this exhibit with the work of Suprina and Undine Brod – before you enter the gallery their artworks are featured in the front windows. Brod’s “Ready but Unable” features a creature tied to a child-sized pink chair, unable to reach the roller skates directly below. Brod’s creatures manage to look charming and menacing at the same time. Suprina exhibits several of her sculptures, including “Seduction.” Suprina utilizes found objects in all of her work, ultimately creating something new. Her works transport us to a world where the imagery is visceral and symbolism speaks quietly with authority.
The original version of this article was published on February 8, 2019, in the Poughkeepsie Journal Enjoy! section.
Gallery 15 featured Tickled Pink on exhibit through February 23, 2019, featuring the work of Donna Blackwell, Undine Brod, Donna Fraser, Carl Grauer, Brenda Harbuger, Carl Karni-Bain, Pam Krimsky, Nansi Lent, William Noonan, Barbara Masterson, Karl Volk, Julia Whitney-Barnes, and Lisa Winika. Gallery 15 is located at 317 Main Street, Poughkeepsie. Gallery contacts: email@example.com
In the Hudson Valley region, there are a number of nontraditional venues that exhibit work of regional artists. The Moviehouse in Millerton is a fine example of a space that has mounted exhibits that allow artists to show a body of their work to a new audience that appreciates fine-art movies. The recent exhibit, Winter Showcase, provided an opportunity to see work by five regional artists that exhibit their work beyond the Hudson Valley.
Audrey Francis exhibited “Hill and Hollow,” an oil painting that captures a beautiful moment of the imagination. The bright yellow background sets the tone with an unlikely gathering of a variety of birds, perhaps symbolizing safety in numbers for a species. The vision of vibrant color paired with beauty from nature is alluring.
In Norm Magnusson’s “Decorating Nature” series of photographs, Magnusson paints on, or colors, pieces of nature. His approach to beauty takes a wry look at nature as the ultimate beauty, but with the possibility that the human hand might make a few improvements.
Magnusson states that; “We use nature how we see fit: we strive to bring order to it, we try to make it prettier…more profitable.” Magnusson continues to explore through his artistic practice the complicated aspects of our culture and how it relates to our lives.
Robert Hite is known for his three-dimensional sculptures of shack-like structures, which originally grew out of his paintings. The artist has stated: “There is an organic cross-pollination between painting and other ways in which I work.” In the painting “Birdstack Black,” visitors can see how Hite centers the object in the center of the canvas, similar to how religious portrait painters arrange their sacred subjects. The continuing exploration of the house structure at the bottom of the artwork creates a base for the stylized birds to gather. The image brings to mind the phenomena of birds gathering in one place at sunset.
Nadine Robbins is a portrait painter that depicts her subjects as the genuine humans that they are. Robbins states that in her work she “serves to echo the reality of the American experience, one that is diverse, fluid and multifaceted.” For instance, “Sativa Sunrise” is a realistic portrait of a young woman captured in the prime of womanhood: viewers could imagine that she might be a worker at the neighborhood grocery store or a student at the local university, but her fresh beauty and self-awareness are apparent. Robbins states that her “portrait paintings tell the stories of ordinary people from all walks of life paired with a sense of defiance and irreverence for societal norms regarding gendered ideas of behavior, identity, and sexuality.”
Roxie Johnson exhibited abstract and conceptual work layered with nuances of memory and loss. She states that: “Painting is an avenue through which I explore those innate passions that drive our humanity and lie embedded deep in the heart.” The surface of her work, “Lost G(LOVE)” bring to mind the memories of a night out. Viewers could create their own stories to support the visual clues worked into the painting by the artist; a woman’s lost glove, bits of newspaper, and fragments of textural pieces that create ethereal documentation of a memory.
This article was originally published January 25, 2019, in the Poughkeepsie Journal Enjoy!. Artists supplied the photos of their work and all copyrights remain with the artists.
Winter Showcase: Artists of the Hudson Valley featured the work of Audrey Francis, Robert Hite, Roxie Johnson, Norm Magnusson, and Nadine Robbins through February 5, 2019.