Monday, July 5, 2010

14th Colony show in Millerton

The dialogue continues with a third group showing of “14th Colony Artists” in Millerton, NY this month. I hung two paintings from my empty nest series over last weekend with about 43 other artists in the building that used to be a hair salon on Railroad Avenue. Next to me on the wall is an abstract work by Karin Wexler painted with a searching pallet knife called “Marshland”. It echoes and intensifies the warm oranges and cool blues of my own work. Below my painting, sits an abstract wood sculpture by Peter Cascone. The playful relationship between Cascone’s sculpture, “Macdonaldwood and Preserved Dutch Elm”, was created after a gift exchange with artist Kevin Macdonald. Nearby in the same room, Macdonald’s, “Two Paint Cans” are positioned near Cascone’s “Taxi Ride” and they echo the shapes and colors of the blue, yellow, red, and white abstraction. Not sure they were supposed to do that, but together they make me laugh. Between them Dorothy Fox’s “Red Hot Jazz”, large acrylic on canvas singer at microphone, sets up a lively atmosphere.

What’s interesting about the show and the 14th Colony is what I see when the works hang close to each other, and what I hear when the artists talk about how they work. There are paintings and photographs and sculptures. There is a dialogue with personal histories, a past heritage, and common culture.

Diane Shapira’s “Morandi Project #3”, an installation of ceramics, investigates the oeuvre of George Morandi by re creating vessels with variable silhouettes in muted hues and arranging them in elegant clusters. It is made by and for the contemplative spirit. Many of the artists cite past masters as inspiration. Rosemary Barrett responds to a George Ohr vase with a romantic oil painting. Virginia Lavado makes large ink drawings of the darker side of nursery rhymes. Michael Gallatly’s abstract renderings on paper and Pietter lefferts’ April Moon oil are samples of artists challenging themselves and pushing their handling of media into a new contest. .Lefferts paints at night, outside, in the dark, on location, hence the immediacy and abstract quality. Gellatly’s CRDRWG #4 and #5 marry a delicately odd surreal rendered form with random sharpie ink lines drawn while driving his car. Not everything should be tried at home! It’s open weekends though out the month of July.

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