Stacks & Artifacts
May 23 – June 16
Reception: May 25, 6-8pm
“For thousands of years, cultures around the world have constructed piles of stones, which we call cairns, for various purposes. For example, in the Bronze Age they were monuments at burial sites. In South Korea, they marked roads and landmarks. In pre-Columbian times in Latin America cairns were used on trails and as shrines. The Buddhists include them in religious ceremonies. The Jews place stones on a grave as a token of respect. In Scandinavia, cairns are called kummel, and are used as navigational aids. In our country they are useful path markers for hikers. I’ve also seen them on fence posts, in farm fields and on city windowsills. What inspired this body of work is that these stacks of stones are infused with the presence of the creator and as a cairn is often recognizable as a human figure. In fact, the German word for cairn is steinmann – literally “stone man”. The Inuit word for cairn is inunguak – “imitation of a person”. The Italian word ometto means “small man”. This process of transformation of stones into that which has “life” is magical. The hand of the maker is obvious and speaks to us even thousands of years later. It transcends its purpose to become a signature and a mirror. Hand crafted objects embody the spirit of the creator. The object has been infused with what the Chinese call chi – a universal energy that inhabits the form. And so artifacts of culture – tools, toys, amulets are extensions of ourselves and reflect the monumental energy of the human spirit and create a parallel and concrete world which lives on beyond the creator and finally says I was here! ” Renee Iacone, 2013
Sculpture Garden Jon Isherwood
John Davis Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of Jon Isherwood’s newest sculptures. The exhibition consists of three hand-carved sculptures in granite and marble. Standing at eight feet tall, the sculptures are among Isherwood’s largest works to date, and represent the latest development of his ongoing investigation of form and pattern. Isherwood’s latest work represents a study in contrasts between monumental scale and intimate detail, movement and stillness, light and dark. The sculptures’ imposing size and unyielding hardness of material are manipulated by Isherwood to suggest dynamic bodily movement and soft surface texture. The forms seem to twist and turn back upon themselves as if pulled in two directions at once. While their shapes are similar, each sculpture represents a very different approach to this idea. The Move’s On, in black granite, uses boldly incised lines to suggest a torqued surface in tension with itself. Siren, in white marble, has a soft, almost feather-like pattern. The red granite Prophecy features a free-form pattern of drawn lines that swell and compress as they play across the sculpture’s skin. Isherwood’s work has been widely exhibited in public museums and private galleries around the US, Canada, and Europe. He is the recipient of a Jerome Foundation Fellowship, a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of New York at Plattsburgh. His sculpture has recently been exhibited at The Today Museum, Beijing, China; The Decordova Sculpture Park and museum MASS; and in Belgrave Square, London, UK. He has had more than 20 solo exhibitions, including Reeves Contemporary in NYC, John Davis Gallery in NYC; Maiden Lane Exhibition Space in NYC; the C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore; Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum in Hamilton, OH; and the Sculpture Court in Southampton, NY. He has been featured in many group exhibitions, including the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice, Italy; The McNay Museum, San Antonio, TX; The Derby City Museum, Derby, UK; and Kunsthalle, Manheim, Germany. His work can be found in more than 22 public collections. Isherwood’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, ArtNews, The Washington Post, The New York Sun, Sculpture Magazine, Partisan Reviews, The Philadelphia Enquirer, and in The Times and The Guardian, UK. He has made personal appearances on shows featuring his work, including WAMC Public Radio and The Culture Show, BBC Television, UK. He has lectured at numerous colleges and universities in the U.S. and Europe.
Carriage House Ground Floor Victoria Palermo
“Making, marking PLACEs. Large, small, real or imagined.
In Gilt, I ask what if…what if we could live in an impossibly beautiful rosy-hued space?
Shifting to a larger scale, another piece, Isosceles Hammock, is made with familiar material and shape to surprising effect ( I hope) .”
Victoria Palermo, 2013
Carriage House Second Floor David Hornung
“The subjects I like to paint are ordinary—walls, ladders, rocks, trees, simple buildings, garden tools, ropes, bones, rickety tables, and the occasional figure. I like them because they lend themselves to the kind of emblematic mode of representation that I prefer, and because they can appear timeless. Time is important to my imagery—while contemporary objects make a specific reference to now, my subjects are chronologically rootless. This temporal ambiguity is opposed by the unique way the painting process itself reveals time. I build my paintings up in many layers, making corrections and capitalizing, when I can, on the serendipity of chance. I am drawn to things that appear simple at first and then slowly reveal hidden complexity. The compositions of Thelonious Monk, for example, may sound awkward and even primitive; yet every time you hear them you discover ever deeper layers of harmonic and rhythmic intricacy. I am also intrigued when contradictions seem to fit together naturally to form, against expectation, a cogent whole. My paintings depict carefully constructed scenes, but the space in them is inconsistent, the light can come from several directions at once, and the narratives hinted at are vague, almost accidental. Color, both for its evocation of light and space as well as its psychological suggestions, and the particular quality of a brushed surface are also of primary importance. When painting, I am always struggling to reconcile a classical need for formal rectitude with the equal truth of accident and awkwardness. Objects I choose to represent can appear volumetric or flat, graphic or painterly, because I crave the tension this creates in the “read” of the image. A painting reveals itself slowly and needs time to be properly experienced. At its heart is a paradox: it seems to present itself to the viewer all at once but, at the same time, it embodies countless incremental decisions and revisions that can only be absorbed, over time, in repeated viewings. I try to honor that central paradox in my approach.” David Hornung, 2013
Third Floor Cecelia Rembert
“Over time, I have developed a personal visual language that I use to comment, build, describe and to evoke. In addition to the diary of my personal evolution, my paintings are inscribed with myths old and new, metaphors and signs. I am interested in universal archetypes, symbols and images, and how these form a language of their own woven throughout history. These recent works explore the shifting terrain of my identity after the birth of my daughter. Painting has been a space and means to process and absorb the tides of joy, confusion, and uncertainty. The wonderment at the biological process, the unfamiliarity of this new being, and the euphoria of it all: the landslide was so complete that as I paint, I continue to uncover hidden layers of emotion and unexpected images.” Cecelia Rembert, 2013
Fourth Floor Herbert Reichert
“The Aesthetic of High Lonesome:
Chicago, 1957: Seven years old. Low rumbles of thunder invade my pillow. Tree branches scratch the windows.
Lightening, flashing in cycles against the white curtains . . . draws me uncontrollably into the night rain. Hum from transformers on wood poles charges the wet air. Soaked leaves fill the gutters and coat the ground. Streaks of rain and circular patches of pavement are lit by towering street lamps. Luminous orange windows make closed houses look like alien bunkers. A fine cold dampness penetrates my spirit. This empty three-in-the-morning street is my true home. That frail boy walking in the shadows is the starting of me. NYC, 2013: Remembering when the world was still and dark. The first mound. Remembering the first light. Imagining the first rhythmic sounds. The first hole for burial. The first woven sticks . . . the first picture. I create images of that which man has always made: Symbols of the invisible. Symbols of symbols. Symbols of no time. Symbols of the first cause. I make pictures that re-present streams of light falling on objects. . . of light emitted by objects . . . absorbed by objects . . . reflected by objects. Light reflected in the eyes of the observer. I fashion objects to remind the viewer . . . you are not alone.” Herbert Reichert, 2013
John Davis Gallery 362 1/2 Warren Street Hudson, New York 12534