On Saturday, June 23rd, a group of artists will open a medley of exhibitions. The gallery will have six solo shows (sculpture and painting). The works will be on display through July 15th with a reception for the artists on Saturday, June 23rd from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m.
Underground Passages (Exit), 2017, C-Print, wood, Museum Board, 64 x 22 x 12 inches
“Recently I have been moved by the shifting light outside my studio windows. As a result, I am in the midst of a large cycle of paintings titled LightSwitch that decodes my interpretation of light. I take in observation of light, light interactions and study the science of light. My viewpoints are both human and microscopic scale.
Readings on the physics of light have guided this work, but the experience of applying pigment dominates what happens in the studio. I look for luminosity, pursue improvisation and set up possibilities for chance and spontaneity. My studio practice is the sum of decades of experimentation, my curiosity about a slew of topics, close attention to contemporary art, friendships, politics, emotional rollercoasters, curated reading, playlists and for-my-eyes-only dancing.”
This project has been supported by a grant from the Martha Boschen Porter Fund, a Fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.
“Punch & Judy,” concrete and archival concrete paint, 41 x 64 x 42 inches
“My recent work has returned gradually toward my beginning and first love as a sculptor: the human figure. This was after years of working abstractly and making public art all around the US. My reason for this return (though I loved making the abstractions) was the wish to expand my work, to take what I gained during those years and make it even more meaningful for myself (and hopefully others), to put as much as possible into each sculpture. I think that nothing is more meaningful for us than human life, our own and others and each life is different. That is why each of my sculptures, while clearly recognizable as my work (including the abstractions), is usually quite different from every other sculpture. My belief is if I can put some of the wonder, sadness, comedy, tragedy, and drama that is in every life into a well-conceived and executed sculpture it will continue to be meaningful over time.”
Howard Kalish, 2018
Ground Floor, Carriage House
Untitled, 2018, oil on board, 8 x 5 feet
“Athletes talk about getting into the ‘zone’ – in terms of painting, one can learn all of the elements of making a painting and be very good at it and still what you end up with is just a painting. Somehow one must find a way to go beyond that, the sum of its’ parts has to end up being more than their total. Two and two have to be more than four, two and two has to become ten. Frank Auerbach spoke about it as being the ‘magic of painting.’ Something happens, it’s hard to describe in words, it is more of a feeling, something spiritual. Transcendence is another word which seems to apply but for the moment, I think I like to describe it as ‘magic’, it is the continuing search for magic, to try to attain that which is almost unattainable.”
Dickson is the recipient of two Pollock Krasner Awards and exhibits his work internationally, including recent solo shows in Nunu Fine Art, Taipei; David & Schweitzer Gallery, New York and currently included in Iceland Biennial, Fresh Winds, Iceland. Dickson’s work is held in private collections in USA, Europe, and Asia and in public collections including Haensa Contemporary Art Museum, Korea, Arts Council of Northern Ireland; Arts Council of Great Britain; Ulster Museum Belfast, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and the Palmer Museum in Pennsylvania.
Carriage House, Second Floor
Una Folla 16 1/2″ x 14″ image, 21 1/2″ x 19″ paper size
“Working the borderlands between the decorative arts and an abstracted code of images I am painting rhythmic, loosely grid-based works. With one foot in the contemporary and one foot in history, they at once surprise me and feel familiar – like the handkerchief I saved or the garden I prune. Graphic and cartoon-like bulbous forms comingle with nature – referencing pattern as well as organic growth. Raucous figure-ground interaction draws me down this path- nature-based yet strewn with culture – or is it – culture based and adorned in memories of the landscape.”
Holly Hughes, 2018
Carriage House, Third Floor
Dead Elms, 2017, oil on wood, 41 x 42 inches
Clay Sorrough paints from within, rather than “from life;” but the landscapes that appear on his canvases are not fantasies. They arise out of the immersive experience of the physical environment of upstate New York with its layers of occupation and abandonment, cultivation and surrender, construction and collapse, a continuous pentimento, all within the much longer story of nature itself. We have, for centuries, seen in our American landscapes an expression of our collective interior life, changing, as history has moved forward, from a faith in our heroic exception from the tragic laws of history to a more complex understanding of vulnerability and error, dashed promise and slow realization that, indeed, we may be subject to those rules after all.
Sorrough’s s work is right out of the zeitgeist of this moment, rendering landscapes that, to this onlooker, expresses our national interior moment as a people. They are moving in the way of Albert Pinkham Ryder’s work, especially the night paintings’, in which with a warm dark layering of paint, Ryder captures the uncanniness of the presence of the world and the loneliness of our inclusion in it. Sorrough’s work is different in that he captures what seems like a kind of darkness in light, in decay, in forgetfulness, in a futile struggle. Though the same loneliness and largeness come through in Sorrough’s work, it is full of the partially hidden presence of multiple generations, levels upon levels of experience in a natural world now irreversibly altered by that occupation.
These paintings are elegiac, but never romantic, always contemporary, edged with uncomfortable paradox and yet gorgeous. If there is a desolation, or fear here instead of promise and hope, or an absence of the homey naturalness of human settlements in providential surroundings, that is not superimposed as ideological cant. It arises, instead, in nuanced complexity, out of the landscape itself, speaking to us, through the artists’ paint and tools and his meticulous and time deep process. These paintings can seem to have arisen out of our dreams, speaking to us in an altogether unfamiliar register, asking who have we become, where are we?
But let’s not struggle any longer to capture in words what is so much more articulately expressed here in this very beautiful and very powerful work.
Suzannah Lessard, 2018
Carriage House, Fourth Floor
Three Old Four New, 2018, hoes, bamboo hanger, wire, thread, nails, 74 x 33 x 21cm
“Four old four new” was a champion to destroy the old culture and establish the new during the cultural revolution in China, 1968. By demolishing a huge amount of traditional objects, architectures, and arts, modern Chinese successfully cut our cultural blood from our ancestors who created one of the most delicate civilizations. This scene of cultural ruin and the tone of the brokenness and the brutality are the background to see the big success of China during recent two decades in economics and as the most important role for industrial production in this contemporary. In the piece Three Old Four New, I assemblage three old shoes and four new ones, which gives the title. Shoes remind me of the standing on the ground, the presence of human being; they can be the symbol of journeys. Shoes are one of the most common export products that made in China and sold globally. My shoes are so close to my body and many of them have accompanied me in my life journeys that from Beijing to New York, then to London. I use shoes collected from my friends, family and myself, or bought from those super retail merchants. In object making, shoes are cheap materials but provide surprisingly abundant variety. I never could predict how many layers, colors or structures a pair of shoes can provide until I shovel their surface off. The deconstruction leads me to an exploration of construction with new forms, by doing which I have a chance to retrieve the lost memory, story, and reveal the hidden reality.
Yi Zhang, 2018
Gallery hours are Thursday through Monday, 11:00 till 5:00 p.m. For further information about the gallery, the artists, and upcoming exhibitions, visit
High resolution images are available upon request.
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John Davis Gallery 362 1/2 Warren Street Hudson, New York 12534
Hours: Thursdays through Mondays, 11 – 5 pm and by appointment
© Copyright 2017 John Davis / John Davis Gallery, 362 1/2 Warren Street, Hudson, New York / 518.828.5907