On Saturday, August 19th, there will be an exhibition of six artists in the Main Galleries, Sculpture Garden and Carriage House. The work will be on display through September 10th with a reception for the artists on Saturday, August 19th from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m.
Navigators, Golems and Geishas
The Navigator 4, 2012-2016, encaustic on wood, 36 x 42 inches
“Since I was a baby, I have always painted. My mother was a painter, and her father was a painter. My work has its roots in three great schools of art to emerge out of NYC; ABEX, the great jazz of the 1950s and early 1970s punk rock. For me, the commonality between these three art forms consists of a direct, intense physicality borne of improvisation; a desperate search for content created out of materiality, gesture and process.
In my recurring themes of the Geisha, the Golem and the Navigator (among others) I use improvisation and direct physicality to fuel my formal decision making, which reflects my own deeply personal histories.
A work like the Navigator, while seemingly abstract, is based on my relationship with my father. He was a gambler, and struggled with this addiction and also in many ways finding his footing his whole adult life. The height of his life was when he was navigator in the Army Air Corps in WWII. I have a clear memory of sitting with him and my sister on a blanket in Prospect Park in the summertime. He would look at the stars and teach us about the constellations, and how he was able to navigate by the stars. I never understood when I was child why he was so lost, nor why I probably only connected with him in those moments. For me, the series of the Navigator is about my father, but also about how each of us navigates the challenges in our lives. They are abstractions in the service of deeply person truth.
I want from my practice what I want from my life; freedom, the courage to pursue that freedom and integrity.
I believe painting is a secular spiritual practice and at its highest levels speaks to our better nature. The more the artist is transformed by their process, the more one “lets go” of control, the more open the experience and the greater the record of that transformation. This experience actualizes the state of being part of something larger than ourselves, something we feel and know but don’t fully understand — something greater than oneself.
Every mark, every decision one makes leaves a record of the level of commitment by the artist. There is no right or wrong, no mistakes, just marks to react to. There is only the truth, of the experience and of the process, truth is beauty and beauty truth.”
Michael David, 2017
Lefty, 2017, plaster, 69 x 21 x 19 inches
“Making a figure out of clay, sometimes I am on the inside and sometimes on the outside. The ideas that form are often far away, emerging from the past, as in Donatello and sometimes near at hand like the pieces of a person walking down the street. Trying to pack everything in leaves a residue and distorts the package. The ingredients of the recipe for a figure are always the same but they come in various shapes and go together in different orders.”
Bruce Gagnier, 2017
Carriage House, Ground Floor
Fissure, 22016, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 inches
“This small survey of paintings (2011-2016) represents a sampling of my attempted engagement (since 2005) with the deleterious effects of Global Warming (i.e. Climate Change) on this planet. These paintings are dystopian images reflecting on imagined scenarios of the current and future repercussions of these climactic effects.
Based on scores of years of extensive studies and research, climate scientists have now found that the myriad and ill-fated effects of climate change are compounding each other. Their interconnected relational complexities are resulting in larger and more frequent events. These climactic events are quickly surpassing even the most conservative outlook of how not only the climate, but virtually every aspect of humankind will be affected. Both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are currently in the process of collapse with the loss of 100 billion tons of ice per year in Antarctica alone. This is just one example of many instances of predictable sea rise and catastrophic storm frequency affecting the cities and populations of the world. As we witness this, we must, by all accounts know that something is deeply wrong. This scientific research is now confirming a rather bleak and formidable series of problems that we can currently observe; in this moment, in real time, and with our own eyes. We are now in a highly compromised period of time. Hopefully this work will be an additional voice to the urgency of this pressing issue.”
Larry Brown, 2017
Carriage House, Second Floor
Sotterly Visit, 2017, oil on canvas, 20 x 24 inches
“By midday we reach the place where the event happens. We are here. The light is glistening and the pavement is purple-indigo. I see the Chesapeake. Our heads are dappled in light, dappled, dilapidated, they fall apart with all the light. Perhaps it would be unbearable to live without irritation and guilt. The light becomes brighter and the sea present with waves in the wind. I can see the pine tops disappear in the bright blue sky and I know it is my turn.”
Linnea Paskow, 2017
Carriage House, Third Floor
A View of One’s Own
Barn in Autumn, Germantown, 2016, oil pastel on paper, 12 x 12 inches
“It’s been one year this August since I bought a fixer upper farmhouse with view in Germantown. It may take the rest of my life to come to terms with what folks here call the “view shed” but these recent works on paper are a beginning.
Moving studios after forty years in Soho was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It was also a great opportunity to reassess my paintings over time. Much of my older work is out in the world, and I hadn’t seen the backs of my storage units in years. Some of the early work looked pretty good, but some didn’t. I had the heady experience of ripping up about a third of my old paintings and keeping small fragments of areas that interested me. Since then I’ve been remounting these fragments, which become abstractions when seen in detail and out of context. It feels as if I’ve gone back in time and get to choose the road not taken.
The little diptych Convergence, is what remains of a large scale, rather forbidding neo expressionist landscape that was painted in 1987. I like the simplicity of form and gesture in the fragments, a suggestion of mountains and sky. It’s been emptied out of angst. That’s an approach I’d like to bring to my new view. With Hudson Afternoon, I’ve ripped up and reconfigured a more recent work from 2013. John (Davis) doesn’t really approve of ripping up old paintings, so I’m grateful for the chance to show a few of the fragments. Assuming all goes well, there will also be a painting of my new view.”
Daisy Craddock, 2017
Carriage House, Fourth Floor
Reynolds Steerage, 2016, wood, forged and welded steel, plexiglass, 9 x 12 x 5 inches
Composed principally of wood and steel, Stephen Reynolds’ sculptures reference architecture, anatomy and scientific instruments. He employs contrasts between the warm imperfection of the archaic and hand-made, with the cold and rational precision of modern machine-made objects. In these pieces, fabrication processes that pre-date the middle ages such as forged steel are combined with references to 20 the century scientific and architectural objects.
It is in the practical object, where intellect and material merge, that Reynolds finds inspiration. The process of making is revealed by welded metal seams and rough-hewn wooden surfaces referring to the beauty of practical, functional objects where appearances are often secondary. The use of dissimilar materials and abrupt transitions between parts suggest ambiguous narratives, allowing a multiplicity of interpretations while always celebrating the beauty of utility.
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
or contact John Davis directly at 518.828.5907 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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