On Saturday, October 15th, there will be an exhibition of five artists in the Main Galleries, Sculpture Garden and Carriage House. The work will be on display through November 6th with a reception for the artists on Saturday, October 15th, from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m.
Main Galleries & Sculpture Garden
Touched by Verses and Related Works
“Touched by Verses (detail),” 2005, plaster, gold leaf, patina, 27.5 x 24 x 23 inches
“I first saw the book “Last Man” years ago, visiting friend in France. When I first read it, the text resonated with me because it seemed to have everything … Upon further reading I came to the realization that had I not become a sculptor, I would have expressed myself in the same manner, used in the book. I instantly recognized that “space” in its text: it was very tight, difficult to overcome, and once overcome – would bring simultaneous joy and pain.
I entered the text and remained there. That was my “home.” Or, rather, the universe of this text happened to be the same space where I had already been dwelling for quite some time. Each word had form, weight, volume, and plasticity – the very same attributes that define sculpture.
I decided to see if I could bring this text into my work. Why? I don’t know exactly, but I felt emotionally compelled to do so. Maurice Blanchot was able to capture these feelings through literature, and I questioned whether I could do the same through sculpture…
Here is some of it:
‘He gave me the feeling of eternity, of a person who would need no justification. I went back to positing a God, the better to see them as invisible to each other. He enriched me with my own ignorance, I mean he added something to me that I don’t know. The moment we met, I was lost to myself, but I also lost much more, and the surprising thing is that I struggle, that I can still struggle to get it back. Where does that come from? Where does it come from that in the space where I am, where he has brought me, I constantly go back near the point where everything could start up again as though with a new beginning? For this, it would be enough to…. He says it would be enough if, in fact, I stopped struggling.’
From The Last Man by Maurice Blanchot
Translated from the French by Lydia Davis”
Leonid Lerman, 2016
Carriage House, Ground Floor
“Occasionally, there occur dramatic events that, from one day to another, profoundly change us. They can create seismic shifts in our lives, and leave us stunned, unable to grasp in a rational way what just happened.
During this past Spring, one of my dearest friends suddenly died. She was a fellow artist from Australia, and I had known her for well over forty years.
We first met in the early 70s on some stairs during a crazy SOHO loft party. She had strikingly beautiful ice blue eyes, wild blond hair, and was just bursting with the joy of youth. She was outrageous, funny, and irresistible, and after 15 minutes of intense conversation, where I learnt where she came from, what she did, and whom she had just passionately fallen in love with, I realized that I now had a new friend. In fact, she became one of my most adored and intimate friends, and part of my life. So when I heard that she was dying, it was devastating.
During the weeks that had led up to her death, I was deeply involved in moving to a wonderful new studio. When I eventually settled down, and started thinking about making some new work, I realized that I wanted to make these new paintings about my dear friend. I felt an overwhelming and intense desire to hold on to her in some way and keep her forever in this world. By making paintings about her I thought that I could make her immortal, and at the same time transform my grief into something tangible and positive.
Thus began this new series of works. From my perspective, they are full of Wendy. Her wild energy, and joie de vivre, and the intense and sensual color that she seemed to radiate. And hopefully, they are also full of her endless generosity and love.”
Paul Harbutt, 2016
Carriage House, Second Floor
Leticia Ortega Cortes
“I’m always negotiating with my painting imagery as I compose with a blend of abstraction and representation.
For me, painting begins with preparation of the surface using a rigid-support with dry gesso, which yields a smooth, absorbent, and luminous substrate. The way paint and pigments perform on the surface is a constant revelation for me.
Whether through a veiling process and variations in saturation, tone and hue, the reference to landscape and atmospheric settings are implied as in Rothko’s Blue Green and Brown painting. In some instances the reference to nature is absent and abstract and reductive forms take shape.”
Leticia Ortega Cortes, 2016
Carriage House, Third Floor
“I begin paintings by drawing the shapes on natural forms, building rhythms with line and color. Involvement in the process of making the painting builds energy and dictates how the painting will look and feel. In other words, work comes out of work. These are slow paintings.
I do not impose ideas upon the painting process instead I allow them to evoke or suggest landscape and the figure. I am a swimmer and work through a body relation to materials. Both painting and swimming teach me the meaning of timing and the beauty in precision of both physical and mental thought.
Thanks to the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.”
Pamela Cardwell, 2016
Carriage House, Fourth Floor
Abstract Figures and Reliefs
“I really don’t know what to say about my work. Maybe I’m trying to make “abstract figures.” Some acknowledgements might be useful.
I’m very much a New York Studio School student. I might “acknowledge” how important Natalie Charkow Hollander and her sculpture are to me. I might say Natalie’s the one and only sensible person ever to be associated with the Studio School—partly to embarrass Natalie, partly to blame her for all the shortcomings of my work—but also to suggest the Studio School’s not the place you might imagine. It’s not the place I might imagine.
A couple of years ago I stumbled across the Abstract Critical website. It’s since become abcrit.wordpress.com and brancasterchronicles.wordpress
Finally: John Davis. The John Davis Gallery is simply an art gallery. It’s not a giant, complicated, commercial art/baloney operation. I’m so lucky to have a show here. John really should be blamed for the work!”
John Davis Gallery 362 1/2 Warren Street Hudson, New York 12534
Hours: Thursdays through Mondays, 11 – 5 pm and by appointment