October 9 – November 2, 2014
On Thursday, October 9, a group of artists will have exhibitions for the Main Galleries, Sculpture Garden and Carriage House. The gallery will have seven shows (painting and sculpture). The work will be on display through November 2 with a reception for the artists on Saturday, October 11 from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m.
My father died of cancer in December 1999. After his death, I felt unable to sustain focus on a painting for more than one sitting. Inspired by an exhibition of Ingres paintings at the Metropolitan Museum that year, I wanted to make a beautiful and adult female figure. Out of necessity, I felt I had to leave the studio each day with a fully formed image, and I came up with a procedure.
Each day I would take a canvas, lather it with white paint, and paint a female figure in a central composition, wet on wet. I did not want to break the intimacy between the figure I was coaxing out of the white and myself. The skeins of thin lines wrapped around and defined her, before the white turned muddy. I never stepped back while painting. I separated the act of painting from that of looking, liberating the act of painting from self-conscious, judgmental
The work of the day was finished when I felt myself disengage. If the question I asked the painting shifted from -“who are you” to “what do you look like,” I had to put the brush down and back out of the studio. I would try to reconstruct the work of the day in my mind’s eye. Quality was defined by how well I could reconstruct the image by its particulars. Over time I would decide if the whole painting was right. Most times, I would begin again on the same canvas, lathering the white, eliminating the previous image. A pentimento remained, an echo of an earlier incarnation, an interior soul of the painting.
The parameters were so confining that I felt I had reduced my focus to a pinhole. The result was a broad expansion of specific within those confines. After my father’s death, I recognized the fleeting quality of our physical selves. In these paintings, the figure is emerging from the white as well as being swallowed back into it. The whole body of the painting is the figure, the paint its skin.
Judy Glantzman, 2014
All work courtesy Betty Cuningham Gallery, New York, New York
“I look at the clay, yes, but more through it toward a possible image of a figure; one that is a variant and not me. The material, a necessity, must fuse with the person it describes. The tools and my hands leave traces, and even more so the moving around and re-arranging of pieces of the material (many of which contain the details) leave the remains of a story about work. This record; of my looking for – on the skin of what appears as another human should be seen as part of the particular terms of the culture of modeling, and in my case a hybrid: collage/modeling. The arrangement of material exceeds and sometimes only approximates. What is left over – the shaping that is outside the normative figure is not a form of style but the remains of many changes marking a movement toward the emergence of the other person.”
Bruce Gagnier, 2014
All work courtesy Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, New York
Carriage House, Ground Floor
Lost and Found
Can we talk about nostalgia, even though it may seem at odds with the lurid and carnivalesque quality of “Bad Boys”?
More than nostalgia it’s a “coming home to roost”. I’ve come to realize that a lot of the most interesting aspects of my work derive from my childhood in London, but this is something it took a while to realize. Growing up in England where I did, and when I did, has some qualities that I refused to acknowledge for many years. The difficulties of growing up in London after the war and the class system were a weight you couldn’t help feeling. It weighed me down. It wasn’t until I left England that I understood how this had an effect over me as a person.
Instead of hiding all this stuff from my childhood, memories that become tainted by society as you grow up, I have come to see how great these things really are – from a creative point of view. Things happen to you in your youth and you tend to discard them, make them mundane. You think, “yeah, that’s happened to everybody else”. But as you grow older you realize that your experiences have a validity and make up your own voice. You say, “This part of me, it’s really me and probably more interesting to people than the part I re-invented!”. And then you realize that that world has disappeared. If you are sincere about it, it becomes interesting to people.
Earlier in your career you edged towards abstraction, only to go back to the figure
I feel the work now no longer has anything to do with style or format. It’s just a good story. All the pictorial aspects just enhance it. The vehicle that I use doesn’t matter. I could set all of the characters wearing turbans! And maybe the stories ultimately deal with everybody’s experience………………….
As a young man I used to feed off art as the grist for my work. Looking around for a subject matter was always difficult and therefore I would move towards more conceptual areas from Cubism, metaphysical painting, Abstract Expressionism. Subject matter didn’t matter so much to me.
As I’ve grown older I found that the demands of subject matter actually resolve the technical problems. I’m no longer conscious of the space of the painting. Obviously I’m working out a composition but I’m not thinking about scale or space. If I need to put a table into a painting, I will twist the perspective in a Cubist manner so that the objects on the table can be seen. If it works in a painting, I will put it in a painting. I don’t feel the need to impose a particular style on the
As time goes by I am playing all these games on how to narrate the subject matter because I’m liberated from the subject matter. I can take liberties with the story. I can embellish the story. I can play with ideas from Arte Povera or conceptual art. I don’t feel a responsibility to tow the line linguistically because the subject matter will impose its own disciplines in the methods you use to present what you are trying to say. The way that I put that down on the canvas is determined by the story.
(In conversation Paul Harbutt – Tommaso Nelli , abridged from Lost and Found, “Bad Boys” catalogue published Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome 2012)
Paul Harbutt, 2014
Carriage House, Second Floor
“Being near the ocean, I collected detritus that I incorporated into these new works, sand, wood, seaweed, oysters, and mussels. Working on plywood, I carved into and incised, as well as built up and collaged, creating volumetric surfaces. In some of these paintings from the “Flotsam and Jetsam” series, there are tight clusters that are held together. In other works from this series, there are clusters that are bursting and rupturing apart. They are all balancing and dancing with each other.
The sculptures are inspired by shapes that I see in the world: ridges, mounds, valleys, piles, holes, crevices, & embodiments are all found in there. Layers of plaster, paper mache, found detritus, and paint all coalesce into the final accumulation. The light is summer, midday, ebullient and vibrating. The radiant volumes almost become silhouettes, but still showing their expressions.”
Elisa Soliven, 2014
Second Floor, small rooms
“I am an abstract painter and the works in this show are small, intimate paintings that offer an expanse that is larger than the space they hold on the wall. In my paintings I continually find a need to break away from the borders implied by the rectangle, which has led me to the irregular and round canvases.”
Andrew Roy, 2014
“I am a modernist abstract painter with a pop sensibility. My works balance the formal with the playful, paring down shapes and ideas into their most basic forms. It is a search for clarity and humor, as is evidenced by the shapes and colors in my paintings: cartoony, bright, blobby. But, like life itself, there is an undercurrent of conflict beneath the whimsy, as reflected in the tension and interaction between the shapes. Ultimately, it is important that the viewer becomes involved with the paintings, tempting them to stay long enough with the images to connect to a narrative that is at once ambiguous yet taps into the specifics and subtleties of their own lives.”
Fran Shalom, 2014
“Fabrication through collage construction is at the center of my practice of sculpture. My process is based on intuitive choices and actions — constructing something that results in a vibration of poetic mystery. My original sensation, the one I get from certain found materials, leads to a series of actions altering the original purpose of the materials and transforming them by slightly altering them and combining them into something new. Different materials, isolated from their former uses and connected together, communicate and share their inner life, producing new emotions and revealing their potential inner natures. The emotion revealed, reflects, I hope, the sensations provoked by the materials, directed by and connected to my psychological world, to ultimately produce a sculpture. The spontaneous process of making every sculpture produces a unique and unpremeditated result, which cannot be reproduced.”
Yi Zhang, 2014
Hours: Thursdays through Mondays, 11 – 5 pm and by appointment
John Davis Gallery 362 1/2 Warren Street Hudson, New York 12534