Friday, March 5, 2010

New Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: March 5-27, 2010
Cavalier Galleries
405 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT

Cavalier Galleries is pleased to present a group exhibition celebrating the variety and range in landscape painting. The artwork highlights the myriad of aesthetic traditions and techniques celebrating the landscape in all its interpretations.

Representing over 25 exceptional landscape painters, we are in a privileged position to tell a story with this exhibition. From the Abstract Expressionist, color saturated canvases of John Lowrie Morrison, to the photo-like quality of Lori Zummo, Reconstructing the Landscape offers a narrative of styles from abstract to representational.

The exhibition begins with the Tonalist or Color Field paintings of Ira Barkoff. These works seek to capture the mood of the landscape rather then a literal translation of a field or mountain and the subject is almost imperceptible except for the guiding line of the horizon or top of a mountain ridge. With these more abstract works, the artist emphasizes the emotional quality of the landscape—the dark clouds and grey skies of Barkoff’s Reflective Light expresses the feeling of a storm approaching and the darker aspects of nature.

The work of famed Scottish artist, John Lowrie Morrison is similar to Barkoff’s in his attempt to portray the landscape through abstracted and surreal colors. His vibrant palette and energetic scenes persuade us not simply to view the landscape, but rather to experience it.

The work of Randall Deihl and Scott Duce exists between the worlds of representational and nonrepresentational art. Deihl, who is part of the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, offers a surreal rendering of his subjects. In his paintings, there is a wonderful sense of the narrative that supersedes the subject itself. Deihl possesses a keen eye for composition as well as a delightful humorous streak and enchants the viewer with fanciful and fun additions to his landscapes. Leonard Everett Fisher, an illustrator for many years, also creates wonderfully imagined and surreal landscapes, as can be seen with this beautiful Italian Landscape acrylic painting. We are not simply viewing a landscape, but a scene and a story. Scott Duce surrounds his imagined landscapes with bold borders, making his work instantly recognizable. Appealing to both traditional and modern tastes, his striking compositions are aggressively collected.

The lens becomes more focused with the work of John Evans and Maureen Chatfield whose paintings also straddle the line between abstract and realism. Their landscapes offer a greater sense of perspective and sense of place by introducing isolated and recognizable objects into their scenes. We clearly recognize the subject, but it is treated with a modernist aesthetic. A sense of mood and atmosphere is still very much present even as the picture plane remains flattened.

Capturing a specific moment and giving emphasis to light and atmosphere is a fundamental principle of Impressionism. Reconstructing the Landscape features the work of several masters of Impressionism: Charles Warren Eaton (1857-1937), Robert Emmett Owen (1878-1957), Don Stone, NA, John Terelak and Jan Pawlowski. Eaton studied closely with George Inness for many years and after discovering the pine forests of Connecticut he created a myriad of exceptional works on the subject, earning him the title “The Pine Tree Painter.” Robert Owen also painted landscapes from Connecticut, and is part of the permanent collection of the Bruce Museum. He is best known for his colorful paintings with loose, vigorous brushstrokes that capture the seasonal moods of rural landscapes. While these works are quite painterly in their construction, there is a strong sense of reality and an emphasis on the quality of light and how it affects the mood of the painting.

Peter Sibley was a draftsman before making the transition to painting full-time. His work is technically precise, but his lighting is what truly gives his work a feeling of artistic atmosphere. Edward Minoff is a Classically trained artist who strives to dissect the anatomy of the landscape. He never works from photographs and unlike photo-realism which offers the viewer a type of hyper, everything in focus perspective, his works strive to not only capture the subject but the power and emotion of what he is painting.

Often confused with photographs at first glance, the paintings of Lori Zummo and Li Xiao are exceptionally crafted works. Xiao’s true mastery is in capturing the subtle atmospheric lighting at dawn and dusk while Zummo’s Nantucket and Connecticut paintings portray the landscape at its best- the bluest skies and greenest grass on a perfect summer day.

There is no right conclusion or execution of a subject, and this exhibition celebrates the landscape in all its forms. Art and beauty will continue to manifest itself, and artists will invite the viewer to experience their works in a variety of ways. This exhibition is not only a celebration of the landscape, but of the diversity and excellence of many of today’s most prodigious artists.

To see the exhibition online click here.