and Bill Rice
Concurrently, in our new space, around the corner at PROJECTOR, 237 Eldridge St, we present City Nights, an exhibition of paintings by Jane Dickson (b.1952) and Bill Rice (1931 – 2006). Contemporaries and friends, both artists are poetic observers of pre-gentrification New York, depicting the city’s nocturnal underbelly. Bill Rice was an actor who appeared in underground film and theater, an independent scholar and painter of atmospheric street scenes of the Lower East Side. Holland Cotter in The New York Times wrote, “the pictures with their thin washes of oil paint, are at once rigorously geometric in structure and smokily gestural as abstract Phillip Guston’s.” Rice wrote of his paintings, “Ideally I would like to invest the rectangle – the basic unit in any city scape – with the sensuality, color, texture, I find in the streets. I like to record the young, elegant, Black, Asian and Hispanic men who know how to move and glow in what would otherwise be a dreary landscape.” Rice’s work came to wider attention in 1985 when the poet Rene Ricard, penned a long paean to Rice in Artforum. Ricard stated that Rice was the “greatest living painter of the city, and in his painting there is no other city than New York, black New York.”
Bill Rice had shows at Patrick Fox Gallery, at 56 Bleecker St Gallery, at Janis Gallery in an exhibition organized by Richard Milazzo, and at Mitchell Algus. His most recent exhibition was at SHFAP’s 73rd Street space in June of 2011.
Jane Dickson, is known for her paintings of Times Square in the eighties, where she lived with her husband, the filmmaker, Charlie Ahearn, painting the neon light of bars and strip clubs. Glenn O’Brien wrote “Dickson’s transcendental reportage updates realism with the full blown post-modern spectrum of artificial light. The sun never intrudes on Dickson’s pictures. This is a world of endless night, where black light is the beacon of the black hole of desire.”
Using unorthodox supports such as black vinyl, astroturf, sandpaper and carpet, Dickson subsequently developed a broader view of American reality encompassing the suburbs, highways, casinos, amusement parks and demolition derbies.
Dickson’s vision (and Rice’s) might, in a different period, be termed “social realism.” Critic Peter Schjeldahl refutes this stating “Dickson is nothing if not a messenger bearing the news that those concepts, among others with which we presume to subdue the unruly, have imploded.”
Dickson has had solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, at Phillip Morris and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her work is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Whitney Museum of American Art among others. She was 2014 recipient of a Painters and Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation.
The show includes a handful of important paintings by both artists including loans from private collections.
Welcome to the Afterfuture
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents Welcome to the Afterfuture an installation of new paintings by Gideon Bok (b. 1966). This is Bok’s third solo exhibition at the gallery. Bok recently began a professorship at Boston University; this body of work chronicles his new studio environment in Boston.
Throughout his career, Gideon Bok has recorded the ebb and flow of people and objects in his studio. He accumulates traces of fragmentary experience in his painting, creating a map of the perceptual moment in time. The perspective in Bok’s studio bows and expands – we have the impression of looking in many directions at once. Bok’s layers of translucent paint enable the history of the image to evolve in real time. By overlaying multiple ‘still frames’, Bok envisions a cinematic parallel in painting.
In his new work, Bok’s paintings of records scatter the studio floor. It’s a meta twist: both the records and the paintings of the records have become part of the studio environment. Bok is a musician. His studio interiors are scattered with musical references (instruments, record players and albums), reminding us of the connecting thread between painting and music, in the work of Basquiat, Capt. Beefheart/Don Van Vliet, or John Lurie.
Bok’s documentation of his studio, and performance of perception, strike a chord with the Whitney’s recent Rituals of Rented Island exhibition of 70 – 80’s Performance in artist’s studios, lofts and alternative spaces. Bok’s painting relates as well to the intensive observational painting of Frank Auerbach, and the stylistic invention of painters like Dana Schutz.
Bok received his MFA from Yale in 1996. He is a recipient of a 2004 Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, as well as a Purchase Award through The American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2005, his work was surveyed in an exhibition at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art.
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents Elemental an exhibition of recent paintings by Susanna Coffey. This is her second solo show at the gallery—her Nocturnes were exhibited at SHFAP in 2012. In this exhibition, Coffey reexamines a subject that has concerned her for decades: the parameters of the self-portrait. What does the ‘self’ look like, what are its boundaries, and where can it be seen? Paintings from the last three years employ differing approaches to producing an image of self. We see faces encoded in landscape and ultimately dissolving within the facture of painted surfaces.
Apophenia describes the phenomenon of seeing faces in clouds or hearing words in the wind. Upon first encountering these works, it is not immediately apparent that they contain faces at all—the subject is camouflaged in patterns of color or lost in watery and verdant landscapes. Coffey’s portraits seem to grow roots; they are entangled, literally inseparable, from their grounds. As Coffey explores the rich psychological space between self and mirror, meaning becomes located in the tension between what is made visible and what is obscured.
Coffey’s gestural lines and evocative tonalities vibrate with human energy and complexity. Her vibrant textured surfaces display a painterly exuberance – she seems to delight in the difficulty of this project. Coffey’s ability to evoke a range of political and spiritual states calls to mind one of her influences, the rich symbolic language of West African figurative sculpture.
Coffey’s self-portraits stand in for individual or collective states of being. In these paintings, one begins to sense one’s own reflection. They reveal an artist coming to terms with what is being done in her name; they ask what are the boundaries between self and society? In the artist’s own words: “I think about the interconnections between people. Like how Aspen trees have a common root system. They look like they are different trees but they are all the same, really. Differences are maybe not as fascinating as similarities. Similarities are never exact, but they are beautiful.” Steve Locke wrote that, “Coffey is painting a new kind of space… She is painting the interference, the attitudes, the obfuscations between the understanding of the self. “
Coffey’s paintings were surveyed at the New York Studio School in 2008. Her work is included in the collections of The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and The Art Institute of Chicago, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Akron Museum of Art, The Weatherspoon Art Museum, The Honolulu Academy of Art, The Minneapolis Museum of Art, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Seville, Spain.
The exhibition is accompanied by a full color catalog.
Works by Peter Acheson, Lester Johnson, Kurt Knobelsdorf, Lauren Luloff, Sangram Majumdar and Matt Phillips will be available for viewing at PROJECTOR 237 Eldridge Street by appointment.
October 16 – November 17, 2013
October 16, 6–8 pm<
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents Dark Paintings 1960-65 by Lester Johnson. SHFAP exhibited Johnson’s two Last Paintings in 2011 in our rear gallery. The paintings in this exhibition are drawn from the Artist’s Estate.
This exhibition focuses on a group of major works from the early 1960s that. Johnson created while working in his studio at 222 Bowery in downtown Manhattan. The monochrome works in Dark Paintings present a unified group within Johnson’s overall oeuvre. Single figures and urban groups swim in dense painterly fields of intensely worked monochromatic color, the figures merged within the rectangle lend a powerful unity to figure and ground.
John Yau writes that,
“More than fifty years after his work first gained attention, his monochrome silhouettes remain strong and fresh, as well as anticipate the work of Joyce Pensato and others.“
Johnson’s 222 Bowery studio was directly across from the Bowery Mission, where homeless men lined up for assistance.
James Kalm wrote in the Brooklyn Rail:
“With his studio near the Bowery, Johnson found the subject for his first major breakthrough in the guise of the downtrodden men who flocked to the area for its cheap bars and dollar-a-night hotels. The early paintings are dark and reductive, brooding with existential angst. … aware not only of the AbEx painterliness of de Kooning, Still, and Pollock, but also of the European “Material Painters” like Dubuffet.“
Dore Ashton speculated that Johnson was influenced by seeing a 1948 exhibition of work by Alberto Giacometti at the Pierre Matisse Gallery. There is a profound connection between the monochromatic figures of Johnson and Giacometti. Both confront the existential state of the figure in a void. Yet, in contrast with Giacometti’s sculptural stillness, Johnson’s figures are always in flux. Johnson stated:
“There is no balance in my paintings because balance seems to me to be static. Life, which I try to reflect in my paintings, is dynamic …. To me, my paintings are action paintings—paintings that move across the canvases, paintings that do not get stuck, but flow like time.”
Johnson was born in Minneapolis. He studied with two former students of Hans Hofmann- Alexander Masley at the Minneapolis School of Art and Cameron Booth at the St Paul School of Art. After moving to NYC in 1947 he shared a studio with Larry Rivers. He worked as a framer for Baroness Hilla Rebay at the Guggenheim Museum. His work transitioned from abstraction into figurative and landscape imagery in the early 1950s in Provincetown and New York. . He was one of the few figurative artists to be a member of The Club. In 1962 he began to show with the Martha Jackson Gallery.
Johnson taught at Yale from 1964- 1989 and served as the director of the graduate painting program at the Yale School of Art and Architecture between 1969-74 . He was received a Guggenheim Fellowship in painting in 1976, a Citation in Painting at the 1987 Brandeis University Creative Arts Awards, and in 2003 was honored for lifetime achievement by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York. His work is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum among many others.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog with an essay by scholar/collector Herbert Lust.
2013, mixed media on paper, 11 x 11 3/8 in
September 8 – October 13, 2013
Sunday, Sept 8, 4-8 pm
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents Small Ships, a solo exhibition of work by Katherine Bradford. The show will include sculptures, small paintings and gouaches. It is the first time her sculptures have been shown in New York City. The exhibition will focus on Bradford’s motif of ships at sea.
Bradford’s imagery of the Titanic and ocean liners alludes to the human frailty within the liner’s massive form. Bradford’s painting can be interpreted as a meditation on masculinity, a play on the convention of maritime painting, or a rethinking of the American hero.
Bradford was an abstract painter who now works with imagery. In 1989, Roberta Smith wrote that “Bradford’s paintings are beautifully made, sincerely felt and distinguished by a special talent for schematizing nature into small, ruggedly made paintings that are at once poetic and humorous.”
Bradford’s current paintings have loose, quirky handmade patterns, spaces, and geometries. Her ships float in friendly apocalyptic grounds. Her closest peers are Peter Acheson and Chris Martin, also pioneers of this raw vocabulary and influential to a younger generation of painters.
The textured surfaces of Bradford’s paintings relate to the funky fabrication of her sculptures. Bradford’s sculptures play dramatically with scale. She depicts steel monumentality out of model-scale cardboard and paint.
Bradford was the subject of a recent exhibition at Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Maine, and received much acclaim for her show at Edward Thorp Gallery in 2012. She was included in numerous group exhibitions across the Lower East Side and Brooklyn over the past year. Her work is included in various public collections, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Portland Museum, the Addison Gallery of American Art and the Worcester Museum. Bradford was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011, and was a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant in 2012.
Seymour Remenick: Visual Perception
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents two exhibitions. In the front gallery are Rosemarie Beck’s Le Maquillage/Magdalen series, her first narrative figure paintings from the early sixties. Concurrently, in the rear gallery, SHFAP presents Visual Perception, paintings and drawings by Seymour Remenick (1923-1999).
Rosemarie Beck (1923-2003) studied at Robert Motherwell’s school and was mentored by Phillip Guston and Bradley Walker Tomlin. Her abstractions from the 1950s were inspired by Guston’s Abstract Impressionism and championed by the young Hilton Kramer. In 1960, however, she eschewed abstraction for a figuration that was at once personal and mythical. Her paintings have an almost textile-like weave and touch, like the embroideries she also made.
This exhibition presents three major related paintings from the early 1960s that address the theme of the artist in the studio. In Rosemarie Beck’s studio, the artist is a woman, surrounded by women, making-up, posing, reading and painting. These women are echoed in the images on the canvases around the studio: the studio is a mirror reflecting itself. A blonde sylph-like Magdalen with a long white ribbon in her hair glides through the different canvases. In another painting, the model appears to be Beck herself: she is both witness and actor.
There is something delightfully subversive about seeing the traditional view of an artist’s studio so thoroughly occupied by women in a multiplicity of guises. Beck lived her life as a profound intellect amidst a bevy of brilliant men. In her Maquillage/Magdalen series, she envisioned her studio as a refuge of the feminine.
The exhibition will also include a group of Beck’s small abstracted oil on cardboards, painted throughout her career. The Beck exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog with an essay by Jennifer Samet, who has written about Beck and interviewed her shortly before her death.
Seymour Remenick followed a parallel path, studying in the mid 1940s with Hans Hofmann before making a turn toward representation around 1950. Remenick eschewed his modernist schematic color and composition for an almost Dutch small-format vision of landscape, painted directly from observation in a deliberately dark palette.
Throughout the 1960s and 70s his palette brightened and he developed a spontaneous shorthand and a tangible perceptual intimacy with his subject. Remenick arguably employs the purest approach of any post-war American painter to plein-air landscape painting.
Fairfield Porter wrote about his work: “Remenick expresses as well as it is expressed today, the idea that the ends of painting are to be found in its means.” When Remenick writes that “Rembrandt not only eliminates the dross and the inconsequential, but he also introduces the elements of air and the spatial nuances produced by light,“ he could reasonably be speaking about his own work, with its paired down eloquence and variety of tone and atmosphere. This exhibition will also include examples of his early works. In 2010, Remenick’s work was surveyed at The Lancaster Museum of Art.
The Professor’s Regret (from the Doors series),
2000, acrylic on canvas, 18 x 24 inches
peter acheson: paintings
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents dooroomwindow, a two-part exhibition at the gallery (April 29- May 26) and at PULSE New York, May 9 – 12 (The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, New York City).
dooroomwindow is a group show about interior space and how we see it. Doors, windows and rooms are framing devices, lenses, apertures and containers. The objects in rooms reflect absent figures. Framed by a doorway a standing figure mirrors the essential relationship of an image to a rectangle.
The gallery portion of the exhibition includes paintings by Jane Dickson, Bill Rice, Kurt Knobelsdorf, Gideon Bok, Eleanor Ray and Stephanie Pierce.
Jane Dickson (b.1952) best known for her paintings of an earlier outlaw Times Square at night. conveys a sense of urban isolation with a cinematic framing of partial figure in a night hotel.
Bill Rice (1931-2006), painter and actor, was a fixture of the East Village avant-garde art and theater scenes in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Painter of New York’s street life, Rice’s gritty views through windows and alleys carry an atmosphere of mysterious erotic possibility.
Kurt Knobelsdorf (b.1979) works from life, photos or the internet. His densely painted snapshot-like depictions of people and architecture convey a ferocious painterly integrity.
Gideon Bok (b. 1966) records the flow of people and objects through his studio. His paintings are an accumulation of details, a series of moments that build up to an image of a room.
In extremely small paintings, Eleanor Ray (b.1987) a recent New York Studio School M.F.A., plays with the tropes of painterly representation. Her work is both familiar and luminous, like seeing through a window into a place we know.
Stephanie Pierce (b. 1974) constructs interior spaces out of fractured shards of color and light. Her paintings seem to unfold and evaporate simultaneously before the viewer’s eye.
The artists in the corresponding exhibition at PULSE include Guy Yanai, Karla Wozniak, Robert Birmelin, and Sangram Majumdar.
Guy Yanai (b.1977) lives and works in Tel Aviv. His paintings of everyday spaces and modernist architecture break down into highly saturated coloring-book color blocks. In Karla Wozniak’s (b.1978) paintings of the American landscape, road signs and billboards are montaged in a manner that can be related to 20th century Modernist painters such as Ralston Crawford and Stuart Davis.
Robert Birmelin’s (b.1933) is known for his New York crowd scenes, His Doors series are reversible compositions that play with perception as they up-end the world. His work is included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum, The Museum of Modern Art and The Hirshhorn Museum among many others.
Sangram Majumdar’s (b. 1976) paintings of open spaces, voids and accumulated objects in the studio challenge the viewer’s understanding of paintings relationship to what is seen.
Concurrently with dooroomwindow in SHFAP’s rear gallery we are exhibiting the paintings of Peter Acheson (b.1954). Part of a generation of freestyle Williamsburg painters, including Katherine Bradford and Chris Martin, the breadth of Acheson’s work encapsulates density, collage and language delivered with rawness and complexity.
Peter LaBier: Drawings
Matt Phillips (b. 1979) is a Brooklyn-based abstract painter whose DIY geometries draw upon decorative, digital and modernist abstraction. Phillips received his MFA from Boston University. This is his first solo exhibition in a New York gallery. Phillips is active in Brooklyn’s pop up art scene. He is a founding member of the nonprofit gallery TSA in Bushwick. His works on paper were surveyed at Mount Holyoke Museum in the spring of 2012. He collaborated with painter Andrea Bergart on a mural that covered the gallery walls for SHFAP’s summer 2012 exhibition The Jam.
Phillips combines acrylic and oil to create vibrant, optical, mixed-media abstractions. Despite their geometric structures, his paintings retain a softness and improvised sensibility related to decorative traditions of textiles. For Phillips, “quilts share many familiar ideas with geometric abstraction. But when pinned up on the wall—they move, flop, and sag. “
Phillips’ painting has a whimsical gravity, teetering between stable pattern and tumbling form. Phillips uses the fundamental elements of painting: simple shapes, modulated values and color relationships. He mixes and remixes these components to produce unexpected outcomes that become more than the sum of their ingredients. Color, shape, mark and form engage one another in strangely familiar and human ways: they become tense, humorous, quirky and ultimately meaningful. Phillips’ work simultaneously relates to Alfred Jensen, Marimekko patterns and Gee’s Bend quilts.
Peter LaBier’s (b. 1980) vision spans a range of expressive form: he is musician, dancer, draftsman and painter. LaBier is concerned with the total recording and transmitting of an experience in time.
LaBier’s drawings demonstrate a freedom and virtuosic intensity. His wiry, dense and expressive line recalls that of Giacometti and Van Gogh. LaBier works from direct observation; his hand moves elegantly through his subjects with an animated freedom, giving the impression of a kind of collaborative dance between artist, subject and page. His work echoes the past and emerges as a strikingly contemporary.
LaBier derives his imagery from an odd assortment of isolated still life subjects: a child’s organ, a Tibetan lion figurine, a porcelain glove mold, pineapples, Egyptian heads, Greek sculpture and vases of flowers. He engages the history of still life painting serially in sequences that recall draftsman/animators like Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and William Kentridge.
He has exhibited at Plane Space gallery in New York and at Agent Gallery in Chicago. LaBier is the frontman for the electro-pop band Psychobuildings, who have released music through the Brooklyn based label All Hands Electric. He recently directed a music video for the band MNDR’s song, “Feed Me Diamonds.”
Eleanor Ray: Paintings
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents two exhibitions- Julian Bell: Paintings and Eleanor Ray: Paintings.
In the front gallery, are paintings by the British art historian and painter Julian Bell (grandson of the Bloomsbury group painter Vanessa Bell.) Well known in England for his art criticism, Bell is also a painter of considerable gifts. This is the first time his paintings have been shown in New York in over 30 years.
Based in East Sussex, England, Bell is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books, and author of the critically acclaimed What is Painting? and Mirror of the World: A New History of Art. He has shown extensively with Francis Kyle Gallery in London and has work in the collections of the Brighton Museum and the Museum of London. This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to consider the relationship between Bell’s critical writing and his art. Bell will be giving a concurrent talk After the End of Art (and Q & A led by writer David Carrier) at the New York Studio School on February 19th.
Bell paints both scenes form daily life- shoppers caught amongst glossy magazine racks or the base of a modern building and perplexing fictional scenarios such as a poet’s theatre troupe outside Skotoprigonyevsk, Dostoyevsky’s fictional home of the Karamazov clan, or a man climbing a scaffold on the edge of a town in Uzbekistan. The experience of looking at his painting is akin to stepping inside a fiction that has already begun. Bell’s work unfolds in strange details like a short story whose narrative is never quite grasped. As Bell puts it, “I embrace the currents of narrative and invite them to course through my canvases. Why turn your back on storytelling when it's the mainstream of human self-understanding?” The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog with a text by art historian David Carrier.
In the rear gallery, SHFAP presents recent work by twenty-five year old painter Eleanor Ray. A recent graduate of the New York Studio School MFA program, this is her first solo exhibition in a New York gallery. Ray’s small paintings play with the tropes of painterly representation. Derived from photography and from life, they carry a force and luminosity that extends beyond their small scale. Her poetic depictions of snowy tennis courts and sparse interiors suggest space that is both intimate and expansive. Ray’s sensitive and sensual brushwork is exquisitely scaled to her pictures’ dimension. There is a voyeuristic, at times nostalgic, sensibility to her work – we feel as though we are peering out of a window or through a doorway into a place we already know.
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents 8 + 8, a two-gallery survey of Paul Resika’s painting, featuring eight works that span eight decades of Resika’s career, beginning in the 1940s and continuing up to the present. Connected to personalities as diverse as Hans Hofmann, Edward Hopper, Leo Castelli, Milton Resnick and Clement Greenberg, his career stands as a veritable roadmap for the diversity of the New York art world over the past seventy years.
This condensed ‘microspective’ includes an essential work from distinct stylistic phases in Resika’s career, highlighting his painterly breadth and reflecting his own attempt to capture what is essential in his subjects. This exhibition is concurrent with an exhibition of eight new Resika paintings at Lori Bookstein Fine Art.
Resika (b. 1928) combines loose New York School painting and representational depiction with a singular boldness and poetic specificity. He negotiates the terrain between past and present, memory and observation, abstraction and representation.
Against the backdrop of the trends of pop and minimalism that swept the New York art world, Resika remained a truly independent figure, unafraid to follow his paintings wherever they took him. His career took dramatic and surprising twists.
Born in New York City, Resika studied with Hans Hofmann as a teenager and had his first solo show at age 19 at George Dix Gallery in New York. Seeking the traditional tools that Hofmann had received, such as training in perspective and anatomy, Resika travelled throughout Europe during the 1950s – 60s, studying 19th century landscape and old master painting. Upon returning to America, he introduced painting outdoors into his practice.
In the 1980s, Resika discovered a new motif in Provincetown – the squat rectangular pier buildings on the seafront. Yet after years of plein air painting, Resika no longer paints these seaside scenes from life; instead he generates metonymic symbols for his trees, boats and people. Resika’s recent painting calls to mind the concept of ‘pittura metafisica’ or what the Italian painter Carlo Carrà termed ‘painting without adjectives.’ The emptiness of the architecture in Resika’s pictures is reminiscent of the way De Chirico orchestrates elements in space.
Resika once said that his paintings were never “of something; rather they are something – paintings that have their own very independent existence from the landscape they imagine.”
Resika currently splits his time between New York City and Cape Cod. He has had a profound impact on younger generations of painters as both an artist and teacher, serving as chair of Parson’s MFA program from 1978-1990. Resika has exhibited at the National Academy of Design; the Museum of Modern Art; the Smithsonian Institute; and the Art Institute of Chicago. He has received numerous grants and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and election to the National Academy of Design.
Please contact the gallery at 917-861-7312 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or jpegs. A color catalog with essays by Jennifer Samet, PhD and Steven Harvey will be published for the exhibition.
a group exhibition organized with Marshall Price
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents From Life, a group exhibition organized with Marshall Price, curator at the National Academy of Art, featuring eleven paintings by artists who work from life as a central part of their practice. The artists in this exhibition construct observed spaces that investigate the complex relationship between perception, representation and time. As Marshall Price puts it, these artists collectively “illustrate that painting and drawing from direct observation remains a vital and vibrant part of artistic practice across several generations.”
Sangram Majumdar’s painting of a cut paper collage plays with the idea of painting a flat surface in a way that relates to Lois Dodd’s shadow silhouette of the painter at work.
Susanna Coffey’s closely rendered New Guinea yam cult mask confronts the viewer with the intensity of a face-to-face encounter, expanding upon her body of dramatic self-portraiture.
Sylvia Plimack Mangold established her vocabulary of observational realism in the 1960s in relation to concurrent thinking in minimalism and conceptualism. Plimack Mangold’s method of marking space with her depictions of rulers and masking tape on wood floors has influenced the subsequent work of Gideon Bok. Bok records the flow of people and objects in his studio. The environments he constructs are dense and expansive- layers of translucent paint enable the history of the painted surface to evolve in real time.
Catherine Murphy’s odd perspectives of daily life at first glance seem akin to photorealism, but are in fact the result of her obsessive observation of elaborately constructed and maintained set ups, involving people or household vignettes.
Like Bok, Cindy Tower’s paintings are saturated with visual stimuli. Situating herself in the midst of abandoned industrial interiors, she creates spaces that have an organic cartoon-like quality, as though at any moment her coils and wheels might spring to life.
Rackstraw Downes’s closely observed panoramic depictions of New York City and inland Texas push the envelope of painting from life. His use of perspective is thoroughly observational – rather than employing a rational conception of linear perspective, he structures his spaces with surprising horizon lines that bend in accordance with the human eye’s perception of space.
Stanley Lewis has similarly developed his own rigorous empirical system to painting the landscapes from observation. He works over prolonged periods of time building up thick impasto, almost enameled surfaces that he cuts up and pastes onto.
Lennart Anderson is a master of tone. His painting of a matchstick factory in Maine from the 1960s is structured with a subtle geometric poetry; the line of the river bank water and the diagonal of a conveyor belt align to create a subtle linear structure in the midst of a grey cloud-like atmosphere.
Anna Hostvedt’s precise paintings of parking lots feature subtle temperature shifts within an almost monochromatic palette. She creates spaces infused with a poetic detachment and a simultaneous flatness and depth.
Though the approaches these artists employ are diverse, they share a commitment to an intensity of looking and in the complexity of their processes each create paintings of diverse and profound dynamic range.
In the rear gallery, SHFAP presents an installation of pastels by renowned Icelandic/American artist Louisa Mathiasdottir (1917 – 2000). A student of Hans Hofmann in the 1940s, she is known for her bold, highly-saturated landscapes of Icelandic animals, still lifes and self-portraits. The pastels in this exhibition are dramatic tableaux of fruits, vegetables and kitchen implements. In 2007 her still lifes were exhibited at the Hafnarborg in Iceland, along with those of Leland Bell, who was her husband.
paintings by E.M. Saniga and Kurt Knobelsdorf
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents Ernie and Kurt, an exhibition of recent paintings by the artists E.M Saniga (b.1946) and Kurt Knobelsdorf (b.1979). Saniga and Knobelsdorf met in 2003 via the residency Saniga sponsors with the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, at his home in remote Lancaster County. Pennsylvania. The two painters became close friends and have subsequently painted outdoors together regularly. This exhibition explores the crossover influences within their respective oeuvres and the relationships between their Singular yet connected visions.
E.M. Saniga paints from observation and memory, creating a model of reality at once naturalistic and uncanny, analytical and poetic. Saniga studied with Seymour Remenick at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and privately under Bruce Kurland, His motifs are traditional yet paradoxically unfamiliar. Scenes of daily life around Lancaster County range from images of the surrounding landscape to animal carcasses and local dressage riders. His still lives are painted in closely valued tones. Even his beautiful images of flowers carry an undertone of death and decay.
Saniga is also a Distinguished Professor of Information Technology at the University of Delaware. Science and art share a common bond for him as exploratory processes without foregone conclusions. Through images such as the skinned mink or the woman fending off a snake, Saniga explores the fragility and singularity of his subjects' existence. As he puts it. painting is a way "to explain and to understand something that is real."
Kurt Knobelsdorf paints from nature and photography, drawing imagery from his plein air paintings. found photos and the internet. Born in Grosse Point, Michigan, He grew up in the Gulf Coast of Florida and studied at Dunedin Fine Art Center and later at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
Knobelsdorf's reinventions of American scenes, such as his googly-eyed nude hitchhiker, describe an alternative American reality. Like the information captured on a surveillance screen. Knoobelsdorf's subjects are both intimate and anonymous. His snapshot-like depictions convey a loneliness that. as John Yau asserts, "is not personal but collective art, more disturbingly, ~ feels unavoidable." Yet for all this, Knobelsdor's distressed densely worked surfaces retain a startling freshness.
Concurrently. SHFAP presents in the rear gallery a small group of paintings by Bruce Kurland (b. 1938). Kurland is a painter of birds, fruits, flowers, game and modem debris. His still life paintings are connected to the American trompe l'oell tradition of artists such as John F. Peto. His uncannily balanced compositions are imbued w~h a glistening light and timeless atmosphere. Born in New York, Kurland studied at the National Academy of Design and the Art Student's league. His work has not been exhibited in New York for years.
There will be a reception for the exhibition on Thurs Oct 11th from 6· 8 pm. Contact Stephanie Ard at email@example.com or 917-861-7312 for image requests or further information.
Crosses and Bowl, 2010
oil on canvas, 48 x 62 inches
It’s Best Not to Annoy God
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents It’s Best Not to Annoy God, a solo exhibition of paintings, watercolors, and collages on paper by the visionary figurative artist Chuck Bowdish (b. 1959).
Bowdish renders the personal as universal, synthesizing childhood memory, history and classical imagery to create surreal works that merge autobiography and fantasy. He combines sophisticated draftsmanship and rich art historical references with the primeval fixations of outsider art – like a mixture of Picasso and Henry Darger. Bowdish develops imagery from what he describes as “the logic of dreams” and the hazy fragments of memory, exploring themes of innocence, loss, violence and sexuality.
Bowdish weaves a personal cosmology that tells the story of his mythic fall from grace and the battle between good and evil. His images are populated with symbols of innocence (women, children and angels) and evil (mobsters, soldiers and FBI agents in overcoats and hats). Many of Bowdish’s reoccurring motifs, such as the Trojan horse, the bowl of fruit, the factory smokestack, and looming mobsters reference difficult experiences in his childhood and his struggle with mental illness.
Born in Ohio, Bowdish’s early life was a nomadic one due to his father’s military service. Upon moving to New York as a young man, he worked as an illustrator for the New York Times and Fortune magazine and studied at The New York Studio School and The New York Academy of Art. He is the subject of a documentary film by Peter Wareing entitled Chuck Bowdish: Painter and has been included in recent exhibitions in Atlanta, Williamsburg and Long Island City.
Bowdish’s work speaks to a range of contemporary figuration (Daniel Richter’s theatrical spectacles, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s collages), yet the classical virtuosity of his draftsmanship and his painterly iconography link him to Courbet, Balthus, Giorgio De Chirico and neo-classical period Picasso as well.
Bowdish’s collages juxtapose monochrome ink drawings with hand-written dream fragments and quotes by political figures such as JFK. He assembles his cast of characters on a reoccurring vast and isolated landscape, reminiscent of the American frontier, lending his collages a comic book-like ethos. It is as though, by piecing together the symbols of the past, he integrates his fragmented personal history and recasts it within a mythic global-political context.
Concurrently, SHFAP presents in the rear gallery an installation of three paintings by Earl Kerkam (1891-1965.) These three related late paintings, drawn from the artist’s estate, are among Kerkam’s most abstract works. Dating from c.1960-63, his classic self-portrait/portrait bust format is rendered here as a vertical rectangular color composition.
Earl Kerkam was a figurative fellow traveler of the New York School abstract expressionists. He was admired by Pollock and Guston, and best friends with Franz Kline (with whom he shared a studio). During the forties and fifties, Kerkam was like a wandering mendicant painter moving back and forth between Paris and New York, studiously avoiding the limelight, while simultaneously exhibiting in progressive galleries such as Charles Egan, World House and Poindexter. After Kerkam's death, his friends (among them de Kooning, Guston and Rothko) petitioned the Museum of Modern Art to plan an exhibit in honor of the man who "in our eyes is one of the finest painters to come out of America.” Kerkam was the subject of a one man show at The Painting Center in 2011.
a group installation, featuring works by seven artists: Andrea Bergart, Matt Phillips, Meghan Brady, Tara Geer, Peter LaBier, Kyle Staver and Janice Nowinski. The exhibition draws its name from a famous breakbeat hit by 70s funk outfit Graham Central Station.
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents The Jam, a group installation, featuring works by seven artists: Andrea Bergart, Matt Phillips, Meghan Brady, Tara Geer, Peter LaBier, Kyle Staver and Janice Nowinski. The exhibition draws its name from a famous breakbeat hit by 70s funk outfit Graham Central Station.
The Jam is designed as a total painted environment. A mural by Andrea Bergart and Matt Phillips, and a sound component by the chill-wave band Color War set the stage for an eclectic mixture: DIY geometric abstraction and figurative painting and works on paper.
This exhibition expands on SHFAP’s installation “Meta-Decorative” for the Scope Art Fair 2012 – where Andrea Bergart designed an abstract mural for the walls of the booth, inspired by Pendleton patterns, that was hung with contemporary paintings, works on paper and textiles all connected to a home-grown geometric tradition. Less homogeneous in its vision, The Jam is designed as a sprawling installation of hand made pattern with abstract and representational works on paper and paintings.
Andrea Bergart’s vibrant paintings are infused with an energetic rhythm reminiscent of West African textiles. Matt Phillips paints boldly colorful abstractions related to Gees Bend style quilting. Phillips has also previously collaborated with Meghan Brady, whose abstract images combine underlying geometric structure with spontaneous whimsy. All three artists studied at Boston University.
Tara Geer and Peter LaBier both dig into drawing as a medium. Geer’s large-scale charcoal drawings superficially recall Cy Twombly and Joan Mitchell. Geer gets so close to her subjects that they become abstract. Whether rendering a backpack or the center of an ice cube, Geer gives voice to the beauty and complexity in the commonplace and small. She also teaches drawing at Teacher’s College and privately. Geer will hold a drawing workshop in the gallery on Friday August 3rd at 2pm. Like Geer, LaBier pays careful attention to the every day. His colored ink drawings of bunches of flowers have a wiry intensity of line. LaBier is also the frontman for the Brooklyn band Psychobuildings.
Close friends and figurative painters, Kyle Staver and Janice Nowinski make work in conversation with the history of painting. Staver’s figurative compositions evoke the painterly touch of Matisse, Bonnard or David Park while their compositions quote earlier masters such as Titian. Her image of a boy on a rope swing in a dark wood reads like a mix of Dana Schutz and Elie Nadelman, simultaneously personal, humorous and mythic. Janice Nowinski’s paintings have a self-aware wit that can be seen in her transcriptions of historical works. Her transcription of Boucher’s reclining nude (included here) was a pivotal painting for her: “I came across the odalisque by Boucher…all of a sudden I realized what was missing from my work: a sense of humor and also the possibility that sex could be a great painting subject for me.”
Like both sides of a 45rpm single dividing a long song into two parts, The Jam is the extended funky breakdown that follows the more conventional stating of melodic themes on side 1 (side 1 being the Meta-Decorative installation at Scope). The Jam creates a dense pictorial space that layers painting and drawing over decorative painting.
Simultaneously with The Jam, SHFAP presents in the rear gallery a single important 1959 painting by the mystical American abstract painter Alfred Jensen (1903-1981). Born in Guatemala, Jensen was an early student of Hans Hofmann in Munich, and while he was a long-term friend of Mark Rothko, he remained a singular figure in the heyday of New York school Abstract Expressionism. He attempted to bring together human history in abstract painting. In search for a universal, spiritual geometry, Jensen combined complex numerical and linguistic systems in mysterious ways. The painting included here, “Quadri”, dates from the period of Jensen’s investigation into the Spanish Renaissance. It forsakes the artist’s alternating black and white checkerboards for diagonal patterning derived from Moorish geometric motifs.
“If I want to feel haunted, there's the Lower East Side.”
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents Ten Tenements, a solo exhibition of Gandy Brodie’s (1925-1975) work based on the Lower East Side. The exhibition includes paintings and works on paper from 1958-1975 of tenement facades, city trees and related imagery – the landscape of Brodie’s youth.
This is the last exhibition that Brodie and his wife, Jocelyn, planned together before his premature death. She wrote in a letter to Meyer Schapiro’s widow Lillian, “Ten Tenements was Gandy’s idea for a show. Remember the mini-show I brought to you and Meyer of Tenement themes…and “The Happy Tenement,” the illustrated poem for children of all ages? …Gandy was a tenement before he became a tree (here in Vermont).”
Although the original intention was to pair Brodie’s representations of the Lower East Side with photographs of the walls and buildings that inspired them, this exhibition instead situates the paintings directly within the neighborhood that occasioned them.
Gandy Brodie was born in a “house on Henry Street”, blocks away from the gallery. Essentially a self taught artist, he was deeply impressed by the work of Van Gogh, Cézanne, Picasso, Klee, Soutine, and Mondrian, all of whom had an influence on his singular “expressionist” style. Brodie chose not to participate in the shifting trends that dominated the New York art scene, carving an independent path. He focused intensely on what was directly before him, striving to articulate the world as he observed it, “like a dream sequence,” as he once put it.
The Residue of Memory
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents an exhibition of recent paintings by Stuart Shils. The exhibition, “The Residue of Memory,” includes paintings based on architectural impressions of Tuscany and Rome, where Shils lived and taught last summer with the Jerusalem Studio School. The paintings have moved beyond literal depictions of cityscapes and buildings into more abstract, high-chroma compositions, also larger in scale than much of his previous work.
Shils has long been interested in the idea of seeing through screens or filters, and the blurring and abstracting that results. These paintings employ these ideas. Memory itself becomes the screen, so that we are left with just the impression or sensation of the place.
In these paintings, Shils seeks to represent windows into transitory feeling and mood, internal emotional resonances. The paintings reflect, in his words, “the intense sun, experiences with friends in the labyrinthine forms of those towns, the urgent and pungent presence of the past via architectural form…”
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents Nocturnes, a solo exhibition of paintings by Susanna Coffey. Coffey is well known for her ongoing series of self-portraits. She has simultaneously developed a practice of painting outdoors at night. These tiny nightscapes include images from Chicago, Connecticut, Prague and other places and date from 1995 to 2012. They are painted either in oil or acrylic, often on small canvas panels.
Jeremy Biles writing for the website New City Art, described how Coffey’s “…landscapes in oil are unpopulated, quiet, and diminutive, sometimes just the size of an index card. They carry all the emotion of her portraits but lack fore-grounded faces, and they also convey something at once more abstract and affecting.”
Susanna Coffey expresses her view of our world in the evening--when the sun goes down, but illumination does not cease. The depth of her palette evokes the aura of night—and the degree of darkness changes based on location. Coffey
with Andrea Belag, Ryan Cobourn, Arthur Dove, Bill Jensen, and Ellen Phelan
Feb 23- March 18, opening Thursday, Feb. 23, 6-8 PM
The paintings have in common an examination of the space and power that can be accessed within a close tonal range. This subtle range has been explored by New York School painters such as Reinhardt, Rothko and Still. Dark Matters presents a multi-generational group of painters who have utilized the darker chromatic spectrum to explore various expressive interests. These dark paintings represent just one aspect of the artists’ work at large, and, in many cases, have not previously been exhibited.
Jan 12- Feb 19, opening Jan 13 6-8
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents our second solo exhibition of paintings by Sangram Majumdar. Born in 1976 in Calcutta, Majumdar is an image-based painter who received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA from Indiana University and is currently on the faculty at Maryland Institute College of Art.
NOVEMBER 30 – JANUARY 8, 2012
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects and Martha Henry, Inc. present Bob Thompson Drawings an exhibition of drawings by Bob Thompson (1937-1966) that date from the late 1950s to the mid 1960s and includes Thompson’s last known work, a large drawing in oil paint on canvas after Titian.
october 20 – november 20 , 2011 lester johnson: last paintings
October 20 – November 20, 2011
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents an exhibition of three painters entitled The Gap, featuring the work of Kurt Knobelsdorf, Sangram Majumdar and Stuart Shils. The exhibition explores the increasingly multi-layered and complex relationship that all three painters have to the practice of working from life. In a recent catalog essay Majumdar wrote:
“More and more, I find myself using the facture of paint as a technical parallel to explore the fractured nature of how we experience our lives, and imagery as a whole. We seem to ‘know’ things before we touch them, befriend’ people and have extensive conversations before we ever meet them in person. My work is about this gap between what we think we know and what is right in front of us.”
Lester Johnson: Last Paintings
October 20 – November 20, 2011
Concurrently with The Gap, SHFAP presents Lester Johnson: Last Paintings. Completed a few months before his death, Johnson’s two last paintings depict himself and his wife from an earlier moment in their lives. Without artifice, working from love and memory, Johnson paints an affecting coda to his lengthy career as the pre-eminent American figurative expressionist painter
September 7 – October 8, 2011
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents an installation of new paintings by Gideon Bok entitled Record Store. This is the first exhibition at SHFAP’s new location in the Lower East Side, at 208 Forsyth Street. The exhibition includes more than one hundred of Bok’s “LP still life paintings”: 12 5/8 x 12 5/8 inch oil paintings of record album covers.
June 2 – July 1, 2011
Shfap presents Bill Rice: Paintings & Works on Paper from June 2 - July 1, 2011. The exhibition will include a selection of works spanning the course of Rice’s career, mostly gathered from the artist’s estate. This is the first solo exhibition of Rice’s work since 2005. A catalogue with essays by Joe Fyfe and Ulla Dydo will accompany the exhibition. The exhibition will include a compilation of film clips featuring Rice, put together by Jacob Burckhardt.
April 2 – April 31, 2011
Pink Moon, a group exhibition inspired by the final album of the English folksinger Nick Drake (1948-1974.) The exhibition includes paintings by Gideon Bok, Duncan Hannah, Kurt Knobelsdorf, Sangram Majumdar, Keith Morris, Stephanie Pierce and Stuart Shils, sculpture by Paul Villinski, music by D.M. Stith and Arborea and film by Chris Wilcha.
SHFAP and Martha Henry present
Gandy Brodie / Bob Thompson:
The Ecstasy of Influence,"
an exhibition about the painterly relationship of Gandy Brodie and Bob Thompson in the late 1950’s.
February 1 - 28, 2011
reception 6-8pm, February 1, 2011
shfap, 24 east 73rd Street, #2F, NYC, NY 10021, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gandy Brodie and Bob Thompson both spent the summer of 1958 in Provincetown, Massachusetts, amidst a community of other artists that included Mimi Gross, Red Grooms, Jay Milder, Wolf Kahn, Emilio Cruz, Lester Johnson, Anne Tabachnick, Dody Müller and Christopher Lane.
Art historian Judith Wilson has characterized that Provincetown summer as exemplifying an “ecstasy of influence”: the influences of contemporary figurative painters on Thompson’s work. She wrote about this community in the 1998 Whitney Museum exhibition catalogue for Thompson’s retrospective. Despite the fact that they never met, Jan Müller who died in January of 1958 was unquestionably a significant influence on the developing Bob Thompson. However, the influences of other members of this community on Thompson have been less explored. Wilson touches on this as she quotes a mutual friend of Brodie and Thompson, the painter Emilio Cruz. Cruz has stated that Thompson painted “his first figurative paintings” in response to the influence of Gandy Brodie.
chuck bowdish journals
table #Z23, 2nd flr
NY ARTBOOK FAIR
22-25 Jackson Ave
at the intersection of 46th Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101
Friday/Saturday, November 5-6, 2010, 11am - 7pm
Sunday, November 7, 2010, 11am- 5pm
The NY Art Book Fair is FREE and open to the public.
steven harvey fine arts projects presents its second solo exhibition of oil-on-panel paintings by the enigmatic Pennsylvania-based painter of rural and industrial landscapes, still lifes, figures and animals, E. M. Saniga. Having grown up hunting and fishing in a country setting, Saniga is a keen observer of nature. His atmospheric paintings capture the cycle of beauty in nature that ultimately leads to death and decay.
Coleman Bancroft – 35 e 67 st, 4th flr, nyc 10065
Gallery Schlesinger- 24 e 73 st. #2F, nyc 10021
May 18-June 13, 2010, opening Thursday May 20th, at Gallery Schesinger 4-6pm
and at Coleman Bancroft 6-8pm, gallery hrs: 11-6 tues-fri, 11-5 sat
Organized with John Yau
visit the exhibition