When John Walker first visited Maine, he couldn’t paint landscape. “It was too pretty, too scenic—I couldn’t do anything with it.” Known for emotionally charged work that draws upon personal history and a profound love of art, Walker creates monumental canvases that command large gallery spaces yet are still able to convey intimate feeling. Critics point out references to numerous artists. Walker’s clinched-waisted Alba form is a sincere homage to Goya’s duchess and in the 1990s he was inspired by that painter’s meditation on the disasters of war as a way of describing his father’s memories of fighting in the trenches in World War I. For many years he worked solely in his studio, but after moving permanently to Maine, he found he was able to step outside. Walking along the shore near his coastal home, he was inspired by the stinking mud and debris left by outgoing tides–finally there was a way for him to work directly from the landscape without having to resort to traditional views. Determined not to make pretty pictures, he incorporated dirt into his medium, repeating observations made by others that “paint is only colored mud anyway.” And perhaps mindful of his father experience and the capricious nature of war as a game of chance, he recorded mercurial shifts of weather on discarded bingo cards. But large or small, whether made by looking at the pools and rivulets formed by the outgoing tide or zig zag reflections on the fast-moving water coming in, Walker’s paintings reveal confidence in their ability to truthfully record what he’s observed and still take him to places he’s not yet been.
Gallery artist Sally Hazelet Drummond has two paintings on view at The Jewish Museum's current exhibition New York: 1962 – 1964.
New York: 1962 – 1964 uses the Jewish Museum’s influential role in the early 1960s New York art scene as a jumping-off point to examine how artists living and working in New York City responded to the events that marked this moment in time.
Presenting works by Diane Arbus, Lee Bontecou, Chryssa, Merce Cunningham, Jim Dine, Martha Edelheit, Melvin Edwards, Lee Friedlander, Nancy Grossman, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Yayoi Kusama, Norman Lewis, Roy Lichtenstein, Boris Lurie, Marisol, Agnes Martin, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, Claes Oldenburg, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, Faith Ringgold, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist, Miriam Schapiro, Carolee Schneemann, George Segal, Jack Smith, Harold Stevenson, Marjorie Strider, Mark di Suvero, Bob Thompson, and Andy Warhol, among many others, the exhibition aligns with the years of Alan Solomon’s tenure as the Jewish Museum’s influential director. Solomon organized exhibitions dedicated to what he called the “New Art,” transforming the Jewish Museum into one of the most important cultural hubs in New York.
During the timeframe explored in this exhibition, epoch-changing events—such as the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (1963), and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (1963)—fundamentally altered the social and political landscape of New York City, and the nation. An unprecedented economic boom broadened the array of available consumer goods, and an expanding media network introduced new voices into increasingly urgent conversations about race, class, and gender. Emerging in this context, a generation of New York-based painters, sculptors, dancers, filmmakers, and poets rose to prominence, incorporating material directly from their urban surroundings and producing works that were as rich and complex as the city itself.
The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce an exhibition by American artist, Lois Dodd to be held in its galleries in Reading, Vermont from 21 May – 27 November 2022. Known for creating intimate and deceptively simple, yet acutely observational paintings, this survey brings together approximately 50 works that span Dodd’s career from the late 1950s to paintings completed last year.
For decades, Dodd has painted views of her immediate, everyday surroundings at the places where she lives and works — the gardens and woods at her summer home in rural Mid-Coast Maine, landscapes around her weekend home in New Jersey near the Delaware Water Gap, and views from the window of her New York City loft on the Lower East Side. Preferring to work quickly, Dodd’s paintings are usually completed in one sitting, are based on direct observations of her surroundings, and when possible, en plein air.
Dodd’s everyday subjects frequently include architectural details of her home, tumbling down clapboard barns, clotheslines, trees and woods, detailed closeups of plants and flowers, nocturnal moonlight skies and precise views framed by windows. Dodd returns to familiar subjects repeatedly at different times of the year and works with urgency to capture a specific time of day. Carefully composed and distilled to their essential elements, her paintings possess an underlying geometry, and become studies of color, light, shadow, and form.