Category Archives: Events

John Dobbs paintings at Westbeth Hall Gallery to May 2015

John Dobbs - Turning the Double Play copy

Subject matter ranges from the urban landscape to dream-like portraits to baseball. His oil on canvas work reflects the influences of Jack Levine, Ben Shahn, and the German Expressionists.

I am a narrative painter. For me, a creative work is about something far deeper than simply the manipulation of the medium. I am obsessed with the other side of things.
– John Dobbs

More info on John Dobbs:

Gallery is open 24/7 to May 2015.

Ray Ciarrocchi’s drawings at the Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center

ray ciarrocchi Seeking the Darkness and the Light

Seeking the Darkness and the Light: Drawings of Italy by Ray Ciarrocchi
at the Joel And Lila Harnett Print Study Center

On view January 23 through April 26, 2015, in the
Harnett Print Study Center, is the exhibition
Seeking the Darkness and the Light: Drawings
of Italy by Ray Ciarrocchi.

Throughout his long career, Ray Ciarrocchi (American, born 1933) has maintained an abiding interest in the complexities of the landscape and its power as a visual metaphor.

The artist continues to focus on the landscape in his paintings and drawings. Dividing his time between New York and Italy, the artist found his inspiration for this series of charcoal drawings primarily in the provinces of Le Marche and the Abruzzo.

The series of drawings captures the mysterious and evocative nature of the region and its intermingling of Italy’s past and present, a setting Ciarrocchi describes as “heavy and dark and filled with a timeless uncertainty.” The richness of the layers of charcoal defines the darkness and the light of the landscape. In describing the drawings, the artist states, “Redon was partly an inspiration as was Italy with its surreal mixture of so many centuries which are part of daily life.

Charcoal itself helped define often what I was trying to find. The drawings are not literal versions of perceived reality but move in directions which the actual making of the drawings suggested.”
Cynthia Price, Director of Media and Public Relations
Ray Chiarrocchi (American, born 1933), River God’s
Cascade (Villa Lante), 2010-2013, charcoal and white
pastel on MBM Ingres d’Arches paper, 25 x 32 inches, Joel
and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, University of Richmond
Museums, Gift of the artist, H2013.05.04 © Ray Ciarrocchi,
photograph by Taylor Dabney
Ray Ciarrocchi was born in Chicago, Illinois, and studied art at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, Washington University, and received his M.F.A. at Boston University in 1961. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and included in selected collections such as The Brooklyn Museum, Greenwich Public Library, Connecticut, The United States Department of State, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the University of Richmond Museums.

Ciarrocchi has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Fulbright Grant, Florence, Italy, in 1963, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant in 1967, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship Award in 2009-2010, and the Pollock-Krasner Grant in 2013.
Organized by the University of Richmond Museums and curated by Richard Waller, Executive Director, University Museums, the exhibition was made possible in part with support from the Louis S. Booth Arts Fund.

Sunday, February 22, 2015, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Artist Talk and Tea Reception, Harnett Print Study Center
Modlin Center for the Arts
Ray Ciarrocchi, artist

Note: Images for press are available by contacting Heather Campbell, 804-287-6324 or
University of Richmond Museums comprises the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, the Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, and the Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature. Admission to all museums is free and open to the public.
For group visits and tours, please call Martha Wright at 804-289-8237, or visit at least two weeks prior to your visit for reservations. We can book group tours outside of our normal businesshours.
Call 804-289-8276 for information and directions or visit our website at
Museum hours (through 4/27): Sunday through Friday, 1 to 5 p.m. (Summer hours 4/28-5/15; Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 5p.m.). Closed Saturdays, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (1/19), Spring Break (3/7

David Seccombe’s Wall to Wall
Exhibit at Westbeth Project Room to March 31, 2015

David Seccombe Wall to Wall.for post jpg

David Seccombe’s first sculpture exhibit, in 1961 at the Brata Gallery on 3rd Avenue and 10th Street, featured a large metal piece which hung from the ceiling. In the half-century since then, his work has been shown across the country and internationally, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, N.Y.F.A., the Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation, and others.

A Westbeth “pioneer” he and his family moved in while the cement was still fresh on the stairway in their apartment. Many of his older pieces are familiar parts of the Westbeth courtyard landscape.

Peter Ruta at NYU Casa Italiana
February 2 – February 27, 2015
and at Westbeth Project Room 2


ITALY EARLY AND LATE, an exhibition of paintings by PETER RUTA

From February 2-27 Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò of New York University will present an exhibition of Peter Ruta’s Italian paintings, dating from the 1950’s when he lived between Venice, Rome and Positano. Also on view will be large, exuberant 21st century landscapes completed in southern Italy in recent years, by this vital artist, who turns 97 on February 7th. Ruta will be present at the opening on February 2, 6-8 PM, to converse wih NYU Art History professor Ara Merjian about his deep connection with Italy and Italian artists of his generation.

Ruta is best known in the U.S. for his mature work, luminous cityscapes painted from downtown Manhattan rooftops and from the 9lst Floor of the North Tower of the WTC, and for his Mexican and New Mexican landscapes. The early Italian paintings have been rediscovered lately in Europe, with museum shows in Italy and Germany. This is their first show in New York in over half a century.

Ruta’s early Italian work both undergirds and illuminates what came later. Small intimate paintings, unerringly composed, restrained in palette — sideways street views, buttoned up portraits, frugal still life — offer a moving, authentic record of postwar Italy, as Italians like to remember it: poor, honest, hopeful day by day.Italy in the 50s – when Abstract Expressionism ruled the New York scene –was a refuge for Ruta, freed to find his own unique fusion of seemingly disparate elements: Venetian baroque, an early love of Italian and Mexican fresco, Mediterranean light that bleached his palette and clarified his composition. Ruta “the lyrical luminist” as he has been dubbed, was born in Positano, in long late afternoon conversations with sea and sky. A conversation resumed with energy and aplomb by the mature painter working for part of each year since 2007 on the Amalfi coast.

Ruta’s German anti Nazi parents left Leipzig for Italy in 1923. Ruta, on his own, left Fascist Italy for New York in 1936. A witness to over half a century of art history, in the late 1930s, he was monitor at the Art Students League in the fresco class of Jean Charlot, who trained the Mexican muralists. Charlot sent Ruta to Mexico in 1939 to meet the group around Siqueiros and work at the fabled Taller de Grafica Popular. In New York in 1940 Ruta met the artists arriving from occupied France. Matta, Berman, Leonid, the American original Edward Melcarth became lifelong friends. After wartime adventures (badly wounded in infantry combat on Bataan February 3, 1945) Ruta returned to Italy. In 1947 he drew close to Leo Stein, living his last year in Settignano. In 1949 Peggy Guggenheim sought Ruta’s help in searching for the right palazzo. In New York in the 60s Ruta edited ARTS magazine, publicizing the new trends of the times: Op, Pop, Conceptual.

Ruta has shown at major galleries in New York and Europe for over fifty years. Major museum shows include Museum of the City of New York (2004) Leipzig Stadtgeschichtliches Museum (2008, a 90th birthday retrospective), Ceramic Museum, Thurnau, Germany (2010) and Villa Rufolo, Ravello (2012). A major show is planned for the Museo della provincia di Salerno for 2016.

Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo, New York University 24 West 12th Street, New York 10011gallery hours Mon-Fri 10 AM to 5 PM

tel. 212-998-8739

Peter Ruta’s paintings at the Westbeth Project Room 2 features his recent still lives.