January 9th – January 30th 2016
Curated by Peter Colquhoun
A roundtable discussion on Still Life Painting Today
Inspired by Norman Bryson’s book of the same name (Reaktion Books Ltd., 1990) and in conjunction with the exhibition, curated by Peter Colquhoun. Robert Bunking will moderate. (It is not necessary to have read Norman Bryson’s book to attend.)
Saturday, January 30,* 2016, 3:30-4:30, followed by a reception.
*Final day of the exhibition.
In Bryson’s collection of four essays: Xenia; Rhopography; Abundance; Still Life and ‘Feminine’ Space, the author, an art historian at the Slade School of Fine Art, University of London, examines a broad swath of the history of still life painting, from Roman wall paintings to Spanish, Italian and Dutch Baroque, Chardin, Cézanne, Modersohn-Becker and Cubism, among others.
The roundtable discussion is a forum for painters, curators and appreciators to express their own ideas about still life as a viable genre of artistic investigation. Peter Colquhoun will introduce his thinking about the organization of the exhibition, and his own responses, both as artist and curator to Bryson’s theses. Robert Bunkin, a participating artist, will act as moderator of the discussion.
Lennart Anderson, Robert Bunkin, Sandra Caplan, Simon Carr, Ray Ciarrocchi, Peter Colquhoun, Francis Cunningham, Gwen Fabricant, Lawrence Faden, Robert Feinland, John Goodrich, Xico Greenwald, Albert Kresch, Valerie Mendelson, Thaddeus Radell, Jean Francois Rocheman, Peter Ruta, Susan Walp and Rachel Youens
Looking at the Overlooked, an exhibition focusing on contemporary still life painting, borrows its title from Norman Bryson’s book by the same name, published in 1990. In Bryson’s collection of four essays, a broad swath of the history of still life is examined and interpreted as a segment of the visual arts that has always been relegated to a status of minor importance by official arbiters of taste – an attitude that persists to this very day.
It is in a spirit of reevaluation and revelation that this exhibition has been conceived. Even the most humble motif in still life can, in the hands of certain painters, hold its own next to any figure composition or landscape, any representational or non-representational artwork. Each artist in this exhibit has found a way to express him or herself in a unique and personal way through still-life. Even if they also work with landscape or the figure, the still-life genre offers these painters possibilities no other motif can. Its intimacy and sense of quiet contemplation broadens the experience of painting while informing other aspects of the painter’s work.
Far from being frozen in some traditional form, still life has evolved since the time of Zeuxis and it continues to evolve. What actually constitutes a still life is an open question.
The ground level Westbeth Gallery is located at the alley [mid-block] on Bethune Street in the courtyard, between West and Washington Streets in the West Village.
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday 1-6 pm and by appointment. If by appointment: email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 212-566-5155.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Peter Colquhoun
Short Bios of Participants:
Lennart Anderson Lennart Anderson studied at Art Institute of Chicago, Cranbrook Academy and at the Art Students League under Edwin Dickinson. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and National Academy. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Endowment for the Arts grant, the Tiffany Foundation grant and the Prix de Rome.
Anderson’s work is in the permanent collections of The Brooklyn Museum; The Cleveland Museum of Art; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; and the Delaware Art Museum.
Simon Carr lives and works in New York City. His recent paintings, drawings and prints have focused on street scenes and subway scenes in New York City. He has exhibited widely, most recently at The Painting Center, Prince Street Gallery and Long Island University’s Selena Gallery. He teaches Drawing at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, part of CUNY.
Gwen Fabricant studied at the Cooper Union and Brooklyn College. Her work has been exhibited across the United States. She has taught at colleges and art schools, including Pacific Northwest College of Art, Maryland Institute, Bates College, Smith College and, most recently, Sarah Lawrence College. She has been the recipient of fellowships and grants, including Joan Mitchell grants and residency, Bogliasco Fellowship, Pollock-Krasner grant, Elizabeth Foundation grants, Yaddo and MacDowell Fellowships.
In January and February 2016, she will participate in the Wave Hill Winter Workspace Program. The work made during the course of the program will be exhibited there in an Open Studio on February 13.
Susan Jane Walp studied at the New York Studio School and in the MFA Program of Brooklyn College. Her main teachers were Lennart Anderson and Nick Carone. Her work is represented by Tibor deNagy Gallery, where she has had five solo exhibitions beginning in 2003. She has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Bogliasco Fellowship, an Academy Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and she is an Academician of the National Academy Museum. She lives and works in northern Vermont.
Thaddeus Radell is an artist living and working in New York. The son of two artists, he grew up in the Midwest, moving to New York to attend Parsons School of Design where he studied with Paul Resika, Leland Bell and Jack Heliker. Soon after graduate school he moved to France where he lived for the next fifteen years, painting, teaching and exhibiting in Paris and Provence. He returned to NYC in 2000 and now teaches at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. He participates in a wide variety of exhibitions throughout New York and is a member of the Bowery Gallery.
John Goodrich is a painter who exhibits, teaches and writes about art in New York City. His paintings have been exhibited at Bowery Gallery, Elizabeth Harris Gallery, Kouros Gallery and Lori Bookstein Fine Art in New York City, and have been reviewed in The New York Times, The New York Sun, and The New York Observer. A writer on art, he contributed regularly to Review magazine and The New York Sun, and currently writes for Hyperallergic.com, Artcritical.com, and his own blog, OnvViewAt.com. He teaches studio classes at the National Academy School of Fine Arts, Haverford College, and Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Valerie Mendelson is a painter and art historian. She has always been drawn to the mysteries of the still life and her work, both scholarly and painterly, has often focused on collections of beautiful things.
She teaches at the New School and Parsons as well as The Brearley School and lives in Sunnyside, Queens.
Jean-Francois Rocheman was born in Paris into a family of painters. When he began painting it seemed like he was always waiting to start. His work focuses on the landscape, but he is also drawn to new perspectives and harmonies of objects. He loves the way things work. He shows with the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors.
Lawrence Faden is a New York City based painter. Along with being a contributing founder of the New York Studio School, Bowery Gallery and the Figurative Alliance, Lawrence Faden has had six one person exhibitions with E. W. Einstein. His work has found its way into the collections of the Chase Manhattan Bank, Becton Dickson & Company, Louisiana Museum of Art and the personal collection of Philip Pearlstein and has appeared in publications such as American Artist Magazine , Gail Levin, Hopper Legacy ; and in a 1985 monograph written by Carter Ratcliff.
Sandra Caplan: Born Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
B.F.A. University of Manitoba. Studied with William Ashby McCloy, George Swinton and Richard Williams. M.F.A. Boston University, studied with David Aronson, Reid Kaye and Jack Kramer. M.F.A. Yale University, studied with Bernard Chaet, John Schueler and Nicholas Carone.
Numerous personal and group exhibitions in museums, galleries and corporate spaces in the U. S. A., Canada and Italy, from 1961 to the present., the most recent at the Palazzina Azzura, in San Benedetto del Tronto, Ascoli Piceno, Italy.
Received grants, residencies and prizes from the Canada Council (Italy) Boston University, Yale University, Yale-Norfolk, The MacDowell Colony, The Provincetown Workshop, Woodstock Art Association, Cooperstown Art Association, The Lenox School and The Town School.
Taught art in New York at the MOMA, Brooklyn Museum, Village Community School, Lenox School, Town School, The Horace Mann School and the School of the National Academy of Design. At present teaches art privately in her studio in Westbeth, where she has been living since 1970. She spends part of the year in Italy.
www.sandracaplan.com tel. 212 691 0595
Robert Bunkin is a figurative painter who has exhibited in galleries in New York City, nationally, and abroad in Italy and China. He earned his BS from the CUNY BA/BS program and his MFA at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. He studied fresco painting at Leonetto Tintori’s Laboratory for True Fresco in Vainella, Italy. He taught art history and studio for over 25 years at several colleges in New York City: Borough of Manhattan Community College, Parsons School of Design, Wagner College, and NYU School of Continuing Education. He has conducted buon fresco workshops at Tsinghua University, Beijing, Castle Hill in Truro, Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio in Lenox, MA and the Art Students League.
Bunkin is currently Art Curator at the Staten Island Museum, where he has organized two major exhibitions: Staten Island SEEN and Opening the Treasure Box, inaugurating the Museum’s new facility at Snug Harbor Cultural Center. He has curated exhibitions at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, the Painting Center, Long Island University, as well as other non-profit and commercial galleries.
Peter Colquhoun is a New York City based painter with forty years of work behind him. During his student years he studied with Francis Cunningham and Lennart Anderson among others. In the 1980s he lived in Italy for two years and stayed in Venice for six months, Milan eight months and the rest of the time in Casole d’Elsa, a small village in Tuscany about half way between Florence and Siena. This was an eye opening time for Colquhoun in terms of engaging with the work of the past masters as well as exploring the Italian landscape in his own paintings. In more recent years he has made painting trips to France. Still life has been a continuous interest that has intensified with the years. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and in Europe and has received numerous awards including the Pollock-Krasner and Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Grants. Residencies have included the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos New Mexico  and I-Park in East Haddam, CT .
www.petercolquhoun.com; 212-566-5155; email@example.com
Ray Ciarrocchi was born in Chicago, Illinois. He studied painting and drawing at the Art Institute of Chicago. Independent study in Tokyo, Japan. BFA from Washington University studying with Wally Barker, Fred Conway and Stephen Pace. MFA from Boston University studying with David Aronson and Reid Kaye.
He has had numerous one-person exhibitions at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, Fischbach Gallery, Rich Perlow Gallery. Solo exhibitions in Italy include those sponsored by the Italian government and most recently (2015) a show of drawings at the University of Richmond Museums.
Work in museums, corporate and private collections in the U.S.A., Canada and abroad. Awarded Fulbright Grant (Italy); Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant; Gottlieb Foundation Grant; Ingram Merrill Fellowship Award; Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grants.
Taught painting, drawing and design at Columbia University, Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, Brooklyn College and Baruch College (CUNY). Visiting artist at Maryland Institute College of Art and University of Guelph, Ontario
Based in New York City and spends half of the year in Italy.
Xico Greenwald is a Brooklyn-based artist, writer and teacher. His work has been exhibited at numerous New York galleries, including Thomson Giroux Gallery, The Painting Center, Janet Kurnatowki Gallery, Brian Morris Gallery, Selena Gallery and the Queens College Art Center. In 2009 he was selected to be a Lucas Fellow at Montalvo Arts Center in California. An Assistant Professor at Borough of Manhattan Community College, he has also taught at Pratt Institute, Rider University and Mount Gretna School of Art In Pennsylvania.
Greenwald’s art criticism for the New York Sun covers a wide range of subjects: from Albrecht Durer’s etchings to Reginald Marsh’s bawdy New York vaudeville scenes, the devotional paintings of an obscure 16th Century Portuguese monk to exhibition reviews of cutting edge contemporary art in Chelsea and Bushwick. His essays, reviews and interviews have been published in The Epoch Times, artcritical.com, Painting Perceptions and Painters’ Table.
In 2014, Greenwald organized “City as Subject,” a sprawling group show of NYC-inspired works at the Westbeth Gallery.
Robert Feinland’s recent paintings explore a studio environment created over the course of many
years. Sculpture and found objects, materials and old furniture compose an imaginary world that also has the comfort of familiarity. These “interiors” reflect my roots as an artist: large abstract paintings on paper or canvas tacked to the wall, figurative sculpture, and sketches from life on New York’s Lower East Side.
In the mid-80’s, I decided to follow Constable’s call “to be a ‘natural’ painter” even in the urban element and began to paint “en plein air” on the street and roof. More recent outdoor work has focused on changes in the city’s architecture. While these motifs and working from nature have provided inspiration, painting for me involves a search for color tones that simultaneously express the tactility and tangibleness of touch and the vibration of color in shadow and light.
Biographical notes: B.A. Haverford, 1967, MFA Brooklyn College, 1989. Created art workshop for teenagers at The DOOR: Center of Alternatives, 1979; curated shows at PS 122 and the Police Building Galleries. Three solo shows at CHAI Gallery in Brooklyn. Group shows at A M Adler, National Academy, Butler Institute. Work appeared on front page of NY Times Weekend Art Section and recently on the cover of a Sunday Jewish Press Magazine. Was awarded two gold medals from recent Audubon Artist Annuals.
Rachel Youens’ work has been recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship (2008-2009) and by a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2006). Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA 1980) and earned an MFA from Brooklyn College, CUNY, in 1993. In Chicago she studied with Imagist painters and developed a sustained interest in vernacular objects. At Brooklyn College, she studied with noted painters Lois Dodd, John Walker, Jack Whitten, and the late Lennart Anderson. Her panoramic still life paintings of breads and food stuffs present allegorical tableaus of nature and society with painterly attention to formal and harmonic relationships.
Youens has exhibited in numerous galleries in the NY metropolitan area including Sideshow Gallery (with Victor Pesce, 2006), Open Source (2010), Valentine Gallery (2013), and the Salena Gallery, Long Island University (2013). Youens has written art criticism for Cover Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, (contributing to the artscene section 1999-2005), NY Arts Magazine, The Villager, NowChelsea, and artcritical.com. She has attended artist residencies at the Fundación Valparaiso, Spain (2008) and the Ragdale Foundation, Ill (1989). She was a guest editor at the Labletter Magazine (2011) and a guest lecturer at Montclair State University (2013). Most recently, she received funding from the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), CUNY to paint in Wrangell, Alaska (2015). Youens currently teaches at the Parsons School of Design, The New School, and at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY, in Long Island City, NY.
Peter Ruta, born 1918 in Germany, Ruta was raised in Italy and emigrated to the US in 1936. He studied painting at the Art Students League with Jean Charlot, who sent him to Mexico in 1939 to meet the fresco painters Charlot had trained years earlier. After serving in the US infantry, Pacific Theatre, Second World War (wounded in the retaking of Bataan 1945) Ruta returned to Italy. He studied painting on a Fulbright grant in Rome and Venice, receiving his diploma from the Venice Accademia in 1948. From 1953 to 1960 he lived in the (then) poor fishing village of Positano on the Amalfi coast, where he met refugee painters from Central Europe who influenced his style towards greater simplicity and Mediterranean clarity.
In New York in the 1960s he edited ARTS magazine, published two books of architectural photography (South Asia and Byzantium) and joined the Pop movement, with paintings based on newspaper photos. But by 1970 he returned to landscape painting. He has worked in France, Spain, southern Mexico (Chiapas 1970s) New Mexico (1980s and 90s) New England and New York City. In 2000 and 2001 he shared a communal studio on the 9lst floor of the North Tower, World Trade Center, with a group of younger artists. He now divides his time between winters in the studio, where he paints “indoor landscapes” – large complex heaps of fruit and vegetabes – and summers in southern Italy where he has been painting again in Positano and in the ancient vineyards of nearby Tramonti in the Lattari Mountains.
Albert Kresch (born July 4, 1922) is a New York School painter who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. One of the original members of the Jane Street Gallery in the 1930s, he exhibited in later years at Tibor de Nagy Gallery and Salander-O’Reilly Galleries. He is best known for landscape and still life compositions painted with evocatively rhythmic forms and vibrant colors.
Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Kresch moved with his family to New York in the 1930s. He began studying figure drawing at the Brooklyn Museum, but soon enrolled in the Hans Hofmann School. There he met Leland Bell, Louisa Matthíasdóttir, Nell Blaine, Judith Rothschild, Robert De Niro, Sr., and Virginia Admiral among other artists of note. These friendships proved a source of inspiration throughout much of his life.
In the 1940s, he exhibited abstract work in his first two shows at the Jane Street Gallery, at a time when Abstract Expressionism was gathering steam. He soon embarked, however, on an independent path, inspired by his friend Jean Helion to return to representational painting. Friendships with poets Denise Levertov, and Frank O’Hara reflect the breadth of his interests. His painting philosophy was a subject of Levertov’s poems “The Dog of Art” and “Kresch’s Studio.”
Kresch won a Fulbright scholarship in 1953, aided in part by a letter of recommendation from his friend Willem de Kooning. Recent exhibitions of his work at Salander-O’Reilly Galleries won favorable reviews, and he was elected member of the National Academy in 2005.
Francis Cunningham is an American figurative painter known for working across three genres – nude, landscape and still-life—and for being an influential teacher. He cofounded the New Brooklyn School of Life, Painting, Drawing & Sculpture, Inc. (1980-1983), and the New York Academy of Art (1983-1985).
Born in New York City in 1931, Francis Cunningham grew up in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where at the age of 16 he caught the attention of artist, Ben Shahn. He was further encouraged by his godmother, the Boston draftsman and painter Polly Thayer Starr. He graduated from Harvard College in 1953. After two years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, he attended the Art Students League of New York (1955-1959), where he studied drawing and anatomy with Robert Beverly Hale and painting with Edwin Dickinson. Francis Cunningham, as with Dickinson and Dickinson’s teacher, Charles Hawthorne, is part of an unconventional approach to realism and representation in American painting that began in 1914. They share a way of looking and painting summarized in the term “color-spots” that Hawthorne invented, Dickinson practiced and taught, and that Cunningham developed and passed on as a technique.
Cunningham began teaching at the City College of New York (1962-1965) and the Brooklyn Museum Art School (1962-1980). His Sunday high school scholarship class at BMAS came to be known for its nontraditional methods of figurative painting, observing directly from nature using a plumb-line and finder, and putting down on the flat surface of the canvas abstracted color-value notes.