Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti and writers for the website talk with the women and men making news in New York, Washington, D.C., and other cities around the world. Thanks to Ian Herman for his wonderful piano introduction.
“Now and Then” a multi-media exhibition at the Islip Art Museum on Long Island brings together many works and many stories through the art of many women. Women Sharing Art is a non-profit organization celebrating its tenth anniversary in this extraordinary exhibition. The work of the group’s about two dozen members is as rich and varied as these women artists, themselves. Some have histories of exhibiting before. Some are new to showing. Some are self-taught. Some are Harvard educated. All have a streak of passion, a dedication to art and philanthropy, and a spirit of sharing.
Gabriella Grama, “Afrika,” Mosaid
Ten years ago, Sue Miller, the founding member of the group, had a vision for a space – physical, intellectual, emotional and creative – where she and other women could get together and explore ideas, support one another and grow as artists. Before long, a handful of women had joined including Pat D’Aversa, Victoria Beckert and mother/daughter artists Sandy and Kathy Seff. Now, the group averages about 25, and they are looking to expand in both number and in artistic disciplines to include poets, musicians, film makers and writers. “The possibilities are endless,” they say, “just like your creativity.”
Tove Abrams, “1920s Ladies’ Room Door,” Oil on canvas
In addition to funding a scholarship for young women artists in the community, the group has also exhibited together for many years at the Bay Area Friends of Fine Arts (BAFFA) gallery in Sayville, which has a long history of exhibiting notable local artists in its historic mansion. This is the first year Women Sharing Art is showing at the Islip Art Museum.
A wall with watercolors by Mireille Belajonas
Lynda Moran, the executive director of the Islip Arts Council, welcomed the women to the museum, a gem of history and a hub of creativity in Suffolk. The museum has been recently refurbished to its past elegance, thanks to help from local legislators like Steve Flotteron, who attended a packed reception to welcome and congratulate the artists. The now gleaming walls of Brookwood Hall, which houses the museum, proved the perfect setting for refined works of painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, glasswork, jewelry, and mosaics.
Sheri Berman, “Easy Money,” Collage
The exhibition title, “Then and Now,” said Eileen Palmer, an artist/curator member whose background includes organizing programs at the Brooklyn Museum, reflects not just the history of the women’s group, but the evolution of the individual artists, as well. “Many of the women included an earlier work and a more recent one,” she said. “To show how their work has evolved or changed over the years.”
Eileen Palmer, “Dirty Dishes,” Mixed media
Palmer’s own works are a perfect example. She’s showing a glass mosaic that was her first work, as well as her latest piece, a complex, rich mixed media work that includes mosaic, found objects, sculpture and painting. A three dimensional female torso formed of pieces of blue and white china emerges from rich cobalt canvas. It recalls influences as diverse as Delftware and Chinese porcelain and Robert Rauschenberg’s Combines. “Dirty Dishes,” she said, “is a feminist statement, made last year during the 2017 Women’s March. The shards of broken dish ware (symbolic of domesticity) were from plates from all over the world. The shards—united by grout and grit—pulled together to make a strong feminist statement.”
Holly Black, “Magic Hour,” Photograph on canvas
Sue Miller, the founder of the group also tells a story through her art. This time, it’s a bit of autobiography. She’s a gifted photographer represented by two evocative, complex photographs. Miller’s “The Now of the Then,” a photograph on metal appears at the top of the story. It shows how far she had to reach to grow in her work. Traditional, straight photography wasn’t bringing her vision to life. So she spent countless hours at her computer, learning new methods and mastering new tools. “I had to pull and push the work to get to what I wanted,” Miller said. But, the story expands, as is demonstrated in a later work in a separate gallery in the museum. An abstracted sculpture of a woman stands about 4.5 feet tall. It’s formed of a variety of metal pieces. Miller decided to take up welding recently.
Hers is just one example of the indomitable artistic spirit of this group that meets to share ideas, techniques, friendship and laughter. They inspire each other as well as those around them and contribute not just to the artistic spirit of the community, but to its future, as well. The art and heart of this group of women will be on view through March 2, 2018, at the Islip Art Museum.
Top Photo: Sue Miller, “The Now of the Then,” Photograph on metal, on view at the Islip Art Museum
These are the final days to see the remarkable David Hockney retrospective at the Met Fifth Avenue which runs through February 25th. Hockney, the beloved octogenarian British artist, is regarded by some as the greatest living painter in the world. The Met’s exhibition brings together drawings, photograph collages, vivid iPad compositions, and, most importantly, room after room of vibrant, glorious paintings.
The works chart the course of Hockney’s almost 60 year career, and show the development of an artist from a young, somewhat tentative, gay man, just finding his artistic voice, to a ripe, brilliant colorist, comfortable and confident as he celebrates the beauty of life.
Early works made in England around 1960 show Hockney experimenting with modernist styles, plumbing depths of expression and abstraction others had explored, but giving them his own twist. “Love Painting” and “The Third Love Painting” are dense abstractions with layers of paint, bits of text, floating planes of color, drips and scratches. Nothing that hadn’t been done before, but bits of wry wit that infuse many later works already come through.
A few years later, Hockney would travel to California, where he responded to the sun-drenched landscape, the cool, mid-century modern architecture, and a gay community more comfortable with itself than the one he had known in England. In the 1970s, he produced some of the works he’s most known for, featuring bright pops of color, flattened space and a sense of celebration and joy in everyday visions.
And, here’s where the exhibition becomes something transcendent. Due to his lack of pretense, his careful observation, and the loving eye he turns on the world, Hockney’s exhibition offers a unique and somewhat startling experience. In painting after painting, conscientious viewing allows us to see through the eyes of the artist. His works break the world into color and form. Instead of a swimming pool, Hockney presents a blue rectangle. Rather than depicting a pool toy, he paints a red circle. An apartment building with light glinting off the windows is transformed into a blue-green grid. Jets of spray from an underground sprinkler are turned into triangles of white on a bright green lawn. All becomes form, color, shape, line, movement and depth, and all delight the eye.
But even these ebullient evocations of life and domesticity don’t prepare the viewer for the kaleidoscopic, unrestrained effervescence of Hockney’s work in the final few galleries. Here, in works form the 1980s through the present, Hockney’s paintings shift into unadulterated color, fluid lines, and the pure joy of mark making.
The artist’s vision is Technicolor bold, with azure, ruby and emerald, golden yellow and bubble gum pink defining landscapes, interiors, still lifes, and abstractions both real and imagined. Grids of lines are incised with tools, or the handles of brushes. Colors are laid in lovingly with careful brushstrokes or quickly with what look like Hockney’s fingers. t’s art about the joy of art.
The Met’s retrospective of David Hockney’s work is, in a word, stunning. But there are plenty of other words that apply as well. Dazzling. Resplendent. Moving. Elevating. Enlightening. Inspiring. Don’t miss it.
When considering the art of the afterlife, the embrace of metaphor usually aids in understanding. Yet, in the art of ancient Egypt, some things are just as they seem. In the land of pyramids and pharaohs, the afterlife was believed to mirror life on Earth. Food, drink, clothes, furniture and servants, sometimes real, sometimes in effigy, were packed into tombs, to provide for all the eternal needs of the deceased. Beloved pets were often buried in the family tombs of owners, giving new meaning to the concept of “forever homes.”
Recent excavations in Egypt have uncovered massive ancient cemeteries for animals. Both domestic and wild animals were buried with respect and consideration, reflecting the important roles they played in society. Through January 21st, 30 rare examples of mummified animals dating back to 3,000 B.C., along with some 65 related objects, are on view in the Brooklyn Museum’s thoughtful and thought-provoking “Soulful Creatures,” curated by Edward Bleiberg, Yekaterina Barbash and Lisa Bruno.
A corn mummy from the Ptolemaic period, made in the form of Osiris, symbolized renewal and rejuvenation.
Mystery, dignity and emotion fill the exhibit’s galleries. It’s touching to see the way a long-past society readily accepted the concept that animals possessed souls, just as people do. It was the exception; the curators point out that contemporary societies in Greece and Rome didn’t share this belief, even though, in the ancient world, animal life and human life were inseparable. Ancient Egyptians had thriving societies and comfortable homes, while, just outside, animals were farmed, the Nile was filled with fish and waterfowl, and the fields were plowed by creatures more powerful than men. It was natural for them to see animals as helpers and to acknowledge that harmonious co-existence was beneficial.
Cats were beloved pets and goddesses in ancient Egypt, worthy of mummification to ensure eternal life.
Animals were also allies in interceding with the ancient Egyptian gods. Some of the mummified creatures in the exhibition were meant as offerings to deities, or to carry messages to powerful supernatural beings like Thoth, who took the form of an ibis, or Horus, the falcon-headed god. Working with New York’s Animal Medical Center, X-rays and CT scans were performed on several of the mummies revealing hidden secrets and surprises. Sometimes, just a single bone would be wrapped to stand in for a particular animal. Sometimes just feathers. One oblong package contains an entire ibis, folded like an umbrella, its enormous beaked skull bent down against its skeleton.
Hawks represented the sun god, Re, Horus, and the king, all of whom were elevated in Egyptian society. A hawk-headed handle from the Middle Kingdom (1938-1759 B.C.)
One object on view is a long, skinny box, almost like a pencil case. It’s surprising to see that it was a coffin for a snake. Crocodiles, baboons, lions, rodents, fish, hippos and birds, including a spectacularly cased ibis mummy from the city of Abydos (one of the oldest on Earth) give a sense of the regard in which creatures were held.
An ibis coffin in wood, silver, gold and rock crystal on view in “Soulful Creatures.”
The exhibition offers several stunning feline depictions, mummified and wrapped or upright and regal, donned with painted jewelry and protective spells. Anubis, the jackal-headed god who ushered souls to the afterlife, sits imperious, impassive and regal in a painted wooden sculpture from Saqqara about 640 B.C.
A coffin to commemorate Horus, here wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.
Comprised of works from the extraordinary collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the show is complemented by a lavishly illustrated book filled with science, art, animals and Egyptian history. It presents probing essays by Bleiberg, Barbash and Bruno.
A painted mummy case from The Brooklyn Museum, which houses one of the finest collections of Egyptian art in the world.
Two antelopes sprint in an image so fresh and lively that looks like it was made today.
Ancient Egyptian society introduced countless advancements to human knowledge including some of the earliest forms of writing and monotheism, the first 24 hour day and the first 365 day calendar, early medical practices, astronomical calculations and maps, soil and farm engineering, and unparalleled architectural wonders. It’s never too late to learn something new, and sometimes the most surprising sources reveal treasures. “Soulful Creatures” reminds us at a time we sorely need it that all creation is imbued with dignity and divinity, that we are part of a large and mysterious world, and that every soul, no matter how small, how weak, how different, or how easily overlooked, deserves respect.
Top Photo: A figurine of Anubis, who guarded the spirit of mummies.
One of the highlights of a glorious fall/winter season for art in New York is the Jewish Museum’s Modigliani Unmasked, a rare exhibition of over 100 drawings, sculptures and paintings by one of the great artists of the 20th century. The exhibition is stunning, filled with lush colors, sensuous figures, and bold early modernist experimental themes and techniques. It’s as complex and rich as the artist, himself.
“Unfinished Portrait of Paul Alexandre.” Alexandre was Modigliani’s first and most important patron.
The collection of drawings, which make up the bulk of the show, was bought by a friend, admirer, and early supporter of Modigliani, Dr. Paul Alexandre. Most of them have not been shown before. It’s a unique chance to see quick sketches that reveal the spontaneity of the artist’s hand, completed paintings that required more time, and sculptures hewn from stone that still carry the fluid, graceful, exaggerated and abstracted lyricism for which Modigliani is not just famous, but revered.
Modigliani’s 1912 “Head of a Woman” in limestone reveals his mastery of many materials.
The exhibition focuses on the early part of Modigliani’s career, shortly after he arrived in Paris, in 1906. It was a glorious time in Paris. Artists like Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brâncusi were already there, and they became friends, colleagues, inspiration and sometimes rivals with the young Italian émigré. But it was also a difficult time, politically. Modigliani was a Sephardic Jew, and Paris was a hotbed of anti-Semitism after the Dreyfus Affair.
The exhibition shines a light on both of those aspects of life in Paris at the beginning of the 20th century, and offers ways to approach Modigliani’s work by considering all the cultural influences that surrounded him. Mostly, though, it presents a vast body of splendid, original work and a unique artist’s vision and voice.
In “Female Nude Leaning on Her Left Elbow” Modigliani wields his pencil with a sculptor’s force.
“Nude with a Hat” is on one side of a rare double-sided painting by Modigliani.
Nude drawings of beautiful women reveal Modigliani’s smooth, elegant line, but also his the mind of a sculptor. One of the intriguing effects one notices is heavy outlining around the edges of the body, as though he were trying to carve a niche for his figures with dark shadows. The dramatic lighting on the wonderful collection of sculptures by Modigliani (as well as African, Greek, Egyptian, and Khmer work that influenced him) reinforces the fact that line was a key element in the artist’s visual vocabulary. But perhaps nothing says that more eloquently than the paintings.
“Head in Profile,” a 1911–12 drawing on paper
“The Jewess,” a 1908 oil on canvas is resplendent in rich blue and dark turquoise. A later work, “Jeanne Hébuterne with Yellow Sweater” shows a softer palette and Modigliani’s more developed style. Cool, removed, with blanked out eyes, Jeanne, Modigliani’s lover, muse and frequent model, looks a little like a soft sculpture.
“Jeanne Hébuterne with Yellow Sweater” is a tender depiction of Modigliani’s lover. They both met tragic ends.
Struggling and impoverished, Modigliani, whose work is adored today, was not recognized or rewarded for his art in his own lifetime. He died of tuberculosis in 1920, at age 35, just two years after painting Jeanne’s picture. She threw herself out of the window two days after his death, killing herself and their unborn child.
Modigliani’s 1919 painting “Lunia Czechowska”
The exhibition includes historical items from Paris in Modigliani’s time, personal letters, and wall texts that round out a picture of an era and an artist whose passion and pathos changed the course of Modern Art. It runs through February 4th, 2018.
Top Photo: “The Jewess” a 1908 oil on canvas, is a highlight of Modigliani Unmasked.
In between is an apt title for the exhibition of Rei Kawakubo’s daring, unconventional designs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The garments the maverick Kawakubo constructs fall somewhere between idea and reality, fashion and sculpture, clothing and performance.
Kawakubo’s name, while known around the world, is less recognizable to many than the name of her label, Comme des Garçons (French for “like some boys”). By the late 1970s and early ’80s when punk rocked the cultural scene and Madonna turned underwear into outerwear, Kawakubo had already been planting seeds of sedition for a decade. She put forward fashion on its own ground, rather than as a means to flatter the wearer. Her creations mirrored the environment around her (on the streets and in nature) as well as her philosophy, her understanding of the world, and her views on history and politics.
Yet, as subversive, radical and revolutionary as her designs were and are, Kawakubo stated, “I am not against fashion. This is something else, another direction.” Her direction would lead her to completely rethink what clothing could be. In the exhibition of some 140 garments, we see jackets that have sleeves in numbers that don’t match human anatomy (sometimes 3 or 4, or even none). There are skirts that have extra openings for legs (or are they alternate waists?).
By flouting convention, Kawakubo created a genre that didn’t exist before: conceptual clothing. And yet, they’re not so out-there that they can’t be functional and even perfect. Lady Gaga, a canny fashionista, joined Kawakubo’s artistic statements with her own in 2012, when buzz arose about her weight. She defiantly wore one of Kawakubo’s “Flat” pieces, that looks like a cut-out paper doll’s dress (above) hiding her form while proudly proclaiming its beauty.
This goes to the heart of Kawakubo’s vision. She’s, in part, giving voice to the Eastern idea of wabi-sabi, a Japanese Buddhist-inspired precept that acknowledges and embraces the beauty in the imperfect, incomplete and evolving. Nine sections of the exhibition present such dichotomies as Absence/Presence, Design/Not Design, Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Model/Multiple, High/Low, Then/Now, Self/Other, Object/Subject, and Clothes/Not Clothes. They’re staged in an inspired installation of circular forms, stacked platforms, and overhead catwalks, all in pure white, that both isolate and highlight aspects of the designer’s vision. (They also give a sense of the voyeuristic pleasure of peeking into someone else’s closet.) These rooms within rooms serve to join certain pieces and extract and pinpoint ideas. Almost blindingly lit by overhead fluorescent bulbs, there’s no fuzzy, soft focus here. These are bold statements about shape and color, line and form, that just happen to be adapted to the human body.
Curator Andrew Bolton stated that Kawakubo’s designs aren’t really about clothing at all. They’re more conduits for performance art. “It wasn’t really about wearability,” he said. “She’s been forced to enter the debate of art and fashion.” Inherent in her fashions are all the questions and statements that attend serious works of art. She raises ideas of beauty and ugliness, the natural state versus the artificial, East and West, male and female, completion, opposition, asymmetry, juxtaposition, history, conformity and identity.
Cocoon dresses, bulging with gossamer humps, contradict the feminine ideal, but recall the perfection of nature. In her 1997 collection, “Body Meets Dress—Dress meets Body” fantastical shapes challenge ideals but do so in sweet pink and blue gingham. They’re simultaneously shocking and charming.
There’s a dress that resembles a vacuum cleaner filter, a leather biker jacket paired with a tutu, a gown that looks like a crumpled paper bag, and a coat made from damask, sequins and leather that channels Samurai armor via Louis XIV.
By some of the later collections, she’d almost stopped thinking about clothing and was working with pure abstraction of color and form. “I don’t care about function at all,” Kawakubo stated. “When I hear ‘where could you wear that?’ or ‘it’s not very wearable,’ or ‘who would wear that?’ to me it’s just a sign that someone missed the point.”
Looking for a bit of heaven? No need to leave this life, or even Manhattan. A trip to The Cloisters will get you so close you won’t be able to tell if you’ve passed through the portals of the museum or the pearly gates, themselves.
The gorgeous Merode Altarpiece has communicated piety, simplicity and God’s glory for over 600 years
Particularly when spring is bestowing her gifts and forsythias spread their blossoms like a young girl shaking out long, blonde curls, a visit to the branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art focused on medieval art and architecture is pure delight. The Cloister gardens are green and filled with daffodils, apple blossoms, grape hyacinths, and herbs. Sparrows sing and scrabble over bits of twig as they build nests among the time worn terracotta tiles, and the place (a pastiche of many places joined together) is filled with beauty amidst quietude, peace and a sense of renewal.
Timelessness and the joys of the season coexist at The Cloisters
Considering the countless footsteps that have worn smooth the stone steps, sensing the silently echoing presence of tonsured monks in sandals who lived and prayed in these spaces makes one feel small against the stretch of hundreds of years, the way we feel small at the edge of the ocean or gazing at the night sky. Tiny, but connected to something immense. The Cloisters is a singular place in a bustling city that can bring us to the distant past and help us to be fully in the present at the same time.
The medieval artist who carved this Madonna and baby Jesus captured a lively pose
The famed Unicorn Tapestries fill a hall at The Cloisters
There’s never been a better time to make the journey. In addition to the glories of spring, an astonishingly beautiful exhibition, “Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures,” is on view through May 21st. Four dozen extremely delicate and rare miniature boxwood carvings from the middle ages have been gathered together by Dr. Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock, Senior Curator for The Met Cloisters, in an exhibition co-organized by the Rijksmuseum and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Beheld and cherished as objects of wonder by European kings and queens, these marvels of engineering and artistry were mostly made in the Netherlands in the 1500s. They are devotional objects depicting scenes from the Bible that were fashioned by incredibly skilled artists into tiny altars, rosary or prayer beads and even tiny coffins, complete with even tinier skeletons. To compound the marvels, the artists circumscribed each scene with minutely carved inscriptions.
An exquisite carved rosary that once belonged to King Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon is a highlight of “Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures”
It’s hard to believe human hands could create something so complex and compelling within the confines of a sphere of carved wood no larger than a small egg. Castled landscapes, forests with trees and animals, and, in the Met’s own rosary bead a crucifixion scene with three crosses, soldiers, horses, and mourners, have been carved into tiny, yet breathtaking sculptures. In fact, it’s partly because they’re so tiny that they are so amazing.
Dr. Boehm states in her exhibition description, “Over the course of more than 500 years these works of art have repeatedly been described as “ingenious,” “artful,” “exquisite,” and “subtle.” Even so, no adjective has ever been adequate to express the sense of wonder and amazement that the miniatures elicit.” Indeed, gasps were heard throughout the gallery. You can get a sense of these incredible objects from a video on the Met’s website.
The sun and moon and a field of tiny plants and flowers decorate this unique crucifixion scene at The Cloisters
“Small Wonders” is reason enough to visit The Cloisters, but their exquisite collection of paintings, sculptures, tapestries and illuminated manuscripts; the stunning stained glass windows; and the gardens and the architectural elements that recreate a sense of medieval Europe, combine to make an experience that transcends everyday life and transports the viewer across time and place all while never leaving the city.
The Able Fine Art NY Gallery is presenting, “We Are a Landscape of All We Have Seen,” an exhibition featuring select gallery artists in a new Lower East Side venue. The title, a quote from the great master, Isamu Noguchi, encapsulates the idea that each person is a universe and every artist creates visions personal to his or her journey. The show includes work from a group of emerging international artists and two prominent American artists – painter Marsha Solomon and photographic artist Adel Gorgy.
Adel Gorgy’s work challenges the conventions of the medium. In his current series, “Meditation in Five Dimensions,” the layers of meaning in his work are extended…literally. Gorgy, in his new work, presents meditative mandalas for the 21st century. By creating a conceptual, visual, spatial construct, Gorgy allows the viewer to see his images as either two-dimensional or three-dimensional abstractions and challenges our perception of visual reality.
Marsha Solomon’s captivating “Calyx and Pink” expresses the joyous rhythms of nature while recalling classic Abstract Expressionist masters like Helen Frankenthaler.
Marsha Solomon’s lyrical large scale abstractions from the series “From Rhythm to Form” continue to evoke the power and energy of classic New York Abstract Expressionism. Solomon’s long experience and strength as a painter come through in her virtuosity in controlling both poured paint and delicate, deliberate brushwork. In her 2016 “Calyx and Pink,” the tones are diffuse and ethereal, evoking the unbridled joy of nature.
Suena’s 6-foot tall self-portrait is an exploration of color, tone, line and the inner self.
An exciting group of international artists, many from the rapidly growing Korean art scene, were chosen to give viewers an overview of the type of work Able Fine Art has become known for finding and supporting. Each is highly trained and accomplished, utilizing a distinct voice to convey contemporary visions that respect the past and speak to larger issues.
Able Fine Art NY Gallery has a long history of introducing exceptional emerging and established international artists to the New York audience. By recognizing young talents that retain and embrace traditions, yet express them through original and exciting voices, Able Fine Art NY Gallery seeks to create a bridge between times and cultures. Besides Solomon and Gorgy, the artists represented in the exhibition include Suena, Misun Chun, Clara L. Mikimoto, Youngho Seock, Ssungjung Kim, Hakyung Lee, Boyeon Kim, Dongyoon Park, Changdae Park, Soonja Kang.
Top photo: Adel Gorgy’s photographic artwork, “Dichotomy of Movement” from his series “Meditation in Five Dimensions…Mandalas for the 21st Century” offers viewers deeper layers of meaning through 3D imagery.
“We Are a Landscape of All We Have Seen,” Able Fine Art NY Gallery 143B Orchard Street Through November 16, 2016 Hours: Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-477-1188
The debate over distinctions between fine art and craft has been played out over time and in countless venues, but the works in Branching Out, an exhibition of members of the Long Island Craft Guild on view at the Art League of Long Island, leave no question as to the quality of vision, execution and artistry involved. They are extraordinary works of art crafted in metal, wood, fabric, clay, glass and beads.
Elaine Mayers Salkaln’s “Face” and “Happy Abstract”
Through November 6th, the beautiful two-floor Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery is flooded with light and filled with delights. The exhibition is titled Branching Out, in acknowledgement, writes Elaine Mayers Salkaln, a sculptor whose “Happy Abstract” and “Face” are highlights of the show, of the road many artists travel in searching for the medium that best suits their vision. It also speaks to the courage artists must have to keep finding new means of expression. Just as Matisse mastered painting and sculpture before he ever tried paper cut-outs, many of the artists in the show have created large bodies of accomplished works in many different artistic forms.
Eileen Palmer’s “Highwoods”
Eileen Palmer is such an artist. She has painted and drawn, but she says in her artist’s statement that finally finding the possibilities in cut glass mosaics opened up new visions for her and allowed her to express them in extraordinary ways. The medium also allowed an added layer of meaning. She states, “Symbolically, I enjoy the action of uniting broken shards of glass to create something whole and beautiful.” Her landscapes, seascape and still-life glass mosaics sparkle with color and light that could not be achieved in paint on canvas. In her “Highwoods,” a stand of birches combines the flatness of the glass with hints of the depth behind the tiles to beautiful effect, and it would be hard to imagine surfaces and textures other than those she has chosen that would better capture the sinuous shimmering of her enchanting underwater scene “Water Mother.”
“Vienna 1897,” Sally Shore’s captivating fiber composition (pictured at the top) brings to mind the Klimt exhibition now showing at the Neue Galerie. Her delicate yet powerful image combines pattern and figure, abstraction and realism, all through the use of meticulously cut and placed pieces of very deliberately chosen fabrics. The triptych draws the eye from across the room.
Kathleen Gerlach’s “Winter Solitude”
There are smaller works that are just as powerful. Beaded rings, carved wooden vessels, Puneeta Mittal’s ceramics that recall Jackson Pollock’s paintings and a host of extremely accomplished glass artists add depth of texture and meaning to the visual experience. Kathleen Gerlach’s “Winter Solitude” recalls a black and white photograph, but through surprising materials and techniques that make the work both unique and compelling. Pamela Hanna’s glass plates capture the wildness of untamed nature by harnessing the properties of molten glass over which she clearly has control.
Pamela Hanna’s “Wind”
It’s a wonderful show, well worth the time to visit. If the Art League of Long Island is not within reach, the exhibition catalogue can be viewed through a link on the League’s website. It’s a great time to get to know the League and its work and the Long Island Craft Guild’s exciting and accomplished artists.
The exhibiting artists are Linda Brandwein, Rosanne Ebner, Lisa Federici, Anna Fredericks, Barbara Gardner, Liss Geraldi, Kathleen Gerlach, Pamela Hanna, Beth Heit, Lisa Hermanson, Louise Hope, Barbara Karyo, Lita Kelmenson, Julianna Kirk, Helene Kusnitz, Allison Mack, Vincent E. Matthews, Dianne Matus, Puneeta Mittal, Eileen Palmer, Odell Plantin, Linda Rettich, Audrey Roberts, Elaine Mayers Salkaln, Barbara Segal, Sally Shore, Rita Silverman, Alice Sprintzen, Karen Strauss, Jan Tozzo, Constance Wain, Julian Wolff, Sylvia Wolff, Nancy Yoshii, and Valerie Zeman.