Summer Solos, Part 3: Helen Miranda Wilson

Summer Solos, Part 1: Brenda Goodman   
Summer Solos, Part 2: Debra Ramsay

The Albert Merola Gallery is a lovely small space in Provincetown’s East End, perfect for showing small (and sometimes not so small) work. The tiny back gallery was the perfect setting—intimate and quietfor Helen Miranda Wilson’s modestly scaled gouaches in an exhibition titled Wavy, Wiggly Ones. 

Still life with painting and postcard
Mexicana, 2011, gouache on paper, 8 x 7 inches

After painting landscapes and other images of the natural world for some years, Wilson turned to abstraction about a decade ago. Her paintings are nevertheless teeming with allusions to and invocations of the rhythms, vibrations and cycles of an observed environment. (A Cape Cod native, she keeps bees, and as a member of her town’s Shellfish Advisory Board is keenly aware of coastal life and cycles.)

Panorama of three walls
Click image for a larger view

I’m smitten with Wilson’s color, rendered fluid and rich in gouache. I’m posting this report to follow the one on Debra Ramsay. While both artists make work about what they observe in nature, the results are quite different; however the range and depth of their observation—and indeed, their palette—would appear to share common roots.

 Raga, 2009, gouache on paper, 8 x 10 inches sans frame
This and the following images from the gallery's website 

Temple Way, 2009, gouache on paper, 6.5 x 8 inches

Sargasso Sea, 2011, gouache on paper, 8 x 10 inches

I've written about Wilson's work before, which you can read herehere and here


Color as Structure at McKenzie Fine Art

Summer Solos, Part 1: Brenda Goodman   
Summer Solos, Part 2: Debra Ramsay

I've got two more Summer Solo posts waiting in the wings, but here I want to show your some images from the splendid show Color as Structure, which is on view at McKenzie Fine Art  on the Lower East Side through Saturday, August 2.

Panorama of the gallery
(click to enlarge)

In an exhibition of wall-hung work, gallerist Valerie McKenzie has selected 16 artists for whom color and structure intertwine, either to create a suggestion of dimensional space or to invigorate a planar surface with pattern, repetition, or optical effects.

We're going to follow the arc of the panoramic view shown at the top of the post. Here, Kate Shepherd, Paul Corio, four by Jason Karolak

Kate Shepherd: Chunk Logo, laser-cut screen print

Paul Corio: Megalicious, acrylic on canvas

Continuing our tour of the front gallery: Karolak, Rob De Oude on the left wall; Don Voisine on near facing wall, center right; Cordy Ryman; a glimpse of Elise Ferguson, right

While all of the works are strong individually and offer a cogent visual narrative as installed, I found myself drawn to the conversations between and among certain works.  For instance, the linear dimensionality of Jason Karolak's architectural compositions offer an airy counterpoint to Deborah Zlotsky's weighty shapes inhabiting a similar pictorial space (scroll to see her work).

Jason Karolak: Clockwise from upper left, Untitled (P-1406), Untitled (P-1403), Untitled (P-1402), Untitled (P-1405), all oil on canvas over panel

Rob De Oude:  Cloud Computing/3, oil on panel

 Don Voisine: Time Piece, oil on woodpanel

Don Voisine anchors two walls with geometric paintings flat as can be, which open up to reward the viewer with a dip into their chromatic and compositional depths. And I am taken with a corner conversation between Elise Ferguson's fresco-like painting, suggestive of a mural fragment, and Martha Clippinger's shaped construction, both with knife-sharp angles and intersections.

Swinging around to the right: Elise Ferguson, Martha Clippinger, Holly Miller

Elise Ferguson: NW, pigmented plaster on MDF
Image from the gallery website

Martha Clippinger: Converge, acrylic and oil on wood
Image from the gallery website

Continuing the arc of the front gallery: Miller, De Oude, Deborah Zlotsky

Deborah Zlotsky: Indoor Voice, oil on canvas
Image from the gallery website

Let's venture into the middle and back galleries . . .

Richard Roth: A trifecta of color and structure

Relief sculptures--or are they sculptural paintings?--by Richard Roth punctuate the planar rhythm of the installation with striped and stacked color that slides around to the sides of the box-like constructions. Their modest proportions are perfect for what's taking place visually on each one, and for the way the artist's ideas jump from one to the other. The visual repartee with Mel Bernstine's flat but architectural paintings is snappy and smart.

There's more, which you'll will see as you scroll--or, better, if you get to the gallery to see for yourself.

Richard Roth: Still Under the Influence acrylic on birch plywood

Above: Still Pairing
Below: Slap Happy

Mel Bernstine: Feminina, acrylic on linen

View from the back gallery looking toward the front, with from left, Richard Roth, Richard Caldicott, Mel Bernstine

Turning again to face the backmost part of the gallery: Holly Miller, Kate Shepherd, Paul Corio, Don Voisine

Holly Miller: Bend #7, acrylic and thread on canvas
Image from the gallery website

Don Voisine: Aeriel, oil on wood panel

On the right wall of the back gallery: Alan Biltereyst, Cordy Ryman, Maureen McQuillan

Alan Biltereyst, 2/0/12, acrylic on wood panel

Cordy Ryman, Back of the Beam, encaustic on wood

Maureen McQuillan,  Untitled (DR6/5), Untitled (DS/N&X), Untitled (DS/U6X), all ink and acrylic polymer on museum board

Closer view of center work, Untitled (DS/N7X)
Image from the gallery website

Below: Detail of the structure 

There are some works for which images will not suffice, even with details. McQuillan's paintings are a case in point. Layers of ink and acrylic polymer are built up by the artist to have an optical depth far greater than the material itself. Rob De Oude, who paints in oil with the thinnest of brushes on a flat surface, weaves a network of layers to atmospheric effect. Holly Miller imbues her geometries with thread.

Continuing along the back gallery, looking toward the front with work by Richard Garrison and Cordy Ryman
Image from the gallery website

Richard Garrison: Circular Color Scheme: Walmart, October 1-16, 2010, Page 1, Everyday Low Prices on your Holiday Favorites,  watercolor, gouache and graphite on paper
Image from the gallery website

A look back with another view of Cordy Ryman's MOD 45 Green/Blue Text (a),  acrylic on wood

You can see additional installation views of the exhibition, as well as individual views of each work and information about them here


Summer Solos, Part 2: Debra Ramsay


When is a walk in the woods not just a walk in the woods? When Debra Ramsay records each color she sees. The tangible result of such a walk is at Hansel and Gretel Picture Garden/Pocket Utopia in Chelsea, up through August 1.

Debra Ramsay's window installation on West 22nd Street

A walk in the woods, repeated seasonally as the colors change, is transposed into a grid of 72 silk squares, each painted with a hue from nature. There is a bit of the prayer flag about them, which seems entirely appropriate, allowing us to acknowledge something larger than ourselves. That we view them from a city sidewalk is not so much ironic as it is connective, a way to bring the experience to us (or us to the experience)

Two details from the installation

View from the High Line: Ramsay posted this on her Facebook page, and I knew I had to share it with you here


Summer Solos, Part 1: Brenda Goodman

This is the first in a series of current and recent solo exhibitions around the region. We start with the painter's painter, Brenda Goodman, at the John Davis Gallery in Hudson, New York. The exhibition, which opened last night, is up through August 10.

Brenda Goodman color coordinating with one of her small paintings on paper

The title of Goodman's new solo is called simply Brenda Goodman: Painting. Personally, I think it should be called Seeing the Light. After a dark period in her life, including the death of her partner's middle-aged son--which resulted in a series of somber and powerful paintings--Goodman has emerged a new woman. She's happy, 70 pounds lighter, and painting with a palette which, if not out-and-out joyous, embraces color and light. Light is indeed a leitmotif.

"My work has always reflected and expressed my internal life and, like myself, I feel the new paintings are bold, bright, animated, and confident,” she writes in her statement about the show. In a visit to the gallery a few days before the opening I found her almost giddy as she showed me around.

The show is on two levels. This is the view of the wall opposite where Goodman was standing

Below: full-on view of Knot, 2013, oil on wood, 80 x 72 inches

Goodman's signature elements remain--the abstracted figures, often with enormous heads atop tiny bodies; the succulently built-up surfaces; and the sense of mysterious narrative--but there are some new elements, too. For instance, instead of the dark, undefined space of her earlier works, there's a sense of architecture. And there's a knotted red shape, a presence, that dominates two of the large paintings. I like the relationship it has to the figures, particularly when it issues what appears to be a beam of yellow light. Convoluted thoughts? Difficult issues? Intestines? I ask. She doesn't say. That's OK. I'll continue to see how it develops. In the meantime, there's a lot to digest.

On the wall opposite the entry: Painted Pony, 2013, oil on wood, 52 x 48 inches

The stairs down to the garden level are to the left. Let's descend . . .

Guardian, left; Talkin at Me

Full-on view of Talkin at Me, with that beam of yellow light

Below: the built up surface, a rich, dense, luminous mass of hues constituting the black head of the figure at left in the painting above

Talkin at Me, left; Brush

You can see images from the entire show here, including--full disclosure--the one I acquired for my own collection: 

Get-A-Way, 2014, oil on paper, 6 x 8 inches