News:Through February10, 2013
Making Choices At The White Gallery
Thu, 02/07/2013 - 11:17am
Sometimes leftovers are better than the original meal. Certainly the art on view in The White Gallery’s Director’s Choice exhibition, a potpourri of paintings, photographs, textiles and even a bronze, allows viewers to concentrate on the various artists’ singularities, styles, strengths and weaknesses. As the show continues, other works may be rotated from the gallery’s inventory.
Most instructive are two pictures by Robert Natkin, who died at his Connecticut home nearly three years ago at 79. Once a “bright young thing” among 1960s and ’70s abstractionists, Natkin fell into critical disfavor, abandoned New York City, and painted and fulminated from his country home. In “The Bed” and “Untitled” we see his strengths and weaknesses: His Impressionist instincts and technical skill are there, but there is simply too much going on — too much color, too much incident without a point of view.
A White favorite, David Dunlop, is represented by “Electric Cacophony,” a busy painting of neon signs, tall buildings, rushing figures on a New York City street, presumably in Times Square. There is a nice Michael Quadland acrylic, “Silver,” and one of Betsy Podlatch’s vaguely Impressionist paintings, “Flower I.” Four Jane Filers show her flat fantasies: animals, birds, people, all drawn and painted without depth, almost like folk art. And there is a single piece from the recent terrific show of Kate Stiassni textiles. “For Every Road We Take” reminds me how much I want to see more of her work.
Director’s Choice runs at The White Gallery through March 31.
Astonishing Craft and Color at The White Gallery
Photo by Marsden Epworth
Quilts, those homey creations of rural and small-town American women in the 19th and much of the 20th centuries, sometimes — in the creative, talented hands of some quilters — rose to the level of great folk art. Now Kate Stiassni, former CBS employee and home designer, takes quilting techniques and applies a contemporary sensibility to make fine art wall textiles, some of which are on display at The White Gallery in Lakeville, CT.
Stiassni, who lives part time in Sharon, works in a studio attached to her home. There she may first sketch an idea or perhaps begin a “design wall,” where she tries various combinations of colors, fabrics and shapes. It’s a bit like solving a puzzle, but the puzzle is in her head and only she knows when she has found the correct solution.
All fabric is hand dyed, and stitching is by hand or machine. The quilts range from quite small to as big as 6x6 feet. The patterns and color combinations are often intricate, yet they most often seem entirely logical and right. These are abstract paintings in a way, based on landmarks, natural vistas, urban cityscapes. One large piece, “My Two TV’s,” even refers to her past work in television: Two old- fashioned, boxy TV sets on skinny legs stand side by side but at slight angles to each other. Concentric trapezoidal shapes laid on top of one another draw your eye into the piece to what you realize are two small, square screens.
“Urban Renewal” and “Urban Renewal II” are complicated pieces based on the city. “II” might be an abstract of a city grid map, while the other quilt is a wonderful abstract of jumbled city buildings and streets in brilliantly conceived layers. And yet “Opposites Attract,” a marvelous quilt inspired by the Connecticut landscape that resembles two ladders connected by a horizontal bridge, seems entirely urban to me.
For the most part Stiassni does not seek depth in her quilts. Even the layered pieces seem to remain largely two-dimensional. Yet occasionally, as in “Inside Out,” she fools the eye into seeing depth: Here bold, broad continuous bands of colors — white, yellow, purple, orange — start at the bottom of the piece and move together concentrically at right angles, like a ribbon, toward the small, deep center.
Three quilts were inspired by the Falls Village bridge, both structurally in shapes and lines, and in the meaning of “bridge” as a way across a barrier, of joining opposites. While I am not sure I get what Stiassni was thinking, I do get that these are among her strongest, most abstract work. The intriguing play of oranges and golds and even white in curves, lines and rectangles is terrific; and the fish-like shapes in the biggest piece, “Country Bridge,” seem in constant motion.
“Uncommon Threads,” the quilts of Kate Stiassni, continues at The White Gallery through Jan. 27. The gallery, which is at 344 Main St. in Lakeville, CT, has winter hours Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 860-435-1029 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last saturday's Avery Danziger lecture on "Seeking Permanence", The Harlem Valley / Wingdale Project. If you were not able to attened, we hope that you enjoy the artists recount of his methods and experience. Don't forget the show closes this weekend on Sunday, December 9th. Just copy and paste the link below into your web-browser address field.
Images Describing A Terrible Time . . .
Tue, 11/20/2012 - 3:06pm
The Art Scene
Harlem Valley/Wingdale Project; Building 35, Smith Hall Avery Danziger
Avery Danziger’s photographs of the defunct, deteriorating Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center in Wingdale, NY, are both gorgeous and ineffably sad. They record an institution rushing to destroy any record of itself and its sad purpose or of the sad patients it served. The hospital seems alive in its determined return to chaos.
The notion of order versus chaos, of man against nature, is powerful. Who of us, passing Wingdale by car or train, could fail to wonder at the massive, empty, frightening campus that once housed so many poor souls. We notice the broken windows, the graffiti, the rusting window frames that inexorably get worse and more frightening. And we may wonder what it looks like inside.
Danziger, fascinated by the place, got permission to photograph it. Interiors had become so toxic since the facility closed in 1994 that he had to wear a HazMat suit to work there. But in the midst of deterioration, clutter and abandonment, he found amazing beauty.
Danziger has an eye for detail both large and small, for composition and color and especially for light. Using a tripod and long exposures in natural light, he has produced images with incredible depth of field and color saturation. Every flake of paint or ceiling asbestos seems singular, meaningful. And the photographer’s feel for geometry yields interesting, often unexpected lines and angles.
Some of the pictures are as beautifully stolid as German pre-World War II paintings of machinery and factories. Images from the power plant are filled with wonderfully shaped turContinued from page 4
bines, furnaces and pipes of all sizes frequently seen against mustard yellow brick walls. In one, picture-high windows are reflected in garish, dangerous looking liquid on the floor. In another of huge rusty turbines, moss grows on the floor.
Danziger’s brilliance at noticing and capturing detail and interesting natural compositional features results in some intimate images — orange, yellow and white paper stapled to a notice board becomes a color block abstract painting; various colored and sized paint flecks on a kitchen wall are almost a collage, so carefully placed each seems.
You can feel the humanity in images of Smith Hall, with its sad, curved soda fountain and 14 mushroom-shaped stools, collapsing light fixtures that stand like sculptures and photo mural of autumn trees around a bucolic pond that has so far resisted decay.
Most affecting is the quiet, grayish photo of the Wingdale morgue with its eight refrigerator doors and the metal table large enough to hold a body. Suddenly you wonder about the patients who inhabited this place, whose sad possessions — a shirt, a suitcase — you’ve seen in other images. You wonder at the sad lives many had, at the visitors they never received, at their loneliness and despair.
This is a beautiful show, partly because Danziger has let his subject be itself and refrained, he says, from digital manipulation and interference. The pictures remind us of how rapidly the man-made can crumble and how piercing reminders of mental disease and its victims can be.
“Seeking Permanence,” photographs by Avery Danziger, will continue at The White Gallery through Dec. 2. The gallery, which is at 344 Main Street in Lakeville, CT, is open Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 860-435-1029 or go to www.thewhitegalleryart.com.
Art Review: Avery Danziger photographs the Harlem Valley Psych Center
Published on November 15th, 2012 | by Carola Lott
SEEKING PERMANENCE: A Photo Essay of the Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center, by Avery Danziger, is on view at the White Gallery in Lakeville, Connecticut, until December 2.
For the past two years, Avery Danziger, clad in a hazmat suit and a mask, has been photographing the buildings at Harlem Valley, abandoned since the center closed in 1994. The buildings are scenes of desolation. Danziger, however, has transformed the corroding pipes, puddles of toxic liquids, and streaks of mold and rust into images of great beauty. His photographs of walls covered with peeling paint and plaster call to mind paintings by Clyfford Still.
Danziger took his first photographs when he was eight. After he tried to “sneak-a-peek” at his first roll of film before taking it to be developed, he was disappointed to find nothing there to see. After the film was developed and came out black, his father tried to explain the concept of a latent image. “I found it wondrously intriguing. There could be something essentially invisible and yet recorded on the film, and it couldn’t be seen unless acted upon,” he says.
Danziger, who lives in Sharon, often noticed the Harlem Valley buildings either from his car or the train. One day, out of curiosity, he put his camera on a monopod and stuck it in a window. What lay inside inspired this project, which will not be finished for another year. “This is just a peek,” he says.
Danziger “spends a great deal of time composing the image so I get to use the entire frame.” A tripod allows him to make long exposures using natural light to give great depth of field. For this exhibition Tino Galuzzo, owner of the White Gallery, has chosen 15 of Danziger’s photographs that he feels best reveal the character of the former center and give a sense of the historical importance of what was once home to 5,000 patients and a mainstay of the local economy. Most of the images can be read on two levels: as a realistic depiction of a particular scene and as an abstraction. All reveal Danziger’s fascination with what he calls “the chemistry of light.” Much of his work, he says, is an “examination of the physics of light.”
Danziger’s image of the former dining area in Smith Hall shows walls and ceiling disfigured by tatters of beige and green paint. Beams hang bent and askew; the floor is littered with debris.
The power plant housed massive machinery, each element of which is shown in perfect focus yet gives a sense of depth. The colors are subtle, mainly shades of brown, yellow and green. Details reveal the result of abandonment. Vines are beginning to creep through the broken windows. Moss and grass grow in ragged patches on the floor; rust is corroding the machines; piles of dirt are everywhere.
On another level the photograph is composed of abstract shapes. The rounded volumes of the machines play against the squares of light coming through the windows; the volumes stand in contrast to the lines of ladders, pipes and the shadows cast by the windowpanes.
The photographer’s sophisticated handling of color is especially evident in another image of the power plant, this one a study of steely blue pipes dappled with brown rust, accented with one bright-red pipe fitting. It is one of the more abstract images in the show—in essence a study of shapes, lines and textures.
Among the other photographs I admired is one of a brick storeroom, essentially a geometric study of squares and rectangles and the triangular shadow of light coming from outside. A door in the brick wall opens onto a yellow wall with a red stripe along the floor.
Danziger has taken desolation and decay and found subjects for pictures that blend color, texture and shapes, placing them within the confines of a picture frame.
A book of 60 color digital images is available at the White Gallery. Avery Danziger will give book signing and lecture at the White Gallery on Saturday, November 20 at 10:00 a.m.
LEAVING IN, ALSO LEAVING OUT
The Art Scene: Leon Graham
The Lakeville Journal, Thursday, October 18, 2012
Susan Ferrari Rowley’s sculpture is about opposites and paradoxes: yielding and unyielding materials, volume and its absence, light and shadow. Pieces seem almost weightless, fragile; yet they occupy large spaces. They are difficult at first, peculiar, almost too simple. But quickly you discover their complexity: What is absent is as important as what is there in Rowley’s glowing pieces.
Rowley uses quite different materials and techniques to make Continued from her art. She welds frames just sufficient for each piece from brushed aluminum. Then she hand sews white polyfiber and stretches it taut on the prepared frames. Results are always graceful and shapes either closed or open, with interiors as important as exteriors. Pieces can be for a room or so large they can only be placed outdoors.
In her first show at The White Gallery, Rowley and gallery co-owner Tino Galluzzo have chosen only five pieces, but they represent major themes and aspects in her work. Two small residential pieces sit atop their own bases. Light from within each base rises through serpentine cutouts to light the fabric of the sculptures. “Beguiling” is a single sail-shape that resembles one of the peaks of the famous Sydney Opera House. It seems to change volume and color as light changes from natural to artificial. “Compounded,” also a single piece of cloth, undulates like a ribbon and somehow resembles one of Christo’s gates in Central Park.
“How Deep,” which would work in larger indoor spaces, is made like a tall, open book, so that inside volume is as important as outside surface. “Precarious” is made of two fabric objects that resemble halves of a long cylinder. They rest near the bottom of a metal frame that bisects the halves and rises on a diagonal to meet the wall. It calls attention to its own geometry, the juxtaposition of materials and the possibility that it might collapse.
Also at the White, Rowley is introducing her new line of sculptural bracelets. These are trapezoids made of aluminum and stainless steel with holes in the center for medium and large women’s hands. They are quite heavy, and the holes are really small, but they are singular enough that the strangely dressed, avant garde fashionistas Bill Cunningham photographs for The New York Times might wear them. Both the bracelets and sculptures will be part of a larger show opening in December at the famous OK Harris Gallery in New York City.
Susan Ferrari Rowley at the White Gallery
Published on October 24th, 2012 | by Carola Lott
Susan Ferrari Rowley’s work at the White Gallery. Photos by Carola Lott.
“Simple Lines” an exhibition of Susan Ferrari Rowley’s work at the White Gallery in Lakeville is both serene and highly dramatic. Although each piece is made of white translucent polyfiber hand stitched onto brushed aluminum frames, the works are all quite different. Some are cantilevered and suspended in space while others seem to float above their pedestals. The empty spaces are a vital part of each work, just as the invisible wind that fills a sail (which several of the pieces resemble) is what allows a boat to move through the water.
Contrast is an important part of each piece – contrast between straight and curved lines of the frames as well as between convex and concave forms of the fabric. Volumes are elusive. Interiors are as important as exteriors.
Although the pieces have volume, they seem weightless as if they could fly away at any moment. Some soar upwards, one hovers just above the floor, while two that stand solidly on the floor give the illusion of instability.
Light also defines these works. As it changes from hour to hour so too do they seem to shift in appearance. At night they take on another meaning all together.
Part of the exhibition is the premiere of “Angular Extremes” Ferrari Rowley’s limited edition bracelets. As she says of these small scale sculptures, “I am a believer that all products we use should be well designed and expressive, so these bracelets are big, bold and all about form.”
They make a dramatic statement, and like her larger pieces are defined by their contrasting curved and straight lines. When they are not being worn they make an arresting table decoration.
Bracelets by Susan Ferrari Rowley.
Landscapes at the White Gallery
Published on July 18th, 2012 | by Allison Silvieus
Victor Leger's "Rocky Rapids" oil on panel
Landscapes, Landscapes, Landscapes opened last weekend at the White Gallery in Lakeville, CT. The gallery has moved back to the building that was once its storage space, now nicely renovated as gallery space.
Landscapes, Landscapes, Landscapes shows paintings by three artists, Carolyn Edlund, David Dunlop and Victor Leger.
Victor Leger’s inspiration, according to the exhibition guide, comes from the “thrill of thoroughly studying how to paint the light cascading across a hay field, or changing from moment to moment on the ripples of a lake.” A large percentage of his paintings are plein-air. As a style he contrasts aerial perspective to small details. He received a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute and lives and works in Litchfield County. He is a member of the International Guild of Realism.
Leger’s Rocky Rapids amazes for its detail. He works on panel, not canvas. His technique is to use a varnish, giving a glossy finish. His captures every hue of light that bounces off a river. He works light that makes his painting a re-presentation of nature. His piece is full of life and energy.
Carolyn Edlund intends the stillness of her scenes “to bring to mind times long past and the luminosity to suggest a light enchantment.” Her goal is intimacy with the viewer. While her work is realistic, it has a more romantic feel. Her serene moments conjure memories. Edlund has been published in America Artist, Island Living (UK) and has been in exhibitions at the Salmagundi Club (NYC) and the Bienniale Internazionale Dell’Arte Contemporanea in Florence.
Carolyn Edlund’s Reverie by Moonlight is captivating and romantic as the moon shows through the clouds over water. Her sky is illuminated by the moon, creating a tranquil eerie silver-blueness.
David Dunlop’s paintings transcend the ephemeral. His style is post-Impressionistic. He attended Wooster College in Ohio. He studied at the Arts Students League, simultaneously attending Union Theological Seminary. He received his MFA from Pratt Institute.
Edlund’s more modern compositions have a hint of the abstract. His piece Reflections in June, oil on aluminum, captured the reflections in water. His piece is fragmented with quick brush strokes and attention to color. Reflecting Pool focuses on a river pool. His blues and greens bring out the depth of the water.The three artists all portray the awesomeness found in nature.
The White Gallery "Celebrates the Arts" at the Sharon Playhouse with an exhibition of Arbit Blatas prints of "The Threepenny Opera."
Read some published articles on some of our magnificent artists!
Blue & Gold at The White celebrate May 18 -20. The 8th annual art show for the Housatonic Valley Regional High School Art Program was another great success. "The work was amazing," said Tino Galluzzo, co-director & curator at The White Gallery. Here's a look back at some of the great art!
The White Gallery 2012 summer season opened in April with MICHAEL QUADLAND "PAINTINGS". It included a May 5th book signing for Quadland's second novel, "Offspring". Paintings got a great review in the Lakeville Journal's "Art Scene" from Leon Graham. "MAKING ART, ALL KINDS OF ART" [read it here] . A look back at the show:
"The Fabric of Our Town" Mary Close (Fall, 2011)
"Taking A Close Look at Art" Litchfield County Times, Sept. 7, 2011, Jaime Ferris
Check out our pictures from the opening of Mary Close's exhibit!
"Fascinating.......and Fun, A Crowd Pleaser! The Lakeville Journal, "Art Scene", 9/8/2011, Leon Graham