“These are such high caliber artists and the works are just gorgeous. This show is about what each individual artist sees, how she perceives the landscape before her and the medium she chooses to represent that notion,” said WFG owner Sneha Kapadia of the four women she’s pulled together for this show, several of them having shown at the gallery before, and several new to town. “Most of the paintings depict landscapes in the spring and summer months…I’ve had an idea to do an all-woman show for some time and these pieces are all very accessible, very well priced and work extremely well together.”
Artists featured include Sasha Chermayeff of Catskill, better known in Hudson and New York City galleries, as well as at the Kleinert/James Arts Center, for her minimalist abstract works on paper; WFG employee Anne Crowley, who last showed her encaustic bird and deer works at the gallery; area artist Cristeen Garnet, who has shown her quiet, introspective landscapes at WFG in the past; and Tennessee-based Elizabeth Rogers, who works in a variety of media, including several watercolors and oils shown here… and shows with Ricco Maresca Gallery in New York, along with several southern venues.
“I attempt to articulate the energy and motion of animals and plants that I see every day and to give them traction in two dimensional terms,” says Crowley of her aesthetic.
“Critics have compared this work to dance and music, water, sky and stone,” notes Chermayeff.
“I depend on my memory instead of details,” was Garnet’s explanation of her own mode of working. “I am particularly interested in the special relationships between shapes, the mood feeling of the place.”
“When painting directly from nature, I try to capture a truthful impression or expression of the motif,” summarizes Rogers. “I study the expression of light in nature as it grazes land and water and is interrupted by clouds and weather.”
Talk about a perfect means for reinterpreting Nature’s angry actions of past weeks, and its calming, beatific presence this week.++
The opening for “In Her Sight” takes place 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, September 3 at the Woodstock Framing Gallery, 31 Mill Hill Road in Woodstock. Gallery hours are daily from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. with Wednesdays closed. For further information call 679-6003 or visit www.wfggallery.com.
It’s one thing to judge a gallery by the strength of its solo shows. That’s the art world norm. And by such standards, Elena Zang’s little home-based gallery in Shady stands heads and shoulders above everything else in the greater Hudson Valley region by dint of her regular schedule of exhibitions by the likes of such internationally-renowned artists as Joan Snyder, Tom Gottsleben, Judy Pfaff, Donald Elder and Mary Frank.
Ah yes, say the neighbors who drive rural Route 212 between the village of Woodstock and its western hamlets in Willow, or far-off Mt. Tremper and Phoenicia. One knows when the gallery’s got another opening because there’s that slow-down that occurs as everyone jockeys for parking along the roadway’s narrow shoulders. But no one sees it as a problem…They’re thrilled at the clients Zang brings in.
As well as the treasure that the gallery remains, year in and year out.
Take the current group show up for the moment…it’s a simple presentation of the Sculpture Garden in its greatest glory, some new ceramic works by Zang and partner Alan Hoffman, and pieces by the gallery’s stable of a dozen and a half artists. Everything’s perfect…and purchasable. Call it a museum of our contemporary art scene at its best, Woodstock-style.
“Meander through the terraced sculpture garden, past the babbling brook, several inspired birdhouses, and other delightful art objects,” is how Fodor’s has put it on their renowned travel website. “Down the hill is the gallery space, where blond-wood floors and an infusion of light set off the contemporary art on the walls, are some of the contemporary luminaries exhibiting here.”
Weekends like these upon us now are perfect for a stop-by. The place is open most days, and most daylight hours…but call first to be sure.++
Elena Zang Gallery is located at 3671 Route 212 in Shady, a couple of miles past Bearsville. For further information call 679-5432 or visit www.elenazang.com.
Looking for Pike’s peak
Three of the paintings expected to pull higher prices at the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum Auction on Sunday, September 4, are by a bonafide local legend…John Pike. Best known for his work as a master illustrator, and later for the John Pike Watercolor School that he ran at his home from 1960 until his death in 1979, Pike’s got three works up for sale with minimum bids of $200 for two watercolors from around 1960, and $500 for an oil painting from his years working in Jamaica in the 1930s, where he did illustration work for the rum industry there while also painting murals and designing stores, nightclubs, and theater, many of which are still in existence.
Later, Pike was hired to create paintings of the U.S. involvement in Asia from the end of World War II through the Korean Conflict, while maintaining a separate career doing covers for Colliers, Life, Fortune, True, and Readers Digest magazines; and advertising paintings for Alcoa, Standard Oil, National Cash Register, and Equitable Life Insurance, among other key corporations of the day.
After settling in Woodstock post-War, he did much to create the home-town New Englandy feel that place relishes to this day. An early 1950s cover illustration used the town’s Christmas Eve celebration to illustrate the holidays to an entire nation; the “Painting Holidays” prototype he started in the 1960s did much to spread the town’s reputation as a continuing artists colony, as well as a means of supplementing income for artists everywhere.
As did both his popular Watercolor School, which attracted many professional artists from around the country and cemented Woodstock’s new reputation as a bastion for classic art traditions, as well as the Modernists who had come earlier in the 20th century. And his history of over 60 one-man shows, in major galleries and museums throughout the country.
For theSunday, September 4 big auction, which is up for preview at WAAM through noon on Sunday, as well as online, Pike’s consigned paintings seem destined to see a bump in his work’s worth into the mid four figures…putting him high up the list of local works. By how much remains one of the great elements of suspense around the auction, which starts at 1 p.m. under James Cox’s able auctioneering gavel (for a full story on all that, see this week’s Almanac).
Others are thinking that the amounts Pike’s work pulls might also have ramifications in Kingston, where his 1970s design for unifying canopies on Wall Street, known as the Pike Plan, are currently being refurbished after being the center of a growing controversy regarding needed upgrades or riddance.
Meanwhile, Pike’s reputation as a master watercolorist has continued through sales of several books and videos, as well as paint kits, on a website dedicated to his life, career, and painting style (www.johnpikeartprod.com).++
For more on this weekend’s art auction, call 679-2940 or visit www.woodstockart.org.