Forum Gallery, New York
The Contemporary Landscape
New York, NY June 19, 2007 - Landscapes, real and imagined, are the subjects of Forum Gallery’s summer exhibition of works by fourteen contemporary artists. Each has a unique approach to the material, piquing our interest, our understanding, and our own vision of earth and sky. Robert Bauer, William Beckman, Stephen Brown, James Butler, Davis Cone, Linden Frederick, Gregory Gillespie, Peter Krausz, Holly Lane, David Levine, Craig McPherson, Brian Rutenberg, Bernardo Siciliano, and Tula Telfair, define the landscape in diverse and always contemporary terms.
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Tula Telfair’s spacious canvases explore imaginary places drawn from memory and invention. Deceptively peaceful in appearance, the works bring to mind 19th century landscape paintings, their immense skies filled by billowing, romantic clouds; but closer inspection reveals the emotional complexity of each piece. Through the careful construction of light Telfair pulls the viewer into each canvas; her paintings seem lit from within, as sunlight sneaks from behind a mountain or teases the eye down a stream with no distinct beginning or end.
Peter Krausz uses the ancient technique of secco, in which thin layers of egg tempera are painted on dry plaster, to render the sweeping landscapes of his Helen’s Exile series. These are Krausz’s response to an Albert Camus’ essay of the same name, in which the author accuses mankind of having turned its back on the beauty of nature. While reminiscent of Tuscan, French, or California countrysides, Krausz’s landscapes are idealized to create the greatest possible balance of elements and beauty of nature.
Linden Frederick brings an ominous quality to his dramatic paintings. Based in Maine, Frederick depicts the place where unpopulated landscapes overlap the remnants of rural civilization. Often depicting night or just before, his paintings evoke the voyeur in all of us, as we are allowed to peek into household windows illuminated against a darkening sky.
Brian Rutenberg provides by far the most abstract contribution to Forum’s exhibition. Born and raised in South Carolina, the vistas that surrounded him in his youth continue to inspire his paintings. Rutenberg’s large, boldly colored compositions, bring his viewers into the watery, often hazy landscapes of the South Carolina Coast. Paint is applied heavily at times, giving a distinctive weight and texture to the paintings, while the artist’s daring color choices trace the patterns of sunlight as it filters through dense foliage.
The exhibition opens Thursday, June 28, 2007 at Forum Gallery, 745 Fifth Avenue at 57th Street, and continues through Friday, August 31, 2007. The gallery is open 10am to 5:30pm Monday through Friday. For more information please contact the Gallery.