Frank Wimberley and Stephen Pace at Mercedes Benz Star Lounge

Frank Wimberley, "Accents Red," 2008, arylic on canvas, 54 x 44 inches

Frank Wimberley, “Accents Red,” 2008, acrylic on canvas, 54 x 44 inches

Spanierman Modern, and paintings by Frank Wimberley and Stephen Pace that the gallery lent to the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge at Lincoln Center during Fashion Week, recently received attention in the Examiner.com, “the inside source for everything local.” In his article of September 11, 2012, Matt Semino wrote:  “Cadle collaborated brilliantly with Spanierman Modern, a New York gallery noted for its collection of mid-twentieth century artists, using works by Stephen Pace and Frank Wimberley to appoint the lounge’s walls.” Semino stated how the works by the two artists added an “updated dimension to the elegant curvature of the room’s furniture.”  The ways that the paintings enliven their surroundings can be seen in the photograph that appeared with the article, in which Pace’s Untitled (54-52) (1954) is on the left and Wimberley’s Accents Red (2008) is on the right.

Stephen Pace, "Untitled (54-52)," 1954, oil on canvas, 56 x 40 inches

Stephen Pace, “Untitled (54-52),” 1954, oil on canvas, 56 x 40 inches

This is the fifth Fashion Week lounge designed by Cadle, who has “legions of devoted clients and is known for his ability to create a timeless aesthetic by focusing on guest experience, comfort, and enjoyment, while visually adding a twist, surprise, or hint of the unexpected.”  The paintings by Wimberley and Pace, two each, contributed to this experience, described as “opulence turned on its edge.”

Frank Bowling: Exhibitions Abound

Image

Lisa N. Peters

Recently included in our exhibition, Fifteen Contemporary Artists, Frank Bowling is also being featured in several current and upcoming individual and group exhibitions.  The solo shows consist of Frank Bowling: Recent Paintings, opening at Spanierman Modern on March 29 (view catalogue PDF), Frank Bowling: Poured Paintings, opening at Tate Britain on April 30, Frank Bowling: Recent Large Works, opening at Hales Gallery, London, on May 31, and Frank Bowling: Recent Small Works, opening at Chris Dyson Gallery, London, on July 6.  A two-man show of the work of Bowling and Dennis DeCaires opened February 28 at the University of Glyndwr, in Wrexham, North Wales.  Bowling is at the center of one the group exhibitions: Bowling’s Friends, opening at the Cello Factory, London, on May 23.  This show situates Bowling among artists of a younger generation whose work he admires.  The other group shows include Migrations, which opened January 31 at Tate Britain (this show explores the theme of migration from 1500 to the present, reflecting the range of the Tate Britain’s collections); British Design, 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age, opening at the Victoria and Albert Museum on March 31; and A Family Affair, opening at the Cello Factory on June 2.  On October 12, 2012, during Bowling’s exhibition at the Tate Britain, the culture critic and writer Courtney Martin will conduct a public conversation with the artist.  This will take place during Frieze week and will be held in the Clore Auditorium from noon to 1:30 pm.

Bowling’s shows, following the publication of Mel Gooding’s 2011 monograph on the artist and his many honors (including becoming the first black Royal Academician), give recognition to the richness of his art in its varied facets over many decades.

Bowling’s paintings reference many artistic sources.  The legacy of Pollock is present in their dripped and splattered surfaces.  There’s also a sense of Rothko’s shifting and resonant color that seems to hang in front of what is seen.  Older associations can also be discerned, among them the sublime and radiant light in the art of Turner.

Frank Bowling - 37528, 2008

Frank Bowling, "37528," 2008, acrylic on canvas, 32 x 29 inches

This is vividly apparent in 37528 (2008), a blazing and shimmering atmospheric image.  Its feeling is both celestial and aquatic.  The light is complex–a fiery glow, associated with masculine force, blended with a cooler haze, evoking the feminine.  A mood results that is mixed, both emotive and contemplative.  In this painting and others, canvas layers are stitched together, and edges have been cut with pinking shears, methods in which Bowling summons the memory of his mother, a seamstress who parlayed her talent at sewing dresses, hats, and Indian saris into a successful business. As a teenager, Bowling worked a route for his mother, taking orders for clothing and selling swatches and pattern books.

Frank Bowling, "Carriage," 2006, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 41 inches

Frank Bowling, "Carriage," 2006, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 41 inches

The light in Carriage (2006) is even more varied.  A vivid pink shape emerges from the center of the field, recalling the maps of Africa that Bowling featured in his art in the late 1960s, but here the shape is distorted and amorphous.  Is it suggestive of the tumult of hope and despair gripping Ethiopia and Somalia at the end of the last decade?  Whether it is symbolic or not, the painting has the dynamic subtlety that characterizes Bowling’s work along with the craftsmanship that stemmed from his youthful experience, endowing it with authencity.

Visit Spanierman Modern at Art Miami!

Spanierman Modern at Art Miami
Booth # B11
November 30-December 4, 2011

Spanierman Modern, Art Miami, 2011

Come visit Spanierman Modern at Art Miami, one of America’s premiere anchor fairs. Located at booth # B11, Spanierman Modern is featuring examples of Abstract Expressionist and Color Field works by modern and contemporary artists, including Frank Bowling, Dan Christensen, Jasmina Danowski, Friedel Dzubas, John Ferren, Perle Fine, Ibram Lassaw, Stephen Pace, Charlotte Park, Alma Woodsey Thomas, and Frank Wimberley.

Spanierman Modern, Art Miami, 2011

PRESS RELEASE
Art Miami
Nov. 30-Dec. 4, 2011

Contacts:
Christine Berry
Martha Campbell 

Spanierman Modern is pleased to announce the gallery’s participation in Art Miami, on view from November 30 through December 4 at the Art Miami Pavilion in midtown Miami at 3101 Northeast 1st Avenue. Our booth at this premiere anchor fair will feature examples of Abstract Expressionist and Color Field works by modern and contemporary artists, including Frank Bowling, Dan Christensen, Jasmina Danowski, Friedel Dzubas, John Ferren, Perle Fine, Ibram Lassaw, Stephen Pace, Charlotte Park, Alma Woodsey Thomas, and Frank Wimberley.

Spanierman Modern, Art Miami, 2011

Spanierman Modern, Art Miami, 2011

The Abstract Expressionist examples reveal the vitality of this style, which emerged in the mid-twentieth century, a time when artists saw art as a forum for action, creating works as an expression of freedom and a way standing in opposition to a homogenized culture.  Charlotte Park’s Lament (ca. 1955) demonstrates the muscular, emotionally powerful approach that has recently brought a significant amount of attention to her work. Stephen Pace’s Untitled (55-06) is a heavily worked canvas in which dynamic and robust movement evokes the Baroque tradition.  Perle Fine’s Theme #1 (1951) conveys the new energy of the day, but with a distinctly refined technique of precise linework and subtle color.  In Loom (1966), Ibram Lassaw united biomorphism with constructivist and gestural painting methods to produce novel luminous sculptures that he called “paintings in 3D.”

The Color Field movement brought with it a more temperate mood and greater detachment on the part of the artist.  A leading figure in this offshoot of Abstract Expressionism, Dan Christensen pushed the limits of paint and new techniques.  In Purple Anchor (1969), one of his “plaids,” he used rollers and window-washing squeegees to create works that, unique to a Minimalist aesthetic, are highly sensuous.  Friedel Dzubas is best known for his lyrical images, such as Turning Point (1983), which elicit a contemplative feeling in the viewer. Alma Woodsey Thomas, who became a Color Field adherent at age seventy-five, is represented by Spoop Sees Sun Rise on Earth (1971), one of her vivid, patterned canvases that have been compared to Byzantine mosaics. A contemporary artist working in the Color Field mode, Frank Bowling makes extensive discrete adjustments to the surfaces of his works, creating an immediate sense of brilliantly nuanced light as well as a feeling of the cosmic, as in Courteous Shade (1974).

“Judith Godwin: Early Abstractions” at Jepson Center, Savannah, GA

Judith Godwin - Nucleus II, 1950

Judith Godwin, "Nucleus II" (detail), 1950, oil on canvas, 36 ½ x 60 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Judith Godwin: Early Abstractions is on view at the Telfair Museum’s Jepson Center through August 7, 2011. In the early 1950s, New York-based artist Judith Godwin began removing representational elements from her paintings in favor of abstract approaches. She continued to push the developing abstraction in her work, and over the next decade, saw the imagery evolve into powerful nonobjective compositions. This exhibition explores a critical period in Godwin’s evolution, focusing on her abstractions from the early 1950s through the 1960s.

Judith Godwin - Pink Sky Pond, 1960

Judith Godwin, "Pink Sky Pond," 1960, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 36 inches. Spanierman Modern.

A Virginia native, Judith Godwin arrived in New York City in 1953 during a period of major development in post-war American art. She was accepted into the Art Students League, studying with noted artists Will Barnet, Harry Sternberg, and Vaclav Vytlacil, as well as at Hans Hofmann’s schools in New York and Provincetown. As a young artist she quickly immersed herself in the city, befriended other artists and art dealers, and eventually began to exhibit her paintings and establish her reputation. With a lifetime of work now behind her—grounded in the fertile and evolutionary period explored here—Judith Godwin continues to reinvent the language of abstract painting in her studio.

Judith Godwin: Early Abstractions was developed by René Paul Barilleaux, Chief Curator/Curator of Art after 1945 at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.

Here are a few words from Ira Spanierman on Godwin’s work:

When Bill Chiego, director of the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, sent me a copy of the catalogue for the museum’s 2008 exhibition, Judith Godwin: Early Abstractions, I felt an immediate excitement on seeing the work that was illustrated. Shortly thereafter, I visited Godwin’s studio. As we pulled paintings from the storage racks, I was overwhelmed by their fantastic emotional impact. I was struck by how instinctively Judith Godwin knows where her brush should go, how it should go, and what it should be doing. It was clear to me that her informed brushstrokes were the extension of a physicality and energy that expressed an inner emotional battle. I sensed an enormous struggle in her work, a tension between several forces, each contending for supremacy. The dynamic qualities and wonderful colors in her paintings communicated a sometimes fierce and violent dialogue. To me the paintings represent both the artist’s inner conflicts and her reactions to the frenzied and fluctuating state of the world at a time when the atom bomb was dropped and the moon was reached. Godwin’s paintings are compelling references to the power of those events that affect all of us in our daily lives.

Ira Spanierman

Balcomb Greene at Greenville

Balcomb Greene, "Angelina," 1984, oil on canvas, 50 x 40 1/4 inches

Balcomb Greene, "Angelina," 1984, oil on canvas, 50 x 40 1/4 inches

Lisa N. Peters

On June 11, the Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, South Carolina, opened an exhibition entitled Balcomb Greene: The Elements, consisting of ten works lent by Spanierman Gallery. The works on view are in the unique figurative style informed by principles of abstraction and photography that Greene developed beginning in the 1950s. Before becoming an artist, Greene completed a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, wrote three novels, and took part in a master’s program in English literature at Columbia University, which led to a job teaching English at Dartmouth College. As an artist, he was an iconoclastic figure with an intellectual frame of mind. His passion for exploring the connection between the physical and spiritual materialized in these late works, in which forms are recognizable yet dislocated in space and intercepted by variegated passages of light and shadow, conveying a sense of becoming and being at once. His Angelina seems to look into his subject’s soul, while in Island and Summer Clouds, sky, rocks, and water are infused with a light that can only be described as supernatural. Continue reading

Frank Bowling at Royal Academy and Tate Britain

Frank Bowling - Old Altar Piece, 2010

Frank Bowling, "Old Altar Piece," 2010, acrylic on canvas, 44 x 31 inches

Frank Bowling’s Solo Exhibition at the Royal Academy
The Royal Academy in London presently has on view a solo exhibition of Frank Bowling’s work through October 23, 2011.  The exhibition will celebrate Bowling’s long career and highlight his contributions to the Abstract Expressionist and Color Field movements.  The opening also marks the fifth anniversary of Bowling’s election to the Royal Academy.

Frank Bowling Monograph
In addition, the Royal Academy of Art recently published a monograph, which honors Frank Bowling’s life and work.  Written by the renowned art critic Mel Gooding, the monograph launch coincided with the opening of Frank Bowling’s exhibition at the Royal Academy.

Bowling’s Display at Tate Britain
2012 sees even bigger developments in Frank Bowling’s career.  His work will be featured in a display at Tate Britain, curated by Courtney J. Martin.

Group Exhibition at Spanierman Gallery, LLC
This summer Spanierman Gallery, LLC will host the group exhibition Ten Modern and Contemporary Artists from June 16-July 16, 2011, featuring several paintings by Frank Bowling.  For more details, please contact Bethany Dobson, bethanydobson@spanierman.com, (212) 832-0208.

Solo Bowling Exhibition at Spanierman Modern
Coinciding with the opening of Bowling’s Tate Britain exhibition, Spanierman Modern will host a solo exhibition in April 2012.  For more details, please contact Martha Campbell, mcampbell@spanierman.com, (212) 832-1400.

Frank Bowling is represented by Spanierman Modern
For further information please contact:
Martha Campbell  - 
mcampbell@spanierman.com  -  (212) 832-1400

Dan Christensen’s “Musca” at the Seattle Art Museum, Downtown

Lisa N. Peters

Dan Christensen, Musca, 1968

Dan Christensen's "Musca" on view at the Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Photograph courtesy of the Seattle Art Museum.

In the collection of the Seattle Art Museum, Dan Christensen’s large Musca (1968, acrylic on canvas, 108 x 132 inches) is currently installed on a wall of the museum’s dazzling downtown museum expansion (opened in 2007). The painting belongs to the period just after Christensen visited the Jackson Pollock 1967 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art and began pioneering the use of the spray paint gun to create allover surfaces of looping air-compressed lines. The natural light that fills the steel-and-glass walled building brings out Musca’s luminosity, while the painting complements the quiet energy of this meditative refuge in the midst of the bustling city. Expressing the city’s vitality, while evoking a spiritual presence in its infinite movement, Musca seems well suited to its present home.

A similar work in the gallery’s inventory is Christensen’s O (1968), pictured here.

Dan Christensen, "O" 1968, acrylic on canvas, 108 x 144 inches

Dan Christensen, "O" 1968, acrylic on canvas, 108 x 144 inches

Burgoyne Diller and the Restored Williamsburg Murals

Lisa N. Peters

Balcomb Greene - Untitiled," 1937-39, Brooklyn Museum, New York

Balcomb Greene, "Untitled," 1937-39, oil on canvas, 91-1/2 x 139-1/4 inches, on extended loan to the Brooklyn Museum, New York by the New York City Housing Authority

A number of years ago, several murals from the mid-1930s were installed at the Brooklyn Museum.  Their intriguing story soon came to light.  It turns out that they were part of a group of works commissioned in 1936 by the New York Mural Division of the Works Progress Administration/Federal Art Project for public areas in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg Housing Project (designed by the Swiss-born architect William Lescaze and built in the then-modern International Style).  The murals had been forgotten for many years. In some cases they had been covered with rubber cement and used as bulletin boards. In others, they had been locked away in storage rooms. Continue reading