Piri Halasz Reviews “Ten Modern and Contemporary Artists”

Frank WImberley - Tide Murmur, 2011

Frank Wimberley (b. 1926), "Tide Murmur," 2011, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

Spanierman Gallery invites you to view the  exhibition Ten Modern and Contemporary Artists, presenting works created from the mid-twentieth century to the present by ten artists: Frank Bowling, Dan Christensen, Teo González, Carol Hunt, Stephen Pace, Charlotte Park, Katherine Parker, Betty Parsons, Neil Williams, and Frank Wimberley Please read the following review of the exhibition by Piri Halasz from her online art column From the Mayor’s Doorstep. This exhibition ends this Saturday, July 16th, at 5:30PM.

July 11, 2011

By Piri Halasz

Uptown, Spanierman has turned the “historical” side of its gallery into a stage for “Ten Modern and Contemporary Artists” (through July 16—a collagist is in Spanierman Modern). The focus in the group show is on artists older than the LaViola group, and/or artists practicing the gestural painting led by de Kooning in the 50s. Among them are Betty Parsons (better known as a dealer, but occasionally piquant as a painter), Charlotte Park, Stephen Pace, Neil Williams (shaped canvases in Day-Glo colors half-way between Zox and Stella), Carol Hunt, Katherine Parker, and Teo González. The three who stood out for me were Dan Christensen, Frank Bowling and Frank Wimberley. The first two, I am sure, are familiar to most of my readers, but they may not be aware that here is a chance to see five or six fine paintings by each.

Dan Christensen - Bill's Drift, 1979

Dan Christensen (1942-2007), "Bill's Drift," 1979, acrylic on canvas, 57-1/2 x 29-1/2 inches

The large “LS” (1967) by Christensen, displayed in the gallery’s window, is a magnificent example of the artist’s softly-hued spray paintings, built up of horizontal strokes of cream and gray, hints of brighter hues peeping through. Also handsome is “Wave” (1987), a small narrow horizontal, with white and red striations across it, and especially “Bill’s Drift” (1979). This was a type of painting by Christensen that I’d never seen before, with a yellow field dominated by a diagonally vertical stripe of Kelly green, and lesser accents of purple, pink, orange and blue. I also saw five paintings by Bowling – 2 from the 70s, one from 1980, 2 from last year. The two recent ones, “Old Altar Piece” and “Wreath,” were both welcome and familiar, but the two from the 70s were unexpected and gave me fresh jolts. “Flame” (1975) is blended vertical stripes of color, the broadest being mauve and the narrow one next to it, a surprising red, while “Sanovski” (1977) is a knockout, with an intricate rainbow of pale colors, blended like the feathers on a peacock’s tail.

Wimberley (b. 1926) is the least known of the three, and I was only able to see three paintings by him. One left me cold, but the other two were impressive. This artist works with a defiantly flat matte finish. His “Immixture” (2011) is yellow paint slathered on, in raised short, folded strokes over a black field. “Tide Murmur” (2011) is large horizontal rectangles and narrower stripes of grays and black with accents of white, mustard and a pale bluish gray. With Wimberley, as with Christensen and Bowling, there was one painting on the checklist I couldn’t see, because it was out on approval. I would be irritated except that I’m happy business seems good.

View the exhibition online

Video Talk with Lisa Nankivil – MNOriginal.org

Lisa Nankivil

Playing in the liminal space between chaos and organization, abstract artist Lisa Nankivil creates bold stripe paintings. In her studio, she utilizes a sliding T-square mounted on a roller skate wheel, allowing gravity and an organic attitude to help her compositions take form. Nankivil permits her canvas’ definitions to get lost and found in the struggle between surface and deep space. To Nankivil, experiencing abstract art is for everyone and the bridge it creates to feelings are best left to the viewer, and not tags on a museum wall.

This segment aired as part of mn original show #226.


View Lisa Nankivil: Lines of Inference exhibition

Read Nankivil Biography

Ten Modern & Contemporary Artists Exhibition

Spanierman Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition Ten Modern and Contemporary Artists, featuring works created from the mid-twentieth century to the present by ten artists: Frank Bowling, Dan Christensen, Teo González, Carol Hunt, Stephen Pace, Charlotte Park, Katherine Parker, Betty Parsons, Neil Williams, and Frank Wimberley. The exhibition is on view thru June 16, 2011.

Dan Christensen - Redzilla, 2006

Dan Christensen - Redzilla, 2006

A seminal figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement, Betty Parsons (1900–1982) launched the careers of many leading artists through the gallery she ran for thirty years; she was also an artist in her own right, producing abstract paintings and sculpture in which she drew from her stimulating milieu and expressed her own personal and witty responses to her surroundings. Charlotte Park (1918–2010), wife of James Brooks, evolved a unique version of Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s, developing a dynamic, vibrant approach to express a wide emotional range. The New York Times art critic Roberta Smith identified Park as among a few other women artists whose art shows “hints of bodies of work that might sustain further study.” Contemporary with Park, Stephen Pace (1918–2010) enjoyed a long and productive career. He visited the Paris home of Gertrude Stein in the 1940s, became a friend of Milton Avery’s in the 1950s, and trained with Hans Hofmann, whose teachings spurred the direct and vigorous Abstract Expressionist style he developed in the 1950s. In 1961, the critic, Thomas B. Hess, deemed him a “brilliant member of the second generation of New York School painters that burst on the scene, in the early 1950s, fully made, as if from the forehead of the Statue of Liberty.” Continue reading