Tag Archives: Art Gallery

Kaló Mína Features Tomas Watson

Photo by Jon-Paul Rodriguez

MONTH IN REVIEW: May 2024

A roundup of this month’s art and design news about the makers and creators from Greece and Cyprus

Transitions was an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Tomas Watson at the Anita Rogers Gallery. It included work from 2017 to present day. This time period was characterized by radical upheaval – both emotionally and physically – for the artist.

Watson is a figurative artist that is not restricted by realism. He lived and worked in Greece for most of his career. When asked why, Watson answers, “The Greek light.”

For the closing party on May 25, the Anita Rogers Gallery transported guests to 1940s Greece with live rebetiko and smyrnaiko music, Greek food and wine, and dancing.

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Artwork Archive Interviews Richard Keen III

Richard Keen working in his studio. Photo courtesy of the artist and Artwork Archive.

Why One Coastal State’s Landscape is Integral to This Artist’s Creative Process

Paige Simianer | April 11, 2024

“As far back as I can remember I have made sense of the world through art,” Richard says in his artist statement.

Artwork Archive’s Featured Artist Richard Keen is known for his use of color, line, and geometry influenced by the Maine coast, where he lives and works.

His commitment to interpreting his surroundings has led the artist to develop a distinctive style that resonates with both the physical beauty and the underlying geometric patterns of the Maine coastline. Through his eyes, viewers are invited to experience the familiar landscapes of Maine in a new light, where natural and man-made structures alike are reimagined.

The methods Richard uses to paint vary. Through scraping, wiping, brushing, spraying, and the use of palette knives and scrapers, he explores the tactile possibilities of paint.

Richard’s work is characterized by a delicate balance between the precision of crisp lines and shapes—often achieved through careful taping—and the expressive qualities of brushwork and other mark-making techniques.

At the heart of the artist’s abstractions is the concept of place, a tangible link to the environments that inspire him. Yet, his art leaves ample room for viewers to embark on their own journeys of interpretation and meaning.

Through his work, Richard Keen not only captures the essence of his surroundings but also offers a window into the profound ways in which art can shape our understanding of the world.

Artwork Archive had the chance to chat with Richard Keen about the significance of the coast of Maine in his artwork, his advice for artists, and how Artwork Archive helps him manage his studio and art career!

Do you have a favorite or most satisfying part of your process? 

There is so much about the act of creating that is satisfying—I really, really love each part, so it’s hard to say which is my favorite.

The beginning, or the unknown; the middle, where my vision starts to become clear yet the finish line seems foggy and unsettled, with potential risk and failure; and…. the final piece which eventually reveals itself and calls you back over and over to stare in amazement that you actually created it.

Can you talk more about the significance of the coast of Maine in your identity as an artist?

The coast of Maine literally engulfed me.

From the first time I stood on its jagged shoreline and smelled the density of the fog and rockweed, to the moment I learned how to scuba dive, I realized it held the language necessary for me to build a dialogue with viewers and show them how I see the world.

I’ve been so lucky to live, hike, and work in this great state. I am also entangled in the working waterfront world and generally look for connections between my attraction to abstraction and the parts of Maine that surround me—whether they may be manmade or in my escapes into nature for mental grounding.

The National Herald Highlights Tomas Watson

Anita Rogers Gallery presents ‘Transitions’, an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Tomas Watson on view through May 24. Photo: Jon-Paul Rodriguez

NEW YORK – Anita Rogers Gallery presents ‘Transitions’, an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Tomas Watson, a British artist based in Greece. The work spans a period from 2017 to the present; a period which for Watson was characterized by radical upheaval, both emotionally and physically.

On the new work in the exhibition, Watson states: “These paintings are about my life, not in a descriptive or specific sense, but rather in the form of observations that open up the possibility of a deeper, universal meaning.”

Figurative art may seem an outdated form to pursue in our times, a form already perfected long ago. There are a few contemporary artists, however, who practice this at the caliber of the Renaissance masters in terms of drawing, composition, and technique, but who are also firmly grounded in a modern approach.

British artist Tomas Watson (born 1971) is one of these. Throughout his 35-year career, he has consistently searched, experimented, and found new ways to refresh the existing forms and infuse them with the vigor of the ever-changing modern world. His work combines age-old mastery with an abstract aesthetic.

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We and the Color Features Tomas Watson

Installation view of Tomas Watson: Transitions (2024) Photo by Jon-Paul Rodriguez

Tomas Watson Exhibition at Anita Rogers Gallery

By Dirk Petzold

New York City-based Anita Rogers Gallery currently presents “Transitions,” an exquisite exhibition showcasing the remarkable talent of British artist Tomas Watson. Spanning from 2017 to the present day, “Transitions” encapsulates a period of profound change and evolution in Watson’s life, both personally and creatively.

In his latest body of work, Watson invites viewers into a world that transcends mere representation, delving into the depths of human experience with profound introspection. As he aptly puts it, “These paintings are about my life, not in a descriptive or specific sense, but rather in the form of observations that open up the possibility of a deeper, universal meaning.”

In an age where figurative art may seem like a relic of the past, Watson defies conventions with his masterful technique and modern approach. Trained at the prestigious Slade School of Art in London, and a recipient of the esteemed BP Portrait Award in 1998, Watson’s dedication to his craft is unmistakable. Drawing inspiration from luminaries such as Degas, Turner, and Rauschenberg, he seamlessly blends age-old mastery with a contemporary aesthetic, breathing new life into the timeless art of figurative painting.

For Watson, light is more than just a physical phenomenon—it is a conduit for emotion and meaning. Whether illuminating the intimate confines of an interior space or bathing the expansive outdoors in a golden glow, light plays a central role in shaping the mood and atmosphere of his compositions. His meticulous attention to detail, coupled with a keen understanding of form and shadow, creates a sense of depth and dimensionality that is truly mesmerizing.

In “Transitions,” Watson’s shift toward exterior scenes reflects a newfound sense of openness and exploration. Bold strokes of color intermingle with subtle nuances of light and shade, imbuing each canvas with a palpable sense of vitality and energy. Yet beneath the surface beauty lies a profound sense of introspection—a testament to Watson’s unwavering commitment to capturing the essence of the human experience.

Beyond the confines of the canvas, Watson’s impact extends far and wide. Alongside his partner, he has recently established the Sigri Arts Retreat on the idyllic island of Lesvos, providing a haven for artists to nurture their creativity amidst the stunning backdrop of the Aegean Sea. As he embarks on this new chapter of fatherhood, Watson’s passion for art and education continues to inspire and uplift all those who encounter his work.

The exhibition is on view from March 6 to May 24.

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BNN Spotlights Stephen Bethel

Installation view of INTERSECTIONS II (2024), Photo by Jon-Paul Rodriguez

Stephen Bethel blends nature and art, creating unique sculptures that capture the beauty of the natural world. Experience his work at Bethel Farm.

Artist Stephen Bethel, founder of Bethel Farm Yoga and Living Arts Center in Hillsborough, is redefining the intersection of nature and art through his unique sculptural pieces. Utilizing found tree branches and adding his own mark with richly-colored plaster, Bethel’s work straddles the line between painting and sculpture, offering a 3D experience infused with a painterly quality. His creations, ranging from wall-mounted pieces to freestanding sculptures reaching up to 10 feet, are a testament to his fluidity and responsiveness to the natural world’s inherent beauty and complexity.

Inspiration Drawn from Nature

For years, Bethel has been inspired by the decaying trees and intriguing shapes of birch bark and gnarly maple trees near his home. This fascination led him to collect unique pieces of wood, which eventually became the foundation for his art. Moving away from merely depicting nature, Bethel began to interact directly with these found objects, allowing the shapes and voids within the wood to guide his creative process. His background as a professional plasterer enabled him to masterfully integrate colored plaster with these natural forms, creating pieces that are both visually stunning and deeply connected to the environment.

Exhibition and Embrace of Nature

Bethel’s work was recently showcased at the “INTERSECTIONS II” group exhibition at Anita Rogers Gallery in New York City, where he joined other artists in celebrating their intuitive embrace of nature. This exhibition marked a significant moment for Bethel, as it represented a shift towards allowing nature to take the lead in his artistic journey. The opportunity to bring his creations from the tranquil woods around his home to the bustling urban environment of Manhattan was a poignant reminder of the universal language of nature and art.

Integration with Bethel Farm

About a year ago, Bethel began integrating some of his sculptures into the landscape of Bethel Farm. These installations, set amidst flower beds and fields, invite visitors to experience the artwork in harmony with its natural surroundings. Starting April 1, guests at the farm will have the opportunity to explore Bethel’s sculptures, both outdoors and in the dining hall, as part of their visit. Additionally, Bethel plans to incorporate a yoga class that includes time for students to engage with the art, further blending the worlds of nature, art, and wellness.

– Rafia Tasleem

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Tribeca Citizen Highlights Gary Gissler

Gary Gissler, “her + her”, 2016, Linen, oil, typewriter ink on panel, 60″ x 48″ x 2″

Downtown artist Gary Gissler is featured in a group show at Anita Rogers Gallery up now called Intersections I at 494 Greenwich. Gissler grew up in the Midwest with a family that celebrated writing and language (full disclosure: his father, Sig Gissler, was my mentor at Columbia Journalism School and was the longtime head of the Pulitzer Prizes) and valued the discursive creation of meaning and interpretation. He was trained as a jeweler, which contributed to his obsessive and meticulous techniques of making art. Gissler has been reviewed in Art in America, Flash Art, Art News, The New Yorker, ArtNet, and his work is currently included at the RISD Museum and the Neuberger Museum. He has been awarded a Pollock Krasner Grant and a Chinati Foundation Artist Residency.

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Ephemeralist Features John McDevitt King

John McDevitt King, By Barcelona, 2021, Colored pencil on paper, 15″ x 11″

Intersections I, a three-person show, is on view at Anita Rogers Gallery in Soho through January 7, featuring Gary Gissler, Barbara Knight, and John McDevitt King. I’m sharing excerpts from a catalogue essay on John’s work, published on the occasion of his solo show at MERGE Stone Ridge in 2022.

Excerpts from Stealing Light

In the field of gemology, John McDevitt King has evaluated some of the world’s legendary gemstones, including the Hope Diamond. A specialty of his involves noting subtle variations in color, undetectable to most of us, as well as degrees of clarity and other qualities that factor into each stone’s evaluation. But before working with gems, John was a practicing artist. Over decades, as his professional expertise has been honed, his artmaking has evolved in tandem. The two are intertwined, creating an essential, sui generis dialogue that emerges in his artwork.

John perceives the way light is projected, filtered, or reflected, and how it clarifies or obstructs vision; gauges its ephemerality and opacity; and harnesses those perceptions for inspiration. How does he continue to find source material for subject matter? “More often, I start from something observed. That could be a fragment of a photo, something I see around me, direct observation… that goes through transitions as I being to work on it.” He often returns to objects of earlier inspiration, such as a series based on broken plates of glass and the chance patterns therein. At other times, he looks—and then sees. “Some works are reflective of being in my studio and looking at the windows… what I’m seeing on the surface, past the surface, and behind,” similar to the process of looking at a diamond. He nods at Jasper Johns: “You take an object and turn it a different way, or block something out, or twist this, or change the focus of the form—and you see it anew.”

It’s one thing to create subject matter. It’s quite another to render that in a typically two-dimensional work using traditional media. John has been experimenting in recent years with such divergent materials as 3-D printing, video, printmaking, and paper fabrication, but he continually returns to drawing and encaustic painting as the most pure means of expression. “Drawing and encaustic painting somehow embody my personality and the way I put myself in a position to make art.”

Encaustic involves combining melted beeswax with pigment, which can be layered and textured to create dimension. John notes: “I continually explore ways to handle the paint, move it around, pouring, layering, different strokes.” He most often draws with graphite on white or light paper, but he has also used white pigment on black paper. In any case, he says,”Drawing goes back to childhood. I continue to find that one of the most pleasing forms of interaction that I have in my work.” And his technical methods in grading diamonds have been put to use in painting. In a recent conversation, he noted: “There’s a certain touch that I use in diamond grading that I tend to use also in painting—a movement of the hand focused on attention to detail.”

John finds general inspiration in New York City, whether from cityscapes or simply within his studio at the Brooklyn Navy Yard; his work expresses “a specific kind of feel, but not a specific place.” One look at his Instagram feed is a glimpse of how a given visual cue can be the impetus for a new composition. Identifiable objects might become the framework for an abstraction; a lightbulb, the pinpoint focus in a drawing; a window, a mysterious portal. For a non-artist, it can help to understand how a simple walk can produce an endless array of inspiration.

—Susan Yung, 2022

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Brooklyn Rail Reviews Henry Mandell’s SUPERUNKNOWN

Installation view: Henry Mandell: Superunknown, Anita Rogers Gallery, New York, 2023. Courtesy Anita Rogers Gallery. Photo: Andrew Toth.

Henry Mandell knows the subsurface teems with vitality. In his debut exhibition at Anita Rogers Gallery, the painter draws upon the interconnected qualities of mycelium as a grounding agent for a remarkable body of work. Mycelium is the fungal network of thread-like structures that ramify and interlace a thousand-fold connection to the roots of trees and other vegetation in forests. For Mandell, there is a strong analogy between the mycelial system and the world wide web. The artist’s recent body of work capitalizes on the exploration of this interconnectedness.

There is not a wall that isn’t put to use in the gallery, though the exhibition does not feel overhung. This is because the paintings maintain a steady energetic level that gives the show an even tone, regardless of the different material characteristics of the artworks. Mandell’s colors operate on equal wavelengths: wherever they fall on the spectrum, their lightness and brightness remain consistent. It’s a necessary containment, as Mandell’s line work is supremely expansive and multilayered.

Read full review.

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Anita Rogers juries annual Art2Life exhibition

Kay Carlson glances at her painting “Sausalito Horizon” at her art studio in Sausalito, California on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. The oil was chosen for the Art2Life annual online exhibition. (Sherry LaVars/Marin Independent Journal)

Sausalito artists featured in international exhibition

By: Giuseppe Ricapito

Three Sausalito artists were selected for an online art exhibition that drew more than 1,800 entries.

Art2Life, a Sausalito art company that holds educational workshops and underwrites the exhibition, organizes the annual juried event, which features pieces from international artists. Anita Rogers, the proprietor of a gallery in New York, chose 54 of the submissions for the exhibition.

“I was happy to see a nice mix of figurative and abstract works in the entries,” Rogers said. “I encourage all artists to keep working, to keep experimenting, and to keep putting their work out there. It’s essential.”

Art2Life is located in the Industrial Center Building, a landmark historic space in Sausalito that contains art studios and other workshop areas.

Nicholas Wilton, founder and owner of Art2Life, said the online exhibition elevates talented local and international artists to wider exposure.

“What we do is we help artists, we help people discover their authenticity through art,” he said. “We teach them and we coach them, and one of things we do is encourage them to promote their art. It’s a learning experience for these artists while also being a self-promotion event.”

Wilton said 100% of the money goes to artists if their pieces are purchased.

Kay Carlson was among the Sausalito artists to be selected. Carlson’s piece, “Sausalito Horizon,” features the city in a heavy storm during the most recent rain season.

“I was very shocked,” she said of her selection. “I just threw the dice and applied to it. Generally, the paintings were more abstract than mine, but I appreciated being selected.”

“Sausalito Horizon” is a 40-inch-by-30-inch oil painting. The piece is priced at $4,500.

“I usually paint from a sense of place, and the waterfront is very precious to me,” she said. “My paintings used to be just about the beauty and this great light and the golden hour, and now they’re kind of shifting to being more what I feel about what’s going on, that the beauty and our way of life along the waterfront is threatened. It’s not just pretty, it’s serious.”

Another Sausalito artist, Andrew Faulkner, was selected for  “Tiffany Sky,” a 48-inch-by-60-inch acrylic and mixed media painting. Its price is $8,600.

Faulkner said he began his career in graphic design, but pivoted with the assistance of Art2Life and a workshop led by Wilton.

“Over two years, I phased out of my design business and started to improve my skills and sharpen my artistic vision,” he said. “I was fortunate to find my ‘tribe’ at the ICB art studios in Sausalito, where Nick Wilton also has a studio.”

Erika Parrino was the other Sausalito-based artist to be featured. Her piece, “Fields I’ve Seen,” is a 20-inch-by-20 inch acrylic painting on a birch panel. Its price is $975.

The exhibition opened on Aug. 29. Debbie Mueller won first place and a prize of $2,500; Lianne Yael Jedeikin won second place and $2,000; and Jeff Horton won third place and $1,500.

View on MarinIndependentJournal.com

Brainard Carey Interviews Henry Mandell

Henry Mandell in the studio.

In the past few years, Brainard Carey has interviewed a number of artists, writers, architects, curators, museum directors, and poets, including Flavin Judd, Marina Abramović, Mary Heilman, Robert Storr, Nancy Spector, and more.  Learn more. 

On October 4, 2023, Brainard Carey sat down with artist Henry Mandell to discuss Mandell’s solo exhibition, SUPERUNKNOWN.

Listen to Henry Mandell’s Interview with Brainard Carey Here.