The enigmatic genius of Emily Dickinson has been studied for over a century, yet she remains a beguiling literary and literal conundrum. Part mystic, part heretic, she wrote in metaphor with aching clarity. Dickinson envisioned the mind and spiritless as concepts than as actual places; she feigned conventionality in her dress and manner yet was an early feminist, and her use of language and grammar upended literary convention. She questioned faith, morality, pain, and ecstasy. A botany aficionado and gardener, the poet also assembled an herbarium of 424 flowers, now residing at the Harvard Houghton Rare Book Library. Her posthumous success revealed Dickinson to be one of the great modernist voices in American poetry.
Consummate Plush is a response to Dickinson’s quiet yet radical oeuvre, her flexible use of structure, and the depth of her self-inquiry. Judith Page’s veiled figures and Daniel Wiener’s fantastical motifs possess vestiges of the Gothic, touching on Dickinson’s plastic sense of identity and mortality. Christa Maiwald’s embroidered images recall the stitched bundles of poetry found in Dickinson’s bureau after her death. Lucy Winton and Charles Yuen share a sense of the dreamscape – places where the chimerical exists alongside this-ness and otherness. Virva Hinnemo’s use of gesture and spatial depth transport us to an environment in which writing and imagery coexist. Bonnie Rychlak’s subversive drains offer both a sense of escape and reflection, and Linda Miller’s examinations of organic form elude to abstract figuration and the monumental. For George Negroponte, an incisive use of pastiche and tight, visual reciprocity conjures Dickinson’s startling poetic structure. In Laurie Lambrecht’s embroidered, photographic images, it is the poet’s genteel life in the botanical that confers a sense of natural wonder, order, and reverence.
Join curator Janet Goleas and selected artists on Saturday, March 28th from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM for a gallery breakfast and discussion, sponsored by the Patchogue Medford Library.
THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK
Picasso created his first version of Guitar sometime between October and November of 1912 and in that moment toppled the most fundamental and timeless rule of sculpture: solidness. Guitar consists of 7 pieces of cardboard stitched together with thread, string, twine, and coated wire. This work was likely slapped together in a flash and under the intoxicating sway of a first encounter. Picasso applied the ideas he and Braque had advanced about cubism and collage to an assemblage beautifully visualized in space. The yolk of the egg was broken, and the omelet was born.
Mark Webber assembles many different elements: hand-made, man-made, or found, in striking relationships using steel, stone, wood, glass, and hydrocal. He forges ahead with his visual fragments like a tireless explorer instinctively negotiating and shifting gears in search of surprising places. His images ooze rustic constructivism like a Joaquín Torres-García wood sculpture from 1930 brought up to code. Webber straightforwardly identifies his works in groupings with very simple designations such as structures, walls, portals, and vessels. But a preconscious sparkle also animates his images with anthropomorphic prompts and body language that simulate common gestures like a handshake or a greeting. Encounters between friends.
Some of Webber’s sculptures bring together parts or pieces that are curious and tantalizingly difficult. It is not hard to spot a cheeky calculation when a rock is bluntly attached to an L-shaped stucco form with a flat metal bracket that is reminiscent of a deadpan, take-a-hike Buster Keaton routine. In reality, the overall take from Webber’s work is elegiac: a solemn wink, a desolate location, and all in the service of commemorating another time and place. While some artists acknowledge the past with subtle pictorial nods, Webber firmly grounds history in the here and now, not unlike Giorgio de Chirico’s metaphysical images of empty cityscapes and piazzas. Let’s face it: Webber demolishes the present.
The best work of Webber is stoic and evokes an otherworldliness captured, set apart and isolated. His means are cloaked in quiet. Webber graciously spares us the nonsense of nostalgia by fusing fact and fiction, material and message, and a compelling amount of living human quotient. In a cluster, his sculptures create a diaspora of figures vying for attention but clearly performing in unison; collectively they create a timeless model of behavior and comportment. Peter Schjeldahl in his recent article “The Art of Dying” eloquently writes:
I like to say that contemporary art consists of all artworks, five thousand years or five minutes old that physically exist in the present. We look at them with contemporary eyes, the only kinds of eyes that there ever are.
Mark Webber is driven by a belief in the making of sculpture that is endangered. Today art arrives pre-packaged and with a mandatory “identity” meant as “admission” into the club. Gone is the hard-won effort to break free and gain true independence from the slavery of acceptance. Webber defies the odds. His work moves like lava from the mouth of a volcano: slow, deliberate, and mysterious.
– George Negroponte
Virva Hinnemo and George Negroponte Featured in The East Hampton Star
By Jennifer Landes
There is something loose and special about the Sag Harbor art gallery community, which can treat its art shows as intuitive and impromptu affairs. Often an open forum, it is not unusual for artists and curators to join the spaces in a last-minute collaboration.
Something akin to kismet is happening currently there as the Keyes Art and Sara Nightingale galleries are both offering exhibitions that had their origins in the local artistic community and now find themselves sharing artists and a similar ethos.
For “As the Crow Flies” at Nightingale, the dealer wanted to highlight the geographical closeness and interconnectedness of the South Fork art community. She asked three artists who have shown at her gallery to choose another artist whose work she did not know. Janet Goleas, Laurie Lambrecht, and Ross Watts served as the “jurors” and respectively chose Priscilla Heine, Virva Hinnemo, and Jeremy Grosvenor.
Ms. Nightingale acknowledged her debt to the Parrish Art Museum’s “Artists Choose Artists” show, which employs a similar tactic and is currently on view in Water Mill. Yet, the correspondences do not stop there. Both Ms. Goleas and Ms. Heine are included in the museum’s current iteration of the triennial exhibition.
The Venn diagram continues across the street at Keyes Art, where Julie Keyes invited Ms. Hinnemo and her husband, George Negroponte, to be guest curators for a show they call “One Stop: The Slow Slope of Modernism.” There, the focus is on how East End artists steeped in modernism continue to address the tenets of its various movements.
Organized by Virva Hinnemo & George Negroponte
One Stop: The Slow Slope of Modernism
Pablo Picasso died on April 8, 1973 at the age of 91. That was the day Modernism made a pronounced pivot away from the mythical to the merely mortal; the divine wheel of culture got badly poked. Andy Warhol’s wizardry of mass media made a mad dash to fill the void and the ensuing years witnessed piles of debris not unlike an Indiana State Fair Demolition Derby. It is no wonder that by the mid-1970s TV Guide’s circulation reached more than 19 million while a quarter of the galleries at The Metropolitan Museum were shuttered due to lack of funds and visitors. The cruelty of neglect cast aside many of the most innovative artists of Modernism: Andre Derain, Georges Rouault, El Lissitzky, Maurice de Vlaminck, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Emile Nolde, Jacques Villon, August Mack, Franz Marc, Max Beckman, Vorticism, Pittura Metafisica, and on and on. Without these artists the story of modern art remains wholly unrecognizable and all the while generational amnesia keeps history downgraded to the back seat.
This exhibit of small works includes 30 artists and is taking place 106.9 miles from NYC. It won’t show up on a Richter scale measuring earthquakes but it does make a deep and meaningful gesture towards the 20th century. There is an odd troglodyte tendency throughout all these works along with the assertion that the ancient highway of “Painting and Sculpture’ really does still exist. And yes, it’s paved with ruts, potholes, regrets and splendor. Each and every artist in this show knows these risks because immunity won’t be delivered on a golden platter. Each work is a physical claim taking up the appropriate amount of space while its meaning is embedded beneath a surface of nuanced substance. If given the chance to speak in unison all these works would proudly deliver the same and insistent message: “I’m real!”
– George Negroponte
The Slow Slope of Modernism
November 23rd, 5pm
Keyes Art Gallery
45 Main Street
At the American Hotel
Sag Harbor, NY
Solo exhibition of works by George Negroponte on view at Anita Rogers Gallery
April 16, 2019
NEW YORK, NY.- Anita Rogers Gallery is presenting When Love Comes To Town, a solo exhibition of works by George Negroponte. On view are his mixed media paintings completed over the last several years using house paint, spackle, gesso, wallpaper, dirt, enamel, inventory circle labels, and spray paint on canvas, as well as found objects from the surrounding woods. Negroponte’s works on paper, first begun in Sweden in 2008, were set aside for a decade and resumed this past year in collaboration with his wife, Virva Hinnemo. These small and evocative compositions include truncated shapes, veil-like mists, vehement and nuanced marks, unusual color, and punctuated holes. While all the works are marked by an indeterminable amount of paint, some are diptychs with tree fragments and found objects. Negroponte takes pains to tackle the unlikely reconciliation of incongruent parts.
Read more about the exhibition at anitarogersgallery.com.
The SoHo Gallery Scene
April 12th, 2019
Though many of SoHo’s art galleries have been replaced with shops during the past two decades, the neighborhood still has plenty to peruse, from multimedia installations to Photorealism masterworks, from graffiti art to rock-and-roll photography.
Figurative and abstract artists from the 20th and 21st centuries—emerging, midlevel, and posthumous—are the focus of Anita Rogers Gallery. “When Love Comes to Town,” an exhibit of recent drawings and paintings by abstract artist George Negroponte, runs through April 27. Beginning June 19 is a selection of films by artist/director James Scott, whose “A Shocking Accident” won the 1982 Oscar for Best Live-Action Short Film; works and recorded readings by David Hockney will complement the films. Solo shows featuring Morgan O’Hara, Robert Szot, and William Scott are also scheduled for later in 2019.
Visit anitarogersgallery.com for more information.
Anita Rogers Gallery is pleased to present When Love Comes To Town, a solo exhibition of works by George Negroponte. On view are his mixed media paintings completed over the last several years using house paint, spackle, gesso, wallpaper, dirt, enamel, inventory circle labels, and spray paint on canvas, as well as found objects from the surrounding woods. Negroponte’s works on paper, first begun in Sweden in 2008, were set aside for a decade and resumed this past year in collaboration with his wife, Virva Hinnemo. These small and evocative compositions include truncated shapes, veil-like mists, vehement and nuanced marks, unusual color, and punctuated holes. While all the works are marked by an indeterminable amount of paint, some are diptychs with tree fragments and found objects. Negroponte takes pains to tackle the unlikely reconciliation of incongruent parts.
The artist Betti Franceschi writes:
George’s new works are evocations more than representations. They conjure the ephemeral by the simplest, most practical means. They are small enough to feel private to the viewer. Sparse, excruciatingly molded, and relentlessly edited, The “Walkings on Water” go against any rational depiction of walking, as they ground and envelop the viewer in a living atmosphere of air and light. Their levitation is like a child’s supernatural powers projected upon the world. The “Marriages” evoke the most essential elements: earth, air, and fire. They are the charmed remains of an always fresh and intensely personal collusion. It’s not that George brings his life into his work: he is so completely invested in both that life can’t stay out, and, in the end, we are graciously invited to see what matters most to him.
On view March 20 – April 27, 2019
Opening Reception: March 20, 2019 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
For further information and photographs, please visit AnitaRogersGallery.com.
Excerpt from “The Art Scene 3.14.19”
“When Love Comes to Town,” an exhibition of mixed-media paintings by George Negroponte, is at the Anita Rogers Gallery in SoHo through April 27. Created over the last several years, the works use house paint, Spackle, gesso, wallpaper, dirt, enamel, inventory labels, and spray paint on canvas, as well as found objects from the woods surrounding his house in Springs.
The show will also include works on paper, first begun in Sweden in 2008 and then set aside for a decade before being revisited this past year in collaboration with his wife, the artist Virva Hinnemo.
Opening Reception October 11, 2017, 6-8pm
Works on Paper
Drawings by Gordon Moore, George Negroponte, Morgan O’Hara and Joan Waltemath
Photo Credit: Rachel Kirby Photography