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Exhibitions Since September 2000



New York Eden
15 March - 19 April 2014
Gayleen Aiken, Walter Anderson, Mary Frank, Minnie Evans. Farrell Brickhouse, Gail Gregg, Bill Traylor, Oskar Jonsson, Bob Thompson, John Himmelfarb, Hai Zhang, Marzie Nehad, Steve Lovi, Michael Madore, Jan Matulka, Kendall Messick, John Morse, Rodney Ripps, Carolyn Oberst, Edward Koren, Scott Richter, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Kathy Stark, Wolf Kahn, Earl Kerkam, Mary Anderson Pickard
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Crazy, Snake, Mojo and More: African-American Quilts
8 February - 8 March 2014
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Leo Rabkin
Linear
30 November 2013 - 1 February 2014
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Menagerie
3 October - 16 November 2013
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John Morse
Einstein and Friends
2 May - 28 June 2013
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Gayleen Aiken
Cousins, Quarries and a Nickelodeon
19 January - 30 March 2013
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Please click here to read Ken Johnson's review of this exhibition in The New York Times.
Please click here to read Roberta Smith's review of The Outsider Art Fair 2013 featuring Gayleen Aiken in The New York Times.
Please click here to read10 Artists to Buy Now, Andy Jacobson's article for The Daily Beast featuring Gayleen Aiken


Pete Schulte
Pardon Up Here
16 November 2012 - 12 January 2013
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Please click here to read Carol Diehl's review of this exhibition.


John Himmelfarb
Thirty Years, Shifting Gears
13 September - 3 November 2012
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GREAT PHOTOGRAPHS!
J.W. Burleson, Ed Freeman, Gail Gregg, Jessica Hines, Paul Hasegawa - Overacker, Phillip March Jones, Tom Mapp, John Mattson, Kendall Messick, Gary Monroe, Olivia Parker, Stan Ries, Margo Newmark Rosenbaum, Paul, Rosin, William Ross, Nina Howell Starr, Savannah Spirit, Jane Terry, Hai Zhang, Karen Zimmerly
28 June - 10 August 2012
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Leo Rabkin
A 54 Year Survey
10 May - 22 June 2012
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Please click here to read Aimee Brown Price's review of this exhibition on Artcritical.com.


Gudjon Ketilsson
Extensions of the Head
29 March - 5 May 2012
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Please click here to read John Drury's review of this exhibition on Artnet.com.


FROM ICELAND
Gudbjorg Lind, Gustav Geir Bollason, Gudny Kristmanns, Gudjon Ketilsson, Gudrun Kristjansdottir, Neils Hafstein, Thordis Alda Sigurdardottir, Jon Laxdal
9 February - 17 March 2012
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Jose Rivera
5 January - 4 February 2012
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Please click here to read Nathan Kernan's review of this exhibition in The Brooklyn Rail.
Please click here to read Cynthia Nadelman's review of this exhibition in ARTnews.


Thomas Lyon Mills
The Catacombs
3 November - 23 December 2011
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Please click here to read D. Dominick Lombardi's review of this exhibition on Culture Catch.


Minnie Evans
Paintings and Drawings, 1938 - 1980
8 September - 29 October 2011
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SMALL
Arthur Dove, Bill Traylor, Victor Faccinto, Travis Head, Lonnie Holey, Thomas Burleson, Tom Cochran, Thomas Lyon Mills, Gladys Nilsson, Leroy Person, Malcolm Mobutu Smith, Oswald Tschirtner, Glenn Goldberg, James Castle, Edward Koren, Charles Yuen, Marcy Hermansader, Gudjon Ketilsson, Gudrun Kristjansdottir, Michael Madore, Louis Monza, Judith Page, Pete Schulte, TL Solien, Gelsy Verna, June Leaf, Minnie Evans, Gail Gregg, John Himmelfarb, Amer Kobaslija, Justen Ladda, Alice Trumbull Mason, Marzie Nejad, Mary Anerson Pickard, Woohyun Shim, Anna Zemankova, August Walla, John Dilg
16 June - 29 July 2011
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John Dilg
Primitive Pets
23 April - 4 June 2011
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Bill Traylor
A Master on Cardboard
24 February - 16 April 2011
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Please click here to view installation images of the exhibition


Marzie Nejad
The Opened Closet
20 January - 19 February 2011
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Victor Faccinto
Three Decades
20 November 2010 - 15 January 2011
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Please click here to view installation images of the exhibition


Gail Gregg
Albums
14 October - 13 November 2010
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Please click here to read Doug McClemont's review of this exhibition in ART News.


Walter Anderson and His Legacy
10 September - 9 October 2010
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Gudjon Ketilsson and Gudrun Kristjansdottir
Imprints
10 June - 30 July 2010

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Edward Koren
Parallel Play: Drawings 1979 - 2010
27 April - 2 June 2010
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Please click here to read Ken Johnson's New York Times review of this exhibition


John Himmelfarb
Geared Up
18 February - 17 April 2010
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Please click here to read Stephen Main's review of this exhibition on artcritical.com


Outsider Highlights
19 January - 13 February, 2010
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TL Solien
To the West
7 November 2009 - 9 January 2010

This exhibition at Luise Ross Gallery presents a new series of paintings by T.L. Solien commemorating and celebrating—and perhaps, at times, deconstructing-- the westward expansion in the United States in the 19th century. Several of the paintings were suggested by old photographs Solien found in researching the period. Others are informed by an amalgam of artistic invention and interpretation of the institutional history--economic, social, religious, familial—and the impact of the natural environment on this extended chronological and vast territorial adventure. Underlying all, neither incidentally nor anachronistically, are the artist’s personal life experience and autobiography.
Viewers familiar with Solien’s work will readily recognize the role of Ahab’s widow as the fictional protagonist in this chronicle of the defining chapter of the American experience. All will marvel at the artist’s painterly exposition of the subplots in this national epic by his surreal but very human narrative images.

China Marks
Sewn Drawings
17 September - 31 October 2009

Luise Ross Gallery will present its third exhibition of China Marks’ sewn drawings. A new vehicle of expression, a sewn book, will also be included. Chance plays a big role in China Marks’ process. She selects commercially made fabric based on color, design, texture and appliquéd elements. These are sewn together with an industrial sewing machine to create flawlessly seamed idiosyncratic compositions. They can range from everyday situations to the completely unbelievable; always the fabric determines the outcome. In some of her new works, separate scenes of landscape and figures have been incorporated into the overall composition virtually challenging the viewer’s comprehension. Marks’ intensive and methodical process of altering the fabric through the accumulation and subtraction of different elements infuses the work with energy. Sometimes erratic and at other times tightly contained, this dynamism becomes the unifying element.
In a new creative development, the artist has turned her fabric compositions into a book. Here the viewer can concentrate on, and absorb her pictorial ingenuity, in a more condensed serial format.

Pretty, Strange
4 June - 31 July 2009

Visitors to the group exhibition, Pretty, Strange at Luise Ross Gallery will be treated to viewing art that is sometimes pretty, sometimes strange, but mostly pretty strange.

Participating Artists

Walter Anderson, Willie Birch, Thomas Burleson, John Dilg, Minnie Evans, Victor Faccinto, Glenn Goldberg, Gail Gregg, John Himmelfarb, Susana Jacobson, Justen Ladda, Michael Madore, China Marks, Thomas Lyon Mills, Ningura Napurrula, John Newman, Gladys Nilsson, Ferdinand Pleines, Frank Rivera, Genevieve Seille, TL Solien, Bill Traylor, Carlo Zinelli, Walnut Farms Inter-Species Artists Collective.

Glenn Goldberg
Welcome
26 March - 23 May 2009

In this exhibition of paintings, works on paper, and sculpture, artist Glenn Goldberg bids a generous welcome to visitors to the exhibition. Implicit in his welcome to the viewer is the ingenuous invitation to join him in his artistic journey, to participate with him in exploring the possible and promise in his inventive and ongoing progress in making art.

Peter Pinchbeck
Sculpture and Works on Paper
17 January - 14 March 2009

Volumetric abstraction, Peter Pinchbeck thought, attempted to depict consciousness. His late mixed media sculptures investigate this notion at Luise Ross Gallery’s first presentation of his work. Consciousness is expressed through the use of found objects and molded clay painted in primary colors. The juxtapositions are unexpected, and create playful, sophisticated tableaus.

Pinchbeck’s exhibition will also include paintings on paper where the tactility and luscious quality of the paint tries to depict a consciousness described in the artist’s words as, “fluctuating fields of luminous phenomena…The pictorial element in painting is what I find fascinating; the ability of the image to possess presence without literality and to have spaces and shapes that are tangible, yet are also mysterious.” Both aspects of his work show the influence of Minimalism as well as second generation Abstract Expressionism.

This exhibition of Pinchbeck’s sculpture and works on paper is being presented in conjunction with Gary Snyder/Project Space, 250 West 26 Street 4th floor, who will exhibit major paintings, 7 January – 28 February.

Violetta Raditz
And
Thomas Burleson, Thornton Dial, Tyyne Esko, Minnie Evans, Lonnie Holley, Louis Monza, Leroy Person, and Bill Traylor

2 December 2008 - 10 January 2009

The current exhibition at Luise Ross Gallery features the childhood drawings of Violetta Raditz. A precocious and ebullient child, her natural talent encouraged and abetted by a home environment filled with music and art, Violetta demonstrated an unusually mature ability and prolific propensity for drawing and painting.

Other self-taught luminaries included are: Minnie Evans whom God came to in a dream and said “draw or die”; Leroy Person who carved designs in any wood that he could find; Bill Traylor who drew memories from rural life in Alabama; Lonnie Holley whose poetic vocabulary in transforming found objects is legendary; Tyyne Esko from Finland, whose politics and love of nature are revealed through her poetic sensibility; Thornton Dial whose coupling of figures and animals is always sensitive yet powerful; Louis Monza whose mastery of a variety of mediums is used to express his political and social beliefs; and Thomas Burleson whose inner struggles are transformed into brilliantly colored, complex puzzles.

Frank Rivera
Paintings
16 October - 22 November 2008

In his first solo exhibition at Luise Ross Gallery, Frank Rivera introduces us to his topsy-turvy world of the visual non-sequitur where there is no distinction between the quotidian and the magical. Employing such disparate references ranging from early renaissance predella panels to the underground pulp comics of the eighties to storyboard graphics and computer art, --and with a dash of Dada thrown in, --Rivera engages, and almost challenges the viewer with his cryptic, enigmatic imagery and narratives. With a truly light sleight of hand, he demonstrates for us that nothing is what it seems to be.

Rivera has shown in many exhibitions in the New York area, including the Whitney Biennial in 1975.

Ferdinand Pleines
Paintings
4 September - 11 October 2008

Memory is the source from which Ferdinand Pleines creates his paintings. His mid-western world seems almost obsessed by a youthful journey taken with his family to their ancestral home in Germany, where he was born. Memories from there fill Pleines’ world with surrealistic haunting portraits, sometimes couched in relationships with birds and animals. Eye spirits peer out of his painterly landscapes where man and nature are one. Pleines’ highly personal universe seems collaged together, disorienting us, yet at the same time, we are drawn into the composition. Its surface is marked with wide incessant brush strokes soaked in a unique palette, furthering the viewer’s intrigue. The juxtaposition of these images and the surrealistic overtones are compelling, but ultimately we are left wanting to know more.

Pleines’ previous exhibitions have taken place in the mid-west. This was his first one man show in New York.

Thomas Burleson
Lone Star II
5 June - 25 July 2008

This was the second one-person exhibition at Luise Ross Gallery of works on paper by Thomas Burleson (1914-1997), a self-taught artist from Texas who produced a substantial body of brilliantly colored works during a thirty-year period. Much of the work was done while the artist was employed as a shipping inspector at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in California, and during his retirement.

Gladys Nilsson
Recent Watercolors
17 April - 31 May 2008

In her first solo exhibition in New York in twenty years, Chicago’s Gladys Nilsson provided a clinic in the art of watercolor. She also brings back with her the zany cast of figures—with their signature Nilsson attitudes and elastic, elongated arms and legs; the cats and birds and creatures and small-scale figures whereby she gently caricatures and choreographs the quotidian and the mundane as the operatic sub-plots in which we all have roles to play. As is frequently the case in Nilsson’s narratives, the main figures in many of the paintings in this exhibition play the roles of the diva; but perhaps characterized with a subtle difference from the whimsical humor and on-target wit with which they were portrayed previously. Here these qualities are tinged with a palpable—though unsentimental--homage to all our prima donnas, a wistful tribute to their steadfastness, courage, and vulnerability. “Brava!”

Walter Anderson
Watercolors and Drawings
19 February - 10 April 2008

Luise Ross Gallery presented its thirteenth exhibition since 1985, when the gallery opened, of Walter Anderson's extensive body of watercolors and drawings. It focused on the artist’s favorite subject, the birds on the Gulf Coast as well as the sea life which share an almost psychological affinity with him. Executed in pencil and pen and ink the aviary and aquatic life are drawn directly from Anderson’s observation. His watercolors are characterized by brilliant color and attitudinal certainty.

Victor Joseph Gatto
"You can't paint this way unless you believe in what you're painting."
5 January - 9 February 2008

At about the age of forty-five, with the encouragement of starving artist neighbors in Greenwich Village’s Little Italy--of which there were many in the late 1930’s--and perhaps out of simple desperation, Gatto began to paint. And he did so the way he lived: hard, aggressively, obsessively. Working in oil, building up layer after layer of paint, brushes tailored for minute detail with most of the hairs pulled out, he worked at his new job full-time and on individual canvases for days at a time without sleep. Obviously self-taught, he gradually developed a reputation as a visionary primitive, painting imagined utopian and biblical subjects and resonant images of New York City. In the early forties, the Whitney Museum of American Art purchased and exhibited one of his paintings. This was followed by his first solo exhibition in 1943 at the Charles Barzansky Gallery on Madison Avenue. Gatto’s work at least, had moved uptown.

It has been 65 years since Gatto’s first New York show. The exhibition at Luise Ross Gallery featured a series of his complex utopian visions, alternatives to the gritty world he experienced. Gatto once poignantly said, “I like to paint (outer) space. The material world can hurt you, but in space nobody suffers, and it goes on forever.” Complementing these utopian creations and nature paintings (his inspired jungle oils evoke the spirit of Henri Rousseau with their rich, brooding colors) are rare drawings of brothel scenes, reminiscences from his early years hanging out at a house his elder brother managed. They are touchingly innocent in their simplicity.

Gail Gregg: Recent Paintings
25 October - 21 December 2007

The abstract artist Gail Gregg has turned for inspiration from the aerial landscape views of recent years to more earthbound and quotidian objects: the virtually unnoticed remnants of our consumer culture. Cardboard packing forms, wine box dividers, plastic packaging of all sorts -- all the stuff that comes with the stuff we buy -- is grist for Gregg’s new paintings.

Using the wax-and-pigment medium of encaustic, she transforms these throw-away objects into formal paintings that honor the eccentric forms and patterns of the humble materials. Infused with color—and Gregg is a master colorist -- that is enhanced by the medium’s luminosity, the paintings take on sensuous richness.

On one level, with their saturated color and hand-burnished surfaces, these new paintings speak to the possibility of transformation – and to Gregg’s belief that beauty can be found in the unlikeliest of places. On quite another, her wit and gentle irony provoke questions about our culture of consumerism and proclivity to waste. Finally, her quietly formal pictures are animated by references to (and questions about) negative space, geometric pattern and symmetry.

John Himmelfarb: Ideographic Sequence
6 September - 20 October 2007

This first show for the artist at Luise Ross Gallery is comprised of paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture from 1979 to the present. All are based on the nascent mark making, the integral thread that runs through the evolution of Himmelfarb’s philosophical and artistic preoccupation with calligraphic abstraction. His use of line is key to the emotional communication between artist and viewer--perhaps more so even than between other visual artists and viewer--because the eye is challenged to “read” the texts visually rather than as information which has to be decoded. And this being said, in the more conventional use of the term artistic vocabulary, Himmelfarb’s use of layered colors in the paintings and prints is masterful. Wit, strength, and a touch of restlessness and ambiguity aptly describe the work in this exhibition.

Rare Birds
5 June - 27 July 2007

Rare Birds at Luise Ross Gallery presents work by thirty-one contemporary artists in which bird imagery or references are integral elements. The exhibition is replete with a stunning variety of media, styles and treatments. It is of “rare” birds in the sense that our feathered friends play supporting roles—to a greater or lesser degree--in the artists’ overall creative intentions and are not, nor meant to be, lifelike reproductions of species à la Audubon. In fact, some are pure invention. Even among apparent exceptions to this, as in Walter Anderson’s faithful watercolor rendering of “Baby Birds,” the viewer sees the importunate vulnerability of all fledglings—of any species. In Roger Ricco’s photographic capture of a hummingbird in flight, we not only hear whirring wings, but feel the racing heartbeat of life. And surely, Toc Fetch’s pencil crow is artfully “real,” and for that, only more comple-mentary to what “Crow Says.” Humor abounds. Gladys Nilsson pays off her expert watercolor caricature of two self-important matrons with equally puffed-up pigeons. TL Solien’s divining dodo, complete with strap-on wings, satirically portends the götterdämmerung of the Pequod’s voyage. Victor Faccinto’s very modern digital assemblage of a contemporary “Shiva” includes the almost casual presence of two songbirds out of the classic South Asian miniature genre, wryly confirming that the battle of the sexes is an age-old tale. Several artists tellingly employ bird imagery that is more enigmatic, even ominous, in its allegorical reference. Ferdinand Pleines’s “Memory Unravels the Truth” is almost Hitchcockian and it rivets the eye. A brace of pheasants, suddenly flushed into flight in a stark, wintry Kansas landscape, serve as a mnemonic for Doug Martin’s “Brain Storm”—a poignant, dreamlike, beautifully painted narrative of a past Christmas memory. Rare birds, indeed.

Participating Artists
Walter Anderson, Willie Birch, Thomas Burleson, Tricia Cline, Johnny Culver, John Dilg, John Evans, Minnie Evans, Victor Faccinto, Lawrence Fane, Toc Fetch Gail Gregg, James Harrison, John Himmelfarb, Michael Madore, China Marks, Doug Martin, Willie Massey, Justin McCarthy, Louis Monza, Gladys Nilsson, Ferdinand Pleines, Jeroen Pomp, Roger Ricco, Frank Rivera, Samuel Rothbort, Raymond Saunders, TL Solien, Sabyna Sterrett, Bill Traylor, Carlo Zinelli

Thomas Lyon Mills: 10 1/2 Maps
19 April - 25 May 2007

From a dreamlike vantage at the fantastic intersection of the hidden wetlands of the Adirondacks and the subterranean catacombs of Rome, Thomas Lyon Mills creates expansive and mysterious amalgamations of observations and visions in his second solo exhibition at Luise Ross Gallery. Evoking organic atmospheres appreciated through contemplative solitude, Mills constructs richly painted works on pieced paper, as he builds out his compositions through multiple visits to his two distinct but united locales of inspiration.

Like a mapmaker, Mills draws and paints what he sees, but his paintings inevitably cross over into the unknown, where the visible and invisible meet- where the seen pays a constant debt to the unseen. As the Adirondack swamps and ancient Roman tunnels commingle, a new yet seemingly primeval scene unfolds before the viewer. We bear witness to the imagination of history itself, to the false omnipotence of the present which imposes our humble, penitent contemplation of the past. The brittle sciences of archeology and ecology crumble away as Mills uproots our vision and commandeers our desire for representational accuracy and empirical truths. The work urges us to see light within shadows, and to live within the reverie of a faint, but not forgotten, powerfully vivid dream.

John Dilg: Natural Re-visions
1 March - 14 April 2007

With a unique and idiosyncratic approach, John Dilg investigates the unnatural sources of natural memories in his third exhibition of paintings at Luise Ross Gallery. Through an economy of formal means, Dilg brings personal markers and emblems to life in his small-scale yet potent paintings.

By essentially distilling personal experiences and memories, Dilg transports the viewer to moments of contemplative quietude, whose importance is both immediately apparent and ambiguous. These paintings skillfully balance the simplistic and the complex, the passive voice and active assertion, as they quietly but assuredly venture forth from the artist's imagination. The exquisitely built-up surfaces of these small canvases further emphasize the unnatural artifice of memory, symbolizing perhaps the layered contrivance of our recollection of past events.

The title of the exhibition, "Natural Re-visions," holds in itself a crucial double-meaning. These paintings, for Dilg, both revise and reconstruct memory, as they present unnatural accounts of purportedly natural events, places, persons, and experiences. They are the products of the conditions present when, in the words of the artist, "remaking reality makes the world."

Thomas Burleson: Lone Star
9 January – 24 February 2007

Luise Ross Gallery will present the first major exhibition of works on paper by Thomas Burleson (1914-1997), a self-taught artist from Texas who produced a substantial body of brilliantly colored works during a thirty-year period. Much of the work was done while the artist was employed as a shipping inspector at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in California, and during retirement. A cross-section of the entire oeuvre will be presented.

After making numerous machine-like pencil drawings on small pieces of paper during the late 1960s, Burleson’s work in the 1970’s became taught, brilliantly colored, and intuitively composed. His paintings are mechanistic, architectural, and figural, but defy categorization as the artist blends subjects and perspectives into singular representations. Underlying the art is the multifaceted insertion of his persona into numerous situations and compositions, where the human form, visionary architecture, and mechanistic imagery are integrated. Toward the end of the artist’s life the work became more whimsical and the compositions freer as Burleson continued to experiment in his approach. Most intriguing is the fact that over thirty years the artist produced no two works alike. However, numerous themes appear throughout the work, including a fortress-like construction, a fondness of dogs and chickens, and a central figure entrapped by ambiguously sinister surroundings.

The artist’s work is included in the Neuve Invention section of the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland, founded by Jean Dubuffet.

A 28-page color catalog with an essay by Edward M. Gómez accompanies this exhibition.

Reviewed 17 February 2007 by N.F. Karlins on artnet.com.
Reviewed 24 January 2007 by R.C. Baker in the Village Voice.
Reviewed Spring 2005 by Edward Gomez in Raw Vision.

Image illustrated 26 January 2007 "A Convocation of the Visionary and Disenfranchised" by Grace Gluek in The New York Times
Image illustrated January 2006 "From the Outside In" by Edward M. Gomez in Art and Auction.

TL Solien: Insulatus
4 November – 23 December 2006

TL Solien presents large-scale mixed-media works on paper using imagery extracted from the deepest recesses of his memory as well as the pages of 19th-century classics including Melville’s Moby Dick. Coupling literary allusions with mysterious iconography, the artist delivers a deconstructive yet cohesive, deeply personal statement. These works explode with brightly-colored paper cut-outs which contrast with brooding backgrounds as the artist adeptly selects potent symbols to mix with eerie atmospheres. All the while Solien upends the narrative of the hunt for the white whale by coupling and interjecting it with episodes from his own history – parables, hang-ups, and hauntings. Other macabre tales collide in these works, largely nonfiction, such as John Hunter’s 19th-century sperm whale dissections and the spread of the plague through ship-based commerce, on so-called “death ships.”

Musing on the term “Insulatus” (in Latin “isolated” or “made into an island”) the artist uses Ahab’s ludicrous and self-destructive quest as a metaphor for the creative quest of the artist – the solitary, maddening, lifelong pursuit of one’s vision.

This is the artist’s second solo exhibition at Luise Ross Gallery, his seventh in New York.

Reviewed May 2007 by Leigh Anne Miller in Art in America

Robert Birmelin: Citizens
14 September – 28 October 2006

Robert Birmelin’s paintings convey a vision of the city's environment in all its anonymous intimacy, where the physical and psychological boundaries between crowd and self blur. Mobs of people pass fantastically through a woman’s profile; the bust of a man dematerializes by the riverfront. Disjunctive shifts of scale, focus, and orientation spell out this urban narrative, where pictorial restlessness underlies a multifaceted perspective. These paintings attempt to capture the disorienting common space of public life, where strangers may be simultaneously aware of yet invisible to each other.

Having worked and exhibited in New York City for more than forty years, Birmelin displays an acute awareness of the city’s relentless social transformation that is as disconcerting for the immigrant who confronts an alien world as for the long-time resident who struggles with the sense of inevitable change. His provocative, brilliantly colored paintings startle the viewer as they capture the churning, tumultuous, and hallucinatory experience of New York’s melting pot.

This is Birmelin’s eighteenth solo exhibition in New York since 1960. He is a recent grant recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

Forthcoming review in Art in America.

FUN!
29 June – 28 July 2006

Summer group exhibition including works by Henry Speller, Willie Birch, Samuel Rothbort, John Dilg, Pierre Carbonel, Thomas Lyon Mills, Judith Page, Walter Anderson, Robert Birmelin, Tyyne Esko, Edward Koren, James Harrison, Ferdinand J. Pleines, Leroy Person, John Roeder, Louis Monza, China Marks, Jeroen Pomp, Minnie Evans, Michael Madore, Thomas Burleson, TL Solien, Reverend Herman Hayes, and Jean-Pierre Nadau.

China Marks: Fabrications
11 May – 24 June 2006

In her second exhibition of sewn drawings at Luise Ross Gallery, China Marks wields her industrial sewing machine with virtuosic dexterity to produce perplexing scenes of unknown and surreal characters. Comprised of scraps of commercially made fabrics, Marks’s drawings juxtapose myriad patterns, textures, and forms. Spontaneous yet masterful, these works are fashioned from an automatic artistic process, where mysterious figures erupt into fantastic revelries – sometimes horrific, often whimsical, and always startling. What sometimes appear as benign storybook representations often turn out to be bizarre scenes of domination and struggle, which surprise the viewer lulled by the seemingly benevolent appearance of the fabrics. As unclearly as the relationships among the characters are defined, there is nonetheless a theatrical unity in the work, which serves not only as an illustration of the process of collage itself – disparate elements coming together as expression – but as a visual credo, which seems to pronounce ‘this is what is happening when I am creating.’

The New York Times called her 2004 exhibition at Luise Ross Gallery “one of the season’s more original shows,” and the present exhibition reveals an artist in hot pursuit of a singular and magical vision, who says “surprising myself is my definition of success.”

James Harrison: The Future is in the Past
1 April – 6 May 2006

James Harrison (1925-1990) sought spiritual transcendence through art and probed the inner machinations of the self through artistic practice. But unlike the approach of some of his New York School mentors, Harrison’s interrogation of the self was neither lofty in its aesthetic motivation nor didactic in execution. A gritty, uncompromising, deeply personal counterpoint to the haughtier aesthetic ambitions of the abstract expressionists, Harrison’s oeuvre reveals the darker aspects of self-transcendence. Harrison's road to the sublime led him through an intense exploration of sexuality, altered states of consciousness, Jungian dream analysis, alchemy, tantra, astrology and the Kabbalah.

Reviewed in The New York Times by Ken Johnson, 28 April 2006, p. E37.

Reviewed in The Village Voice by R.C. Baker, 18 April 2006

Reviewed in The Brooklyn Rail by Peter Acheson, April 2006, p. 34.

Reviewed in Art in America by Edward Leffingwell, December 2006, p.160.

Willie Birch
18 February – 25 March 2006

The four large-scale grisaille works on paper in this exhibition, his fifth at the Luise Ross Gallery since 1994, were completed during his recent fellowship at the CUE Foundation in New York. Displaced from his studio in the Seventh Ward in New Orleans, Birch has been afforded the opportunity to look upon the Big Easy, his beloved, life-long muse, from a brisk Big Apple vantage, and the four large-scale grisaille works on paper evoke the soul and élan of the residents of New Orleans as vigorously as they interrogate notions of memory, identity, and cultural continuity. These paintings compel us to seize the present, to face reality and reject the obfuscation of “truth”, to see things in grayscale – metaphor of flexibility, the locus of reconciliation. The work suggests that were we to embrace the present, and each other, all as saints we might go marching.

The artist is a 2006 grant recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

William Fields: The Hidden Miraculous
12 January – 12 February 2006

William Fields (b. 1940), in his second exhibition at Luise Ross Gallery, continues his monumental Illuminations Suite, which now consists of more than 100 large-scale drawings.

Informed by hermetic science and a lifelong study of world religion, Fields’ virtuosic, brilliantly colored drawings transport the viewer to a fantastic universe – a cosmology where gods and demigods exist under moons and constellations of the artist’s own conjuring. Figures dissolve and reconstitute themselves repetitiously in accelerating rivulets of electrified color and delineation; monumental apparitions emerge out of dense, multi-faceted metamorphoses of form. Jewel-like faces materialize and dematerialize in tandem, since the entranced artist doesn’t know what he is bringing to life as the drawing nears completion. The work reveals an artist who is in the service of a magical force.

Mythmaking but eschewing the pitfalls of narrative, Fields presents his visions fully realized under a singular perceptival compass.

Reviewed in Raw Vision by Tom Patterson, Winter 2006, pp. 62-67.


Walter Anderson Surviving: Watercolors, Drawings, Prints
17 November 2005 – 7 January 2006

Luise Ross Gallery, in its twelfth exhibition of Walter Anderson’s (1903-1965) work since 1985, will help to raise funds for the conservation of the drawings, watercolors, sculpture, paintings, and prints which were severely damaged in Hurricane Katrina. At least eighty percent of his considerable opus was underwater during the tidal surge on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi in Ocean Springs.

Anderson exhibited large-scale linoleum block prints at the Brooklyn Museum in 1949 (then the largest ever made in the US), illustrated the flora and fauna of the Mississippi Gulf Coast extensively, and spent weeks on Horn Island observing and painting wildlife. He was a watercolorist in the tradition of Burchfield, Dove, and Marin, who captured the essence of nature.

A new documentary film,Walter Anderson: Realizations of an Artist, by Winston Riley and David Wolf, will be screened throughout the exhibition.

Reviewed in ARTNews, March 2006, by Ann Landi.


New Location
15 October – 12 November 2005

After locations on 57th Street and Soho, Luise Ross Gallery relocated this August for the third time in the past 23 years to Chelsea. The gallery will present an exhibition of recent work by gallery artists for the inaugural show.

New paintings by Willie Birch feature New Orleans musicians, and John Dilg plays with just the right juxtaposition of ironic elements while Thomas Lyon Mills continues his exploration of the catacombs in Rome. China Marks’ new sewn drawings reflect the artist’s ever-increasing expressive inventiveness and dexterity. New sculpture by Judith Page reveals the artist’s personal, expanding lexicon of everyday surrealism, and a new mixed media painting by TL Solien delves into his series on Melville’s Moby Dick.

Alongside the work of contemporary artists are pieces by the major self-taught artists of the gallery stable, including Minnie Evans and Bill Traylor.


Visual Glossolalia
15 June – 15 July 2005

Visual Glossolalia, a group exhibition of self-taught artists at Luise Ross Gallery, explores the theme of inspired, mediumistic – for the Surrealists, “automatic” – writing, where nonsense script, puzzling symbology, and ‘writing in tongues’ abound. The elusive transformation of letters into images, words into art, and the subversion of concrete meaning into a celebration of mystery underlie the paintings and drawings of Minnie Evans, William Fields, Darcilio Lima, J.B. Murry, Leroy Person, Harald Stoffers, Melvin Way, and Carlo Zinelli.

Murry’s flowing and often painterly spirit script (which he read with a glass of water used as a magnifying glass), Evans’ evocative use of symbols (which evolved over her lengthy career), and Person’s colorful, vibrant hieroglyphics defy categorization. Although these artists worked with no knowledge of one another, they nonetheless are linked by their attempts to illuminate the inexpressible otherness of their visionary experiences. Stoffers’ “Dear Mother” lists, Way’s mathematical tableaux, and Carlo Zinelli’s repetitive, graphic announcements invite the viewer to decipher a language which hovers on a cognitive frontier. This exhibition offers us a chance to refrain from the urge to force rational interpretation, to suspend outmoded formal criteria, and to enter into the visionary’s exploration of consciousness and the Beyond.

This exhibition is accompanied with an essay by Jenifer P. Borum, critic and scholar of visionary art.

Reviewed in The New York Times, 1 July 2005, by Roberta Smith.

Guðrun Kristjánsdóttir The Thaw: Iceland
23 April – 10 June 2005

The springtime thaw in Iceland is the subject of Guðrún Kristjánsdóttir’s second exhibition at Luise Ross Gallery. In her videos and paintings, Kristjánsdóttir focuses on the dark patterning that forms on the hillsides in spring and the drifts of snow that linger on well into the summer. She examines the interplay of light, fog and other effects of weather, capturing the moment when details blur and gullies and ridges are drawn out of stillness into an uncoordinated dance. Working on the borderline between film and painting, Kristjánsdóttir uses the video camera for exploring the landscape, creating a space where films are paintings and paintings can be stills from films. The attention shifts from frozen moments to the constant movement of thawing. The difference between the simple and the ornate, the static and the evanescent, blurs and opens up a space for layers of varied perceptions.

John Altoon: Paintings and Drawings 1961-1967
19 February - 16 April 2005

This exhibition of paintings and drawings by John Altoon (1925-1969), the first at Luise Ross Gallery and the first in New York since 1985, spans the last seven years of his short life, during which time his mature style emerged. Gestural abstraction has given way to pensive and restrained airbrushing, exuberant sexual tableaux, and the elimination of illusory space in his non-objective paintings. Altoon distilled his production to include only the bare pictorial essentials, with the result that his canvases became the arena for the focused portrayal of his subconscious, as well as the surreal circus of sexual fantasy. Biomorphisms, tertiary colors, and delicate formal rhymes and balances characterize the work, which is replete with psychological tension and fraught with an underlying desire to express the self’s inherent disgruntlements with the compromises necessary for social collectiveness. The work is honest, intensely personal, and uniquely nonconformist.

Reviewed in The New York Times, 25 February 2005, by Grace Glueck.

Reviewed in Art in America, January 2005, by Michael Duncan.

New - Thomas Burleson
Nouveau - Jean-Pierre Nadau
Nieuw - Jeroen Pomp

4-29 January 2005

The compulsion to articulate a world of abstracted inner reality resounds frenetically across the surfaces of works on paper by three self-taught artists exhibiting for the first time at Luise Ross Gallery.

Thomas Burleson (American, 1914-1997), who worked at odd jobs throughout his life in Texas and California, spent untold hours constructing architectonic drawings which portray imaginary, mechanistic, industrial interiors/exteriors. His inventive, whimsical forms intermingle and conflate into the tableaux of a colorist working with his personal geometry.

The pen and ink drawings of Jean-Pierre Nadau (French, b. 1963) are obsessively imbued with fine detail and contain a nearly hieroglyphic aesthetic, where innumerable narratives, figures, and graphic components pulsate across the page. Broader compositional elements grapple with the dizzying array of tiny details and characters so that the end result is one of both spontaneity and fragile balance.

Jeroen Pomp (Dutch, b. 1985), an autistic artist, reproduces unique scenes of domesticity, public life, and the environs of his city. Working with crayon and pastel, Pomp suffuses his world with exuberant color and obsessive patterning, revealing a mosaic-like representation of his experiences.

Reviewed in artnet.com, 21 January 2005, by Nancy Karlins.

Judith Page: Beauty and Beast
30 October - 22 December 2004

A Gothic sensibility, wry wit, and a gentle, reaffirming testament to the essential resilience of the human spirit distinguish the work of Judith Page. A major installation of small drawings and collages visually relates the artist’s adult autobiography—who she is, who she has become. Arranged in a grid composition complete with diary cover and binding, the installation mimes--but supersedes and edits—Page’s adolescent written diary pages. In the same autobiographical vein as the visual diary, several significant found and received objects, now painted or reconfigured by Page into sculptural forms, become totems and visual signposts of the artist’s history. And through the alchemy of Page’s art, these works transcend the particular and the personal into the experience of being human.

Perhaps the most telling and moving paintings in the show, however, are the contemporary renderings of the Mouseketeers—again, ambiguously iconic images in Page’s youth—now gone off to war. “Bobby in Baghdad” and “Annette Around Abu Ghraib” are quintessential portraits of “innocence…lost” and “beauty defiled,” making a prophetic mockery of “Wednesday: Anything-can-happen day!” and a plaintive prayer of “See you real soon!”

Reviewed in Art in America, April 2005, by Edward Leffingwell, p. 150

Reviewed in The New York Times, 3 December 2004, by Ken Johnson.

Dopes, Dupes, and Demagogues: Viewed by Outsiders   14 September - 23 October 2004

Historically, artists have provided the most potent and lasting images of revolution, war and social change. Moments of collective crisis have often prompted the most far-reaching and heroic of artistic expressions. In the twentieth century, this opportunity has most often been afforded to photographers, film makers, and people working in the medium of television, whose immediacy and access has made their imagery the prime record of modern history.

A select group of twentieth-century outsider artists chose to cling to the somewhat old-fashioned belief in the efficacy of handmade artistic imagery when faced with the dramatic events and issues of the century. Through their work they found a public voice, a private dialogue and a fulsome expression of fear and rage and hope and exultation in the face of horrifying events. These artists did not turn inward nor did they dwell completely in a world of their own making. Instead, they addressed the concerns of the common man and woman, their brothers and sisters struggling to survive in a complex and hostile world. These artists demonstrate a high degree of altruism, far-sightedness, sharp analysis and a great deal of affection for those who were caught in the grip of malevolent powers at home and abroad. Identifying themselves with the underdog, the everyman, the working person doing an honest day's labor or going to war, they created a living record of a history not usually found on television, in school textbooks or engraved on the face of public monuments.

Excerpted from exhibition announcement essay by Susan C. Larsen, Ph.D.
Including Anonymous, Pierre Carbonel, Henry Darger, Charles Dellschau, Tyyne Esko, Minnie Evans, William Fields, Victor Gatto, William Hawkins, Lonnie Holley, Michael Madore, Louis Monza, Samuel Rothbort, Purvis Young, Carlo Zinelli

Thomas Lyon Mills   "73 Prayers in the Undergound"
  10 June - 23 July 2004

Within the ancient passageways of the Roman catacombs and the primeval forests and swamps of the Adirondacks, Thomas Lyon Mills draws on his personal contemplation of sacred spaces to paint the history around him. Searching for remnants of the past --stone structures of the Colosseum or abandoned dilapidated sheds deep in the woods –he captures their hushed mystery through observation. The artist closely examines stone-hewed labyrinths, glistening with moisture and graffiti, and brings to life the mossy, canopied swamps, isolated from culture and present time. These paintings incorporate a range of different media, including watercolor, ink, collage, woodblock prints and frottage on paper, to create a sometimes transparent, sometimes detailed space that is at once disorienting and awesome. And since Mills believes the work is never finished, he will piece these sheets of paper together as the subject dictates. The end result is a moving panorama that draws us into the artist’s world of myth and memory.

T.L. Solien   "Hollow"
  24 April - 5 June 2004

Referencing cartoons, storybook illustration and the drawings of children, the large-scale paintings of T.L. Solien are derived from a personal obsession with childhood memory. With these images, he creates an arena for himself in which both the contemporary Self and the artist's own personal identity become the subjects of a dreamlike narrative. Veiled in seemingly disparate and highly personal iconography and the artist's own invented visual language, Solien explores the peril and fragility of being human and the ambiguity and conflict of the choices we make.

Reviewed in Art in America, January 2005, by Charles Dee Mitchell, p. 128.

Reviewed in The New York Times, 21 May, 2004, by Ken Johnson.

China Marks   "New Work"
  6 March - 17 April 2004

China Marks will have her first exhibition of sewn drawings at Luise Ross Gallery. Three years ago, she began drawing with an industrial, zig-zag, sewing machine, shaping unknown and surreal creatures from a wide variety of commercially made fabrics. These sewn drawings start from scraps, juxtaposed onto a larger ground, cut up, stitched together and delineated into form -- by machine and by hand. Mixing narratives and lush, vivid pattern, her figures are sometimes barely discernable and, at other times, converse and intermingle with the background.

The element of surprise and play in Marks' work culminates in a beauty of opposites. Her drawings are predominantly centered on one or several idiosyncratic characters, posited within unusually captivating settings, spontaneously born from an automatic artistic process. The artist subconsciously weaves themes of beautiful sadness or happy fear into an altogether emotive composition.

Reviewed in Art in America, February 2005, by Jessica Ostrower, p. 132.

Reviewed in The New York Times, 9 April, 2004, by Grace Glueck.

Reverend McKendree Robbins Long   "Salvation and Smothered Passions"
  3 January - 28 February 2004

Previously part of a retrospective that traveled to North Carolina museums, this was the first New York exhibition of Reverend McKendree Robbins Long. His large paintings depict God's wrath at human wickedness and the just torments suffered by the damned. After a thirty-year career as an itinerant evangelist preacher, Reverend Long illustrated scenes from the Book of Revelations. Creating a dramatic balance of lush forests and clouds with violent clashes of the divine and the human, Long posited his scenes of 'end-times' within fantasy landscapes. In addition to Long's Revelations paintings, equally fascinating are his obsessive, passionate portraits depicting a mysterious 'Woman in Red.'

Reviewed in The New York Times, 16 January and 30 January, 2004, by Ken Johnson

Reviewed in The New York Sun, 12 February, 2004, by Thomas Disch

Reviewed in artnet.com, 27 January, 2004, by Nancy Karlins

Reviewed in Art in America, September 2004, by Michael Amy.

Walter Anderson   "Centennial"  17 October - 19 December 2003

The eleventh exhibition of Walter Anderson's work at Luise Ross Gallery since 1985, celebrating the centennial of his birth. The exhibition features his watercolors and drawings, illustrating the predominant aspect of the artist's long and prolific career. Walter Inglis Anderson (1903-1965) was born in New Orleans and spent most of his life on the Mississippi Gulf coast. On Horn Island, where he lived for weeks at a time, sheltered by only his rowboat, he experienced the natural world, observing its forms and seasons. From his student years at the Pennsylvania Academy to his institutionalization, his serene life at Oldfields, to his defining period on Horn Island, Anderson achieved a unity with nature and was able to depict its essence through patterns of line and color. A master watercolorist who was "more in love with nature than art," he achieved a perfect balance of abstraction and objectivity. This exhibition coincided with two other centennial celebrations, one at the Smithsonian Institution's Arts and Industries Building in Washington DC, and another at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson. In addition, a comprehensive catalog will accompany the Washington venue and Christopher Maurer has written a major biography on Anderson, Fortune's Favorite Child: The Uneasy Life of Walter Anderson.

Reviewed in d'art International, Winter 2004 (vol. 7, number 1), by Jeanne Wilkinson, p. 34-35.

Reviewed in Art in America, May 2004, by Nathan Kernan.

Samuel Rothbort   "Twilight Fantasies"  9 September - 11 October 2003

Samuel Rothbort's "fantasies" combine an innate spontaneity with skills amassed over sixty years of painting, sculpting and drawing. He kept this large group of watercolors and ink drawings largely to himself during his lifetime. With an intuitive approach, these mysterious compositions display the artist's continued awe for the power of nature as he reached his eighties. His subjects were also drawn from childhood memories, religion and mythology. Born in Russia, Rothbort came to America in 1904 and started painting in 1909. Exhibiting in the teens and twenties with the Society of Independent Artists, the Salons of America and the Brooklyn Society of Artists, he gained early recognition with his oil paintings and sculpture. His work has been exhibited widely in galleries and museums, even in The Rothbort's Home-Museum of Direct Art, which opened in 1948.

Reviewed in The New York Times, 3 October, 2003, by Ken Johnson.

Gallery Group  1 July - 31 July 2003

Group exhibition of paintings, drawings, sculpture and photographs, featuring Willie Birch, Robert Birmelin, John Dilg, William Fields, Steve Lovi, Charles Luce, China Marks, Thomas Lyon Mills, Melissa Polhamus, Geneviève Seillé, T.L. Solien and John R. Thompson.

Autodidacts from Abroad  9 May - 28 June 2003

Highlighted by masters Adolf Wölfli and Carlo Zinelli, this selection of artists from Europe, Africa, Iceland and beyond provided a broader context for untrained artists and merged together the architecture, faces, language and colors of cultures from around the globe. Many of these artists, like Pierre Carbonel, Eggert Magnusson and Serge Vollin, all cull their bold forms in much the same way - inspired by stories, memories, dreams - differentiated solely by their innate aesthetic. Other artists, such as Madge Gill and Anna Zemankova derive their forms and ideas from more spiritual sources, as Frédéric Bruly Bouabré states, "Art is the perfect and eternal imitation of divine works in time and space."

Including Anselme Boix-Vives, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Pierre Carbonel, Nek Chand, Tyyne Esko, Johann Fischer, Madge Gill, Martha Grünenwaldt, Óskar Jónsson, Mathias 'Junior' Kawage, Eggert Magnusson, Sava Sekulic, Serge Vollin, August Walla, Adolf Wölfli, Anna Zemankova, Carlo Zinelli.

George McNeil   "FE=Form/Energy"  7 March - 3 May 2003

This exhibition of paintings by George McNeil (1908-95) spanned forty years of the artist's long, prolific and illustrious career. McNeil's canvasses pulse with electrifying color and energy. He laid down thick layers of contrasting colors, almost anchoring his figures and objects to the picture plane, and at the same time endowing them with a monumental force. Placing his shapes and figures in ambiguous spaces, which he described as possessing "swing," he created a complementary energy between the object and its space. McNeil believed this energy would dissolve the object and leave only his expression.

Reviewed in The New York Times, 21 March, 2003, by Ken Johnson and in Art in America, December 2003, by David Ebony.

David Butler & Minnie Evans   "Color, Pattern and the Fantastic"
  9 January - 1 March 2003

Within the brilliant color and multi-layered patterns of their art, Minnie Evans (1892 - 1987) and David Butler (1898 - 1997), two southern self-taught artists, found a way to honor the God that drove them to create. Evans culled her artistic vision - fantastic and bold drawings of creatures, nature and the omnipresent eyes of God - from the luscious flora of Airlie Gardens in North Carolina, as well as from the voice of God. With his house and yard as his stage, Butler used his 'gift' - snipping tin cutouts and decorating them with enamel paints - to animate and embellish his world with creations God sent to him in his dreams. Seen together, they present their inspired visions with a similar love of color, pattern and an obsession with the ethereal.

Willie Birch   "Portraits of a New Orleans Majority"   1 November - 21 December 2002

This latest phase in Willie Birch's continuing series of life-sized paintings of his New Orleans neighbors is a tour de force in grisaille, complemented by Birch's ingenious ability to integrate every part of his compositions - background and foreground - into one complex, but harmonious narrative. These large charcoal and acrylic portraits - a street preacher, chess players, a little girl playing jacks - are loving tributes to his community by an artist whose unerring eye informs the viewer of its dignity and cultural richness.

Kaffe Fassett   "Pattern as Obsession"   10 September - 26 October 2002

Vibrantly colored and imaginatively conceived, Kaffe Fassett's recent work departs from his purely decorative format into decidedly reflective compositions. Focusing on his love for pattern, the artist has utilized his trademark needlework, along with knitting and rug hooking, and enhanced their visual possibilities with collage -- buttons, beads, shells and pearls. These abstract experiments in pattern range from the intricately complex and luxuriously textured, with backgrounds of marbled cotton and hand-painted Japanese fabrics, to elegantly spare shapes, accented with collage. The spectrum culminates in the non-textile collage Monotone, a paradoxically rhythmic image composed of only clothespins. The show is a rich variety of disparate objects and textile media resonantly unified by Fassett's artistic vision of the universal patterning in all that is human.

Reviewed in The New York Times, 4 October, 2002, by Ken Johnson.

Tyyne Esko   "Paintings, Poetry and Protest"   9 May - 26 July 2002

Self-taught, but with a consummate intuitive knowledge of the formal aspects of painting, the Finnish artist Tyyne Esko created oils that document and decry the changing social landscape of her country during the second half of the twentieth century. Mourning the past and assailing the present, she engaged nature and poetry to convey the pain of isolation and loss experienced by the poor and less fortunate, abandoned and then ignored by what she perceived to be an increasingly smug and indifferent society. The result is a subtle style of atmospheric painting which complements and advocates the gentle, idyllic beauty of rural Finland and its inhabitants.

Recent Publicity - "A Social Critic Who Makes the Ordinary a Weapon,"
by Edward Gomez, The New York Times, Sunday, 26 May, 2002, p.29.
"Tyyne Esko: Finnish Artist of Poetry and Protest," by N. F. Karlins,
Folk Art Messenger, Summer/Fall 2002, p.4.

William Fields   "A Visionary's Universe"   23 March - 4 May 2002

From Winston-Salem, North Carolina, William Fields' interest in non-Western religions, as well as a passion for drawing, began early in life. In his first New York exhibition, brilliantly colored, intricately composed drawings record meditative journeys, entitled Illuminations Suite. He sets out to fuse existentialism, the I Ching, Theosophy, Gnostic Christianity, as well as other traditions, to capture the forms, colors and powers of a larger spiritual being. Drawn mostly while in a trance-like state, the artist can feel this being flowing through him, producing agitated portraits - both personal and mysterious - of morphing, composite faces, surrounded by a vortex of iconography.

Reviewed in Art in America, February 2003, by Michael Amy.

A Return to January '82: The Corcoran Show Revisited
22 January - 16 March 2002

The twenty artists in this exhibition were reunited to celebrate the anniversary of the Corcoran Gallery of Art's 1982 show, Black Folk Art in America 1930-1980. Originally found in areas removed from the mainstream venues of museums and galleries, these artists have moved steadily into a broader spectrum of acceptance and appreciation. The works shown here echo the unique aesthetics and surprising forms seen twenty years ago in an attempt to illustrate how much has changed around them and how differently they can be seen today. A Return to January '82 reflects on the seminal statement of the Corcoran's 1982 exhibition and its widespread legacy to the self-taught community within the art world today.

Including Jesse Aaron, Steve Ashby, David Butler, Ulyysses Davis, William Dawson, Sam Doyle, William Edmondson, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Inez Nathaniel-Walker, Leslie Payne, Elijiah Pierce, Nellie Mae Rowe, James 'Son Ford' Thomas, Mose Tolliver, Bill Traylor, George White, George Willams, Luster Willis and Joseph Yoakum.

Reviewed in The New York Times, 8 March, 2002, by Roberta Smith and Raw Vision, Summer 2002, by Edward Gomez, p.62.

John Dilg    "Recent Paintings"   15 November - 12 January 2002

These exquisitely painted oils are incidental images based in nature that have become significant markers of memory and passage for the artist. Highly personal, they transcend their particularity, and through the alchemy of metaphor speak to all of us of loss and regeneration. By aptly understated use of form and color, and with gentle wit, Dilg presents us with wistful souvenirs of our spiritual relationship with a disappearing natural world.

Reviewed in Art in America, June 2002, by Ed Leffingwell.

Serge Vollin    "Dark Nights"   11 October - 10 November 2001

Serge Vollin's richly colored paintings are steeped in the memory of his early life in Algeria, forced out by dreams and nightmares. His troubled mind conjures up forms and figures during long, sleepless nights. At once disjointed, faceless and terrifying, his subjects are often humorous and endearing. This series of acrylic paintings were done mostly during the artist's hospitalization in a Munich psychiatric institute, where he refused traditional help. Artistic creation was substituted for normal therapy.

Melissa Polhamus     "Labyrinths"   11 September - 6 October 2001

Found somewhere between dreams and storybooks, the brightly colored and richly patterned watercolors of Melissa Polhamus are stuffed from edge to edge with jagged personages, disrupted by the fractured and agitated world around them. Polhamus' work is intuitive and spontaneous, as this self-taught artist's horror vacui provides us with seemingly endless images, laden with psychological intensity and anxious humor.

Reviewed in Raw Vision, Spring 2002, by Jenifer P. Borum, p. 62.

WET  5 June - 27 July, 2001

An exhibition of images and sculpture that ranges from the damp to the humid, the moist to the saturated--with a little bit of the dank for good measure. Including Walter Anderson, Michael Banicki, Huma Bhabha, Peter Boynton, Katherine Bradford, Elaine Breiger, Tom Burckhardt, Patty Chang, Nicole Eisenman, Heide Fasnacht, Glenn Goldberg, Albert Hoffman, Lonnie Holley, Richard Kern, Robert Kobayashi, Susanne Kuhn, Judy Linn, Steve Lovi, Charles Luce, Meadow, Catherine Murphy, Helen Oji, Michael Palladino, Sigmar Polke, Mira Schor, Peter Soriano, Charles Stiven, Kunie Sugiura, John R. Thompson, Bill Traylor, Anna Wiesendanger, Dirk Westphal, Tony Wong

Reviewed in The New York Times by Roberta Smith, 13 July, 2001, The New Yorker by Alexi Worth, 16 July, 2001, and the Village Voice by Kim Levin, 17 July, 2001.

Anselme Boix-Vives   (1899-1969)  "A Utopian Planet"   5 April - 25 May 2001

Jean Dubuffet searched for makers of Art Brut who had "escaped cultural conditioning and above all (possessed) the talent of invention." Boix-Vives brought a unique and idiosyncratic vision to his painting and filled his universe with fantastic flowers and skies of swirling stars; prehistoric birds and animals, gentle and wild; neighbors and newsmakers from TV, some wearing the masks of mortality, some transported to the moon. And all in brilliant, vibrant colors with a joyously obsessive patterning.

Susanna Heller   "Harbor of Wakes"   17 February - 31 March 2001

Susanna Heller uses the signature ephemera of New York - the tracks left by tugs in New York harbor - as a point of departure for her stunning, visual exploration of the energy and relationships of space and time, motion and change. The quality of her painting is expert, the line true and deft, the use of color and light exquisite.

Reviewed in ReviewNY , 1 March, 2001 by Eric Gelber, and the The Brooklyn Rail, February/March 2001, by Rachel Youens.

Pierre Carbonel   "Combats de Densités Liquides"   4 January - 10 February 2001

Directing the spontaneous drip and flow of the liquids onto upturned paper, while also capturing the agitated reactions and fissures from mixing and shaking different liquids together, these "materiologies" explore the complicity of man and matter. The result is a magnificent array of metallic colors and heavily sculptural images that resemble ancient rock carvings and the remnants of early civilizations.

Reviewed in The New York Times, 2 February, 2001, by Ken Johnson, New York Magazine, 8 January, 2001, by Edith Newhall, and Art in America, April 2001, by Kate Wodell.

Willie Birch   "Free To Be: In Black and White and Color"   28 October - 22 December 2000

"I see my work as that of a storyteller, documenting the individuals who express the vitality of community life."

These large, acrylic and charcoal works on paper explore the junctures between the rituals of African Americans, Native Americans and the Creole culture specific to New Orleans. In these works, Birch is able to converge his interests, conceptually and literally, in Modernism, Folk, and contemporary sociological perceptions often based on race.

Reviewed in New York Magazine, 13 November, 2000, by Michael Brenson, NY Arts, December 2000, by Christopher Chambers, and Art in America, May 2001 by Sarah Valdez.

Geneviève Seillé   "Calligraphical Landscapes"   12 September - 21 October 2000

Working mostly in ink, crayon and pastel on rough brown paper, the French artist, Geneviève Seillé, combines large built-up panels of writing and numbers with repetitive, often architectural imagery and figurative biomorphic shapes. She starts her work at random, building up the image gradually, free associating as she goes. This openness to be "side-tracked by ideas" invests her work with a lyrical immediacy.

Reviewed in The New York Times, 6 October, 2000 by Ken Johnson.