Hirschl & Adler is pleased to present its summer exhibition, Vis-à-Vis. This exhibition features paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from the 19th century to the present from a selection of 33 artists. Vis-à-Vis juxtaposes the work of artists from Hirschl & Adler’s contemporary program with the work of an artist of their choosing, historical or contemporary. These unexpected connections invite the viewer to reflect upon commonalities and consider the infinite boundaries of artistic influence. In addition to these pairings, each contemporary artist has provided commentary revealing the relationship to their chosen artist and the parallels between each paired work.
Vis-à-Vis includes works by contemporary artists James Aponovich, Frederick Brosen, Colin Brown, Douglas Cooper, Lily Cox-Richard, Randall Exon, María Elena González, Diana Horowitz, David Ligare, Andy Mister, John Moore, Jeffrey Ripple, Stone Roberts, Marc Trujillo, Elizabeth Turk, and Amy Weiskopf. These artists will be responding to works by 19th and 20th-century artists such as William Bailey, Herter Brothers, Louisa Chase, Thomas Fransioli, William Michael Harnett, Martin Johnson Heade, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Severin Roesen, and Honoré Sharrer, among others.
Consider John Moore’s (b. 1945) painting Bridge Street (2016) with Magic Realist Thomas Fransioli’s (1906–1997) Copley Square, Boston (1959–61). The goal of both artists is not to depict a real place or moment in time, but rather to evoke a sense of calm and architectural order. Contrasting light and dark, their urban grids transform cityscapes into imagined places that suggest a stillness and, according to Moore, “optimism, geometric order, and spatial clarity.”
Brooklyn-based artist Diana Horowitz’s (b. 1958) Italian landscapes will be paired with Frank Walter’s (1926–2009) fantastical landscapes of Antigua, painted on the paper liners of old Polaroid film cartridges. Horowitz describes the Outsider artist’s works as having “miraculous color, invention, and an expressiveness that gives them their devotional magic.” Walter’s small paintings are vibrant and direct, drawing inspiration from nature and water. Horowitz takes a similarly direct approach with the intimate scale of her paintings, using the inherent softness of nature as her guide.
Jeffrey Ripple (b. 1962) has chosen to pair his new painting, Shells, Butterflies, and Flowers (2018), with Louisa Chase’s (1951–2016) Wave (1982). The two works differ largely in size, yet both offer the viewer strong insight into the artist’s hand. Large brushstrokes and rich textures dominate Chase’s canvas, providing a sense of movement throughout. Ripple’s approach to movement is also evident, placing different objects from nature that seem to float around his canvas so that the eye never settles in just one place. By inserting different objects onto these gestural surfaces, Chase and Ripple’s paintings are an attempt to make tangible a sense of feeling within a season or place in time.
Another unexpected pairing is Elizabeth Turk’s (b. 1961) marble sculpture Script: Horizontal (2017), with an Aesthetic Period dining room chair (about 1881) made by the Herter Brothers firm (active 1864–1907) for the palatial William H. Vanderbilt House at 640 Fifth Avenue. The intricately carved wood chair, with its interlocking square rings and knotted ribbon details, echo the fluid carving and smooth curves of Turk’s sculpture. Turk pushes the technical boundaries of marble and challenges viewers to reconsider the limits of her traditional medium. Similarly, the Herter Brothers captivated their clientele with an unparalleled level of ingenuity, style, and sophistication in creating their superb interiors and furnishings.