Fred Bendheim exhibits variations of “Tree With Diamonds.” These constructed paintings, made with shaped wood and acrylic, are cut away to reveal the wall behind the work. The cutouts create geometric negative spaces placed between the more fluid organic lines of tree branches. The colors are muted and the flat rendering of the trees is in playful incongruity with the shadows cast by actual physical depth behind the cutout panel. Bendheim says of his work: “I am interested in merging the styles of abstraction and the figurative, and the genres of painting and sculpture, to create something unconventional but visually appealing.”
“I have to tell you that I look at real things with increasing love.” Gail Flanery quotes Joan Miro in speaking about her new work from a recent residency in Costa Rica. These small unframed drawings, watercolors and collage bring a delicate equatorial breeze into the gallery. Flanery focuses on isolated natural elements: a leaf, a few bare but gracefully branched twigs. It is not the usual robust colors and movement one associates with tropical subjects but rather a more restrained, intimate, vision of nature closely observed. Flannery says “I’m always looking for a way to move between the real and abstract - using line and palette. I want to continue to build possibilities with my work.”
“If winter is about icy blues, then spring and summer are all about greens and pinks,” says watercolorist Joy Makon. The three landscapes that Joy is showing celebrate the full range of warm-weather color with soft barely-tinged cherry blossoms giving way to full-blown red geraniums. She has incorporated figures within the landscape frame and through them we can experience what it is like to be outside in nature: the giddy feelings of standing amidst the weeping cherry trees in Brooklyn Botanic Garden; the heat of the noontime sun on one’s head and shoulders in Central Park; the sounds and aromas of a hot summer afternoon by a verdant vineyard in France.