Even though income taxes are due by the end of this show, we celebrate the lucky possibility of being In the Black by showcasing a selection of black painting, drawing, encaustics and sculpture.
Black, being the absence of color, has always had a dark and somewhat lonely connotation. Its absence should not be criticized but embraced since it presents other concepts that constitute a great work of art. With respects to intriguing subject matter, complex brushwork, striking contrasts, or a captivating treatment of a surface, the artists showing In the Black have all embraced the dark side in the hopes of encouraging their audience to look beyond the typical and seek the mysterious.
For painter Betsy Weis, the wild and beautiful essence of nature has been a prevailing inspiration for her work. This influence is not unfounded considering the artist grew up in the coastal region of the Pacific Ocean and studied the work of Titian, Giorgione, and Friedrich. Her use of acrylic results in an eerie, almost dream-like haze that evokes one’s own connection to nature. Through this veil, the viewer is left to contemplate the mystery of nature and the continuous evolution of the human memory, from the past into the present. Weis has shown with the gallery for more than a decade and resides in New York City.
Artist David Paulson's work recalls a darker, more pensive landscape of human emotion inspired by the New York School of painters. In a partly automatist style, recognizable content becomes abstracted through Paulson’s concentration of tonal contrast and strong brushwork. According to Paulson, the journey these forms take is more important than what they become. In the end, the expression becomes the reality. David Paulson attended the Swain School of Design and the Parson’s School of Design Graduate Program for Painting. He later instructed at both institutions. Paulson lives in Ghent, NY and first exhibited with the gallery in the 90’s.
Joseph Maresca creates paintings that address the emotional distance set between people and things, a separation he chooses to communicate with a striking contrast of light and dark. Classical literature and his undying love for film noir cinema inspire the narratives behind his work. Drawing from these influences, Maresca explores his subject as non-descriptively as possible in order to stay true to the abstract and formal issue at hand. Maresca refers to his work as “little stories told in a dream world that is modern in its construction and pre-modern in facture.” Joseph Maresca was born in Brooklyn in 1946 and attended Pratt Institute and received his MFA at NYU. He lives in Rhinecliff, NY, and continuously amazes the gallery with his talent and inventive work.
A large, darkly foreboding drawing made with charcoal on paper by Woodstock artist, Jay Matthews. The work’s two primitively warrior-like figures, encompassed by a wispy stream of charcoal, are reminiscent of Picasso’s early Cubist sketches. After a closer study of the drawing, small swimming fish reveal themselves, leading us to imagine a scene from an ancient deep-sea battle.
The exhibition will also feature two small-scale sculptures by Linda Cross. While she is known for her larger installations, Cross has recently produced a more intimate body of work that explores the concept of an environmental study sample with rocks embedded in the earth’s surface. Created from this subject are the combination of the rock’s form, illusionistic realism and shifting viewpoints, which in turn reflects the slow evolution of the earth’s crust in opposition to our unsteadying intrusion upon it. Cross received her MFA at the University of New Mexico and has shown extensively throughout New York. Her last solo show at the gallery was in 2011.
Ralph Stout did not initially imagine a life as an artist. Instead, he established a career in computer consulting for Advanced Computer Techniques Corporation during the 70s. After returning to the United States he started LSInc, which eventually became the first viable computer animation system for IBM PC. Later, he joined Information Builders and remained there until 2006, at which point he started to devote himself to his art. His compositions created with definitive lines and contrasting hues can be compared to abstract mathematical equations. The interwoven lines and blocked shapes present a divide between positive and negative, mechanical and organic, convex and concave, dark and light. Stout currently lives and works in East Hampton, NY.
Sarah Berney is involved in every stage of her creation, right down to the creation of the paper. The abstract shapes and still lifes of flowers featured in her work are all assembled with hand-made paper pulp, which gives the surfaces dimensional form and depth that defy ordinary canvases. In addition to the florals, Berney will also be exhibiting large and geometric pulp on pulp paper pieces. Berney received her MFA in Painting at the Milton Avery Graduate School at Bard and her work is featured in public and private collections worldwide. She currently serves as Head of Scenic for a new television series entitled "Believe" soon to air on NBC.
Several portraits by Hudson-based artist, Kris Perry, will also be included In the Black. Perry is largely known for his “machines”, or kinetic sound sculptures made from large scraps of discarded metal. Once assembled, Perry joins his machines with live musicians in a collaborative performance that pays tribute to fallen industry and celebrates the harmonious assemblage of sound created out of its downfall. When Perry changes focus to the purely visual aesthetic another kind of collaboration exists; one between the artist and his subject which is recorded with a spirited use of charcoal, resulting in a commemoration of the individual’s personhood. Perry studied welding and metallurgy at the California College of Art and has also worked alongside world renowned sculptor, David Best, on multiple large scale projects.