Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bright Lights, Big City

Three of the Guild took a road trip to New York yesterday. Alex had to pick up her painting (which by the way, won a big prize!) from the Allied Artists of America annual show at the National Arts Club, and Eliza had to deliver some work for an upcoming show at Sherry French Gallery.

The other main purpose of the trip was to look at the Peter Poskas show, New England Revisited, at Spanierman Gallery. This show was reputed to include a large percentage of paintings of Maine and in particular, Monhegan Island, where of course we just were a few months ago. There was an added point of interest in that Poskas used to show with Sherry French gallery, where Eliza and I both now exhibit. So, interest was high on many levels.

My review of the show: I liked the CT farm pieces, but I found the Monhegan pieces to be too bland for my taste, almost unrecognizable as Monhegan in fact. Blurred edges, pretty pastel shades, soft and flowery. Huh? Admittedly, I only visited Monhegan the once, but the way Posakas sees Monhegan is not the way I see it. When I first stepped foot on to that island I felt a kind of zinging in my blood...a heady sense of heavy rock and brilliant sky, an almost crushing feeling of desperate, hard, human toil amidst the intense beauty. I guess my vision of Monhegan aligns more closely with that of George Bellows...all knife-edged rock and crash of waves and strong colors and sharp contrast. Poskas's Monhegan vision was pretty gentle, soft-edged and pastel in color. If not for recognizing various places, I would have thought we had visited two different islands! Of course, there are seasonal differences: he must paint there in the summer, and I was there in the Fall. And I should add that both Eliza and Alex completely disagreed with my perspective on the Poskas show...both finding it much more to their taste than I did. And that is why there is more than one artist working in the world at any time: we all have our unique viewpoints. Vive les differences!

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