MSG artist William Pachner is featured in a beautiful and compelling interview by Tad Wise about the 98 year old’s work and life story. Insightful as it is heart-wrenching, read the entire interview here >
A watercolor from MSG Artist Christopher Winter‘s Wildlife Series (2010) will be included in the Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation’s 6th Annual Contemporary Art Auction, taking place on May 15th at Bonhams New York. Other artists include Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, and Jasper Johns.
This is a wonderful cause and all acquisitions will be free of buyer’s premiums, allowing proceeds to directly benefit the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center. Click here to preview and bid on the works.
The Mindy Solomon Gallery is proud to present the work of New York based artist Sylvia Hommert April 6-May 11 at the gallery, with an Opening Night Reception Saturday, April 6th from 6-9PM and Artist’s Talk at 6:30PM. Born in 1967 and educated at the famous Otis Parsons School of Art in Los Angeles, California, Hommert’s background as a successful textile artist and designer led her to explore abstraction and the use of color and light in painting as another form of textural experimentation. Pushing the possibilities of pigment and surface with an almost alchemistic precision, she creates colorful surfaces that project prismatic color and pattern.
“The Symbol of all Art is the Prism.
The goal is destructive.
To break up the white light of objective realism into the secret glories it contains.”
- E.E. Cummings
Hommert writes in her artist statement:
“Light and the reflection of light, how it interacts in an environment, is a constant thread that flows through my work. I am captivated by the silvery light glistening off alpine icicles and the lavender iridescence of sunset on water. It’s elusive, full of movement, ever changing, and it’s this ephemeral quality that intrigues me. How the passing of time plays off the luminous surfaces of each painting–the highs and lows, the shadows and relief. The color subtly shifts too, as the light moves through a space from sunrise to sunset, or as you move through the room. An organic calendar that clocks both physical movement and the passage of time. My technique has evolved as a way to capture the liquid and fluid nature of light, and I am drawn to materials that enhance and illuminate: pearly paua shell, metal leaf, holographic paper, crystalline mineral salts, beeswax, resin. By building up layers of materials from the opaque to translucent to transparent, then using a flame to burn away portions, I create depth and texture. Exposing elements that are underneath holds a hint of mystery that’s akin to uncovering buried treasure. Introducing dimension as a factor, I can express not only surface texture and depth, but different perspectives; the highs and lows offering yet another way to play with and capture light.”
EXHIBITION INFORMATION: Mindy Solomon Gallery presents ‘The Work of Sylvia Hommert‘ April 6-May 11, 2013. An Opening Night Reception takes place Saturday, April 6th, from 6-9pm, with an Artist’s Talk at 6:30pm. Hommert’s background as a successful textile artist and designer led her to explore abstraction and the use of color and light in painting as another form of textural experimentation. Pushing the possibilities of pigment and surface with an almost alchemistic precision, she creates colorful surfaces that project prismatic color and pattern. Mindy Solomon Gallery is located at 124 2nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday from 11am-5pm. For more information, please contact the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-502-0852, or visit the website at www.mindysolomongallery.com
The Byrdcliffe Kleinart/James Art Center is pleased to present ‘Imagined Fragments,’ a selection of black and white works on paper by William Pachner ( Mindy Solomon Gallery-represented artist), with a catalogue by Daniel Mason. The exhibition will be on view March 29-May 5, 2013, with an opening reception Saturday, March 30th, from 4-6pm. A gallery talk with William Pachner and Michael Perkins will take place May 6th from 2-3pm; Mr. Pachner will be 98 years old at the time of this talk. For more information, please contact BYRDCLIFFE at 845.679.2079, email email@example.com, or visit www.byrdcliffe.org. The Center is located at 36 Tinker Street in Woodstock, NY.
Born in Czechoslovakia in 1915, Pachner has made his home in Woodstock since 1945. He studied art in Vienna and worked as an illustrator in Prague before coming to the United States in 1939 on the eve of World War II. During the war, his anti-fascist anti-Nazi illustrations have appeared in the foremost national magazines. When he learned in 1945 that all members of his family had been exterminated by the Germans, he quit his commercial career and resolved never again to do a commercial job, but to paint what he felt.
Known as a colorist, Pachner’s work includes satiric drawings, erotic figurative, biblical Judaic and Christian themes, photomontages, and paintings of great color intensity. Late in his career, he turned to black and white after losing sight in his one good eye. The works in this show represent loss: absence of sight, family, homeland—everything—with the almost unbearable weight of personal and artistic annihilation. While their form, movement, and gesture embrace an essential vitality, these drawings also embody a silent horror and violence. The artist’s final works embody a multiplicity of meanings and are an affirmation of humanness and the reminder of the sacredness of all life.
About his paintings, Pachner said, “I want, in each work, the world, like my countryman Mahler, the whole pie, not just one triangular wedge of it, but all of it in all of its contradictions, paradoxes, ironies, unbearable sorrows, indescribable joys, tragic comedy, farce, pathos and drama, both authentic and fraudulent. The world, I say to myself, on which all this takes place simultaneously—the world so incomprehensible, so dear, so much in need of our care, of our embrace.”
In recent years, his work has been shown at the Tampa Museum of Art, the Florida Holocaust Museum, and the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art.
The Mindy Solomon Gallery is proud to offer a new secondary-market painting by William Pachner, Oil #9, painted in 1974 at 44.5 x 45 inches. Please contact the gallery for details.
Greenwich Library‘s Flinn Gallery, located at 101 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, Connecticut, showcases the work of Mindy Solomon Gallery artist James Kennedy and Nancy Koenigsberg through May 1st. The exhibition, ‘A Fine Line,’ focuses on the exploration of line, shape, and form through these two artists’ very different techniques: acrylic and mixed media, and wire sculpture. An artist walk and talk will be held on Sunday, April 14th at 2pm; the exhibit is a benefit for the Friends of Greenwich Library.
See more of James Kennedy’s available works at Mindy Solomon Gallery //
And, contact the Gallery at 727-502-0852 to inquire about Kennedy’s works featured in this post //
MSG artist Marc Burckhardt walks us through his process in creating a commissioned artwork for a client:
“The process of commissioned works has been a natural one for me, and one I find exciting. My collectors are typically familiar with my work and the language of characters within it. When possible, I like to view the space the work will live in, and meet with the collector to discuss specific works they’ve responded to in order to get a sense of the relationship they hope to have with the commissioned art. I then develop my concepts and typically provide two to three alternatives the client can choose from. Large pieces like this one can take several months, during which time I’ll send ‘in progress’ images if they are requested.”
Burckhardt recently completed “Scheideweg,” a large-scale private commission of acrylic and oil on wood panel, measuring 96″ x 48″.
Christopher Winter //
Berlin-based MSG artist Christopher Winter was recently featured as a cover artist for Dan’s Papers in fall of 2012. “My fascination for subjects of awakening and lost innocence led me to themes which were inspired by literature like The Lord of the Flies,” says Winter. The publication included an interview with more insights from Winter; click here to read the article.
He is also a participant in the Paris Art Fair March 28-April 1 at Grand Palais, and presents his landscape exhibition ‘Shape the Scape’ in five galleries in Berlin, Cologne, and Zurich in 2013 and 2014.
Mindy Solomon Gallery artist Gary Petersen is being included at the “Lines and Shapes: Geometric Abstraction” exhibition at the United States Department of State. Visit the exhibit in 2013 at the Art Bank Gallery 21st Street Lobby, Mezzanine South, Marshall Wing, Harry S Truman Building, Washington DC 20520.
Bart Johnson wants to give people something they can’t see in the real world. His small-scale compositions consist of fluid, undulating, and seemingly infinite arrangements of imagined figures. Upon each new look, the viewer is bound to discover additional bodies, forms, and features at first unseen. As he paints each piece, Johnson illustrates a labyrinth of both life and fancy.
Born in Washington, DC in 1954, Johnson spent his teen years among the collections of city’s major museums, where he felt a connection to early American painters and European masterworks. Despite attending art school in the 1970s, Johnson does not consider himself to be a contemporary abstract artist. “I found 70s pop, photorealism, minimalist movements, and conceptual art to be cold and detached, lacking the deep feeling of painting of the past,” he notes. Johnson continues to feel the strongest connection with the Old Masters well-loved in his early years, and their explorations of the human figure—the figure likewise being the basis of his own work. “I feel little to no connection to most current contemporary art…The only work I find real inspiration in is that which was made prior to the 1960s, [the 60s being] when the commercialism connected with Pop replaced the seriousness—by which I mean the spiritual purpose—of earlier American painters such as the Abstract Expressionists,” Johnson explains.
As to color palette, his research and use of historical pigments also corresponds with Old Master tradition, including Bosch and Ensor. “Somehow, the notion that everything has to be new and that things which look and feel old are stale has taken hold, which makes me see the art world as topsy-turvy; my values are the reverse,” Johnson says. The excitement of painting, for this artist, is the rich involvement and depth possible on an intimate scale through the presence and texture of his medium: “My deepest feelings about art are connected to the experience of the paint itself.”
What else makes this artist tick? Johnson sees two poles of art: the visceral (Picasso), and the cerebral (Duchamp), and places himself solidly in the former. He states, “I see images occurring fluently in my mind’s eye, as I work from abstract shapes and patterns on the paper or canvas.” Johnson believes the purpose of art is not to be pedantic or instructive, but to reach the inner consciousness of artist and viewer, and to represent social participation and vitality. His artwork is “a pictorial language derived from an intense observation of life.”
To that end, Johnson says he never works in his studio: “Observation is essential to me, just as it was to painters as diverse as Bruegel, Rembrandt, and Watteau.” He spends time in pubic settings as often as possible, where he sees and draws people. He makes his rounds of half a dozen coffee shops in and around Albuquerque, drawing, writing, and observing. Much of the feel and ferment of his work comes from listening and responding to social climate and world events, fueled by these excursions.
Johnson attributes working as an artist who is tuned into the social beat with a certain level of cultural premonition. Historically, he notes the colonization of the Belgian Congo, particularly during the 1870s and 1880s, as a prolific period of military imagery. He cites the appearance of Edgar Allan Poe’s poetic skeletons, angels, demons, and weapons (1830s and 1840s) as a foreshadowing of, as well as response to, the growing zeitgeist of unrest leading up to this violent moment in history. Johnson feels the same about his own work as a response to present collective unconscious regarding war, global warming, and violence; he sees his art as a method of witnessing, and himself as “the artist acting as a medium between the terrestrial plane and the spiritual plane.”
Johnson also notes the impact of his “Dionysian” coming-of-age experience, now a memory which also feeds his artwork: “I was in Richmond during the Vietnam war, surrounded by anarchy, radical politics, and hallucinogenic drug use. I think a lot of what I’m doing now, my sensitivity to current calamity, is affected by that formative period.” Johnson was also in grade school in Washington, DC, during the Kennedy assassination, Martin Luther King’s murder, and the race riots, and grew up during American music’s movement away from the light mood of the Beatles toward darker times with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Today, Johnson sees a connection between contemporary trends in technology, isolation, and toxins and a widespread fascination with zombies and vampires—American society becoming “the living dead.” He views these popular obsessions as harbingers of “the death throes of a materialistic culture.”
In addition to its social component, discovery of the inner self is a key element of Johnson’s work, following the school of thought that all painting is essentially autobiographical. Inspired by Turner (a favorite since childhood), Goya, and Pollock, he works from memories—using remembrances as amorphous inspirations and jumping off points, like Rorschach blots. Each of Johnson’s drawings and paintings grows itself over the course of time, months in many cases, with shapes and colors built up slowly as he works, rather than beginning with a preconceived plan for its composition. Illusion, paradox, and nonsensical light sources are themes found throughout Johnson’s works, an effect of his compounded memories and dreamscapes. Elements are anthropomorphic and referential of surrealism, and as each drawing progresses, Johnson produces increasingly numerous layers of hidden figures and faces, grotesque images from life and imagination, his own “night world” that viewers can enter.
With the heft of his subject matter and weight of his thought process in mind, one might wonder if Johnson has a dark and foreboding perspective of the art world and the future itself. Perhaps surprisingly, he is a warm and happy conversationalist, personable and encyclopedic. His view of art and its purpose is refreshingly bright as well: “Making art is a way of trying to regain childhood. We all lose it, judge it, and learn ourselves out of it. Then, we try to un-learn and journey back to that place. Art is a magical practice; it’s a deep belief in man’s spiritual nature, despite his long fall from grace.”
About the artist:
Bart Johnson studied painting at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received a BFA. He earned an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, then lived in New York City for the next 18 years. Johnson’s art is derived from life experiences in various working class jobs as a housepainter, dishwasher, security guard, warehouse worker, janitor, typesetter, telemarketer, and social worker. For the last ten years, he has lived “at the end of the earth” near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Johnson’s work is in private collections in the US and Europe, as well as the de Young Museum in San Francisco.
New Mexico artist Bart Johnson brings his intricate, fevered illustrations to Mindy Solomon Gallery from November 10-December 15, 2012, ‘The Work of Bart Johnson: Inside the Labyrinth,’ with an Opening Night Reception Saturday, November 10th, from 6-8:30pm. Mindy Solomon Gallery is located at 124 2nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday from 11am-5pm. For more information, please contact the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-502-0852, or visit the website at www.mindysolomon.com.
In October, Mindy Solomon Gallery will be at the (e)merge art fair in Washington, DC! We will show sculpture by Einar and Jamex de la Torre, new work by Christina West, and paintings by Georgine Ingold. The 2012 Fair takes place October 4th-7th at the Capitol Skyline Hotel in Washington, DC, near the US Capitol and several of the nation’s leading museums. (e)merge will present over 80 international exhibitors.
The (e)merge Gallery Platform features galleries and nonprofit art spaces on the show floor and rooms, and the Artist Platform features a vetted selection of works in a variety of media throughout the hotel’s public areas and grounds. The Educational Platform includes lectures, panel discussions, and tours given by innovative authorities in contemporary art, including collectors, curators, critics, and artists.
Washington, DC, is experiencing a swell of creative energy in its galleries, museums, non-profit spaces, and artist communities. The objective of (e)merge is to internationalize and fuel this vitality, as the city coalesces into a vibrant new center for artistic experimentation, cultural exchange, and curatorial discovery.