Greener Grass

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Open: Thur-Mon 11am-6pm

79 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, NY 11937, New York, United States
Open: Thur-Mon 11am-6pm


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Greener Grass

to Tue 30 Aug 2022

79 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, NY 11937 Greener Grass

Thur-Mon 11am-6pm


curated by David Kennedy Cutler

CYNTHIA DAIGNAULT, LOIS DODD, JANET FISH, JANE FREILICHER, HENRY GLAVIN, VAN HANOS, RAYMIE IADEVAIA, YVONNE JACQUETTE, JARRETT KEY, AUBREY LEVINTHAL, HILARY PECIS, ALEXANDER RUSSI, AUBREY SAGET, CLAIRE SHERMAN, KARL STUECKLEN, BILLY SULLIVAN, PAUL THEK

Artworks

Any window, any morning, any evening, any day, 2012

Oil on linen
58 x 36 inches (147.3 x 91.4 cm)

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Across the Field in June, 2021

Oil on masonite
16 x 18 inches (40.6 x 45.7 cm)

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Winter Pea, 2022

Oil on canvas
10 x 8 inches (25.4 x 20.3 cm)

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Madame Boll Rose, 2022

Oil on canvas
10 x 8 inches (25.4 x 20.3 cm)

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Wildflowers, 2020

Oil on canvas
30 x 26 inches (76.2 x 66 cm)

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Hard Hike, 2019

Oil on canvas
25 x 20 inches (63.5 x 50.8 cm)

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Body Surfer (Boy), 2022

Oil on panel
20 x 16 inches (50.8 x 40.6 cm)

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A week before, 2022

Oil on panel
9 x 9 inches (22.9 x 22.9 cm)

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Brush up North, 2022

Oil on panel
9 x 9 inches (22.9 x 22.9 cm)

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Ornamental Cherry, 1978-88

Oil on linen
60 x 49 7/8 inches (152.4 x 126.682 cm)

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Nocturne, 2022

Oil on canvas
24 x 20 inches (61 x 50.8 cm)

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Tangle, 2022

Oil on canvas
24 x 20 inches (61 x 50.8 cm)

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York Island, Off Isle Au Haut, 2013

Oil on linen
44 x 56 inches (111.8 x 142.2 cm)

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Pinwheels and Poppies, 1990

Oil on canvas
64 x 70 inches (162.6 x 177.8 cm)

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Poppies and Young Wheat (Normandy), 1999

Oil on canvas
25.5 x 25.5 inches (64.8 x 64.8 cm)

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Dancing Flowers, 2022

Fresco (oil pigment on cement)
13 x 10.5 inches (33 x 26.7 cm)

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Flowers at Dusl, 2022

Oil on panel
35.56 x 27.94 inches (90.3 x 71 cm)

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Primrose, 2022

Oil on wood panel
20 x 24 inches (50.8 x 61 cm)

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Open Tulips, 2021

Acrylic on Linen
42 x 32 inches (106.7 x 81.3 cm)

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Crown of Thorns, 2022

Oil on linen
30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)

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Healthy Oak, 2022

Acrylic, ink, and graphite on panel
55 x 45 inches (139.7 x 114.3 cm)

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Green Harmony, 2022

Oil on canvas
24 x 20 inches (61 x 50.8 cm)

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Untitled Oval Landscape, 1970

Watercolor and colored pencil on paper
9 3/4 x 12 1/4 inches (24.7 x 31.1 cm)

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Drawing 1, 1973

Graphite on paper
11 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches (29.21 x 36.83 cm)

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Drawing 2,

Graphite on paper
11 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches (29.21 x 36.83 cm)

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Drawing 3, 1973

Graphite on paper
11 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches (29.21 x 36.83 cm)

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Drawing 4, 1973

Graphite on paper
11 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches (29.21 x 36.83 cm)

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Drawing 5, 1973

Graphite on paper
11 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches (29.21 x 36.83 cm)

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Drawing 6, 1973

Graphite on paper
11 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches (29.21 x 36.83 cm)

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Ennstal Austria 4/21/79, 1979

Ink on paper
5 1/8 x 8 1/8 inches (13.0175 x 20.6375 cm)

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Van Dusen 7/7, 1972

Ink on paper
5 1/8 x 8 1/8 inches (13.0175 x 20.6375 cm)

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Panza 6/24/72, 1972

Mixed media on paper
8 1/4 x 11 7/8 inches (20.955 x 30.1625 cm)

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Panza 6/24/72, 1972

Ink on paper
8 1/4 x 11 7/8 inches (20.955 x 30.1625 cm)

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Paul, 1973

Watercolor and ink on paper
10 1/8 x 7 1/8 x 1 1/2 inches (25.7175 x 18.0975 x 3.81 cm)

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Added to list

Done

Removed

Halsey McKay Greener Grass 1

Halsey McKay Greener Grass 2

Halsey McKay Greener Grass 3

Halsey McKay Greener Grass 4

Halsey McKay Greener Grass 5

Halsey McKay Greener Grass 6

Halsey McKay Greener Grass 7

Halsey McKay Greener Grass 8

Halsey McKay Greener Grass 9

Greener Grass is an intergenerational exhibition dedicated to observational painting. This show is by no means a comprehensive survey of contemporary works using landscape, domestic interiors, and still life. Rather, this is my subjective curatorial take on individual artists who use compositional framing, art-historical inspiration, and general intuition to convey friction between the natural and built worlds. They operate within a timeless medium, but are able to craft idealized spaces from unique vantages. These are painters who pursued arts education and community in bustling cities, but feel a strong need to connect back to subtleties found in natural phenomena, domestic settings and rural life. Each artist inevitably has a different reason for pursuing their subjects, but all their works are imbued with a rigorous and thoughtful dedication to painting.

It comes as a shock to me that I am curating a show about observational painting, because that was how how I was taught to paint as a child in Vermont, and I resoundingly rejected it the further I got from my home. However, recent encounters have made me reconsider the pursuit of observational painting as an artistic strategy.

Young painters in New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia are turning to rarefied moments of quietude. Alexander Russi mines his teeming Bed Stuy garden of vegetables, flowers and weeds. Henry Glavin’s compositions of barns, backyards, and country houses are nesting eggs of clapboard siding, porches, rafters, open doors, windows and framed artworks that contain vistas within. Hilary Pecis has conjured an entire universe of interior and exterior spaces chock-full of the possessions that portray how young, creative people choose to live in cities. Aubrey Levinthal also captures the spirit of youthful urban living, although she uses interior and still life elements to create obfuscations for the ambivalent figures that inhabit her paintings. Claire Sherman captures thickets, overgrowth, and fields of wildflowers with expressive bravado and bold ambition. An artist who often works in performance and sculpture, Jarrett Key, has metaphorically returned to rural Alabama with oil on concrete or panel paintings of teaming fields populated by colorful flowers. Aubrey Saget packs her modestly scaled paintings of flowers, plants, and landscapes with a rushing, linear intensity that matches our contemporary engagement with the natural world. Raymie Iadevaia says of his hallucinatory landscapes: “like a cat brushing its head on people and places, I paint to get closer to the textures of the world.”

The exhibition also features artists who overtly contrast plein-air and photographic sources in their paintings. Van Hanos utilizes myriad histories of genre painting fed through the lens of photography and digital culture, producing an ever-shifting body of irreverent works that manage to perpetuate the romance of oil painting’s essence. Cynthia Daignault uses observational painting as a foil, a mediating tool, and a conceptual framework to engage with art history, narrative, social issues, activism, and time-based media.

Lois Dodd hovers above the exhibition as a pioneer of visionary commitment, whose influence on some of the artists in the show is indisputable. Thinking of her approach and her commitment led me to think of others like Janet Fish, Jane Freilicher, Yvonne Jacquette and Billy Sullivan, who have dedicated themselves to the types of observational painting that define the spirit of this exhibition. All have worked within the discourse of contemporary art, but have set themselves apart from it, short-circuiting the linear narrative of modernist art history.

I must confess, the artists I have not yet mentioned are my primary motivation for curating this show: Karl Stuecklen and Paul Thek. My parents arranged for me to study with Stuecklen when I was very young, each week dropping me off at his Geodesic dome situated on the side of a Vermont mountainside.

He was a rigorous and intensely serious post-impressionist painter who started me off painting flowers, table-top arrangements, and the panoramic view of the birch trees that his studio was perched above. Karl, and the genre of landscape painting so commonly found in Vermont felt crushingly conservative to a kid who couldn’t wait to move to a city and go to art school, and fall into a community of young artists.

In 2016, it came as quite the surprise to learn that an artist I admired deeply, Paul Thek, was a
very close friend of Karl’s. In the 1970’s Karl traveled with Thek throughout Europe as Thek revolutionized installation art. Shortly before Thek’s death, Karl arranged for him to stay at my father’s house in Vermont for a period of time. Karl’s widow, Jayne, shared drawings and poems with me that Thek had made, nestled in Karl’s sketchbooks. Looking through catalogs on Thek’s work, I noticed that when drawing from life, the two friends had a style that reminded me of one another. Greener Grass includes drawings by both Thek and Stuecklen, from their vacations on the island of Panza, Italy, where they were clearly drawing from similar vantages, perhaps right next to one another.

Thek’s observational works are consistent outliers in a diverse career that is defined by its absolute freedom to try nearly any approach to art-making, but his drawings and paintings of sky, water, cities, windows, and vegetation carry an aura that is distinctly his own. His work has an ability to jump time and space, interior and exterior, urban and rural.

I suppose that Greener Grass is an homage to my earliest experiences in an artist’s studio, and an appreciation for a kind of art that I didn’t have the patience to inhabit. By curating this exhibition, I can show my respect to where I came from and where I’m going, the people I’ve learned from, the people I’ve met, the people I would like to meet, and the idealized places that I can only see through other people’s eyes.

-David Kennedy Cutler

Courtesy of the artists and Halsey McKay Gallery


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