Saturday: September 3rd through Saturday: October 15th
On Saturday, September 3, Oxford Gallery will inaugurate its 2016/2017 exhibition season with an exhibit entitled "Intimations." The exhibit features paintings in oil by Poughkeepsie artist, Carolyn Edlund, and Buffalo artist, Fran Noonan.
Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday, September 24 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. The Reception is open to the public. Please note that the Gallery will be closed September 15, 16, and 17.
Fran Noonan, The Blue Promise, oil on canvas on board
Fran Noonan, Beneath the Falls,
oil on panel
Fran Noonan, In This Age, ,
oil on panel
Carolyn Edlund, Under a Blue Moon
, oil on panel
Carolyn Edlund, Sonata,
oil on linen
Carolyn Edlund, Peonies and Cobalt
, oil on panel
Carolyn Edlund, Autumn Morning at Poet's Walk,
oil on linen
It seems only natural that Poughkeepsie artist Carolyn Edlund would feel some kinship with the artistic tradition that took its name from the river near where she lives. Her picturesque landscapes, devoid of human habitation and bathed in a warm light that accents the perfect color harmonies seem, at first exposure, a paean to this tradition. On continued viewing, however, we sense that the compositions are a bit too perfect, the colors too warm, and the light too focused to be renderings of real scenes. In their perfection, they speak to their own artificiality.
The effect of a landscape like "Sonata" might be analogous to a 19th-century Luminist landscape by, say, Fitz Henry Lane or Martin Johnson Heade: Time becomes frozen, nature static, and the scene becomes more a remembrance than a reality. The artist states: "I intend the stillness of my scenes to bring to mind times long past and the luminosity to suggest a slight enchantment…Yet, some find the scenes familiar - perhaps the backyard they grew up in, a road they once took, or a landscape more interior."
Indeed, many of her landscape compositions present the viewer a foreground road or path, inviting entrance into the scene. Yet, the paths disappear or terminate in a ridge or an obstruction beyond which we cannot see? As in our dreams and memories, we cannot progress beyond a certain familiarity.
If Ms. Edlund takes occasional inspiration from the painters of the Hudson River School, Fran Noonan finds his inspiration in their successors: the American Tonalist painters. He shares with Carolyn Edlund an intention to invoke dreams or memories, rather than to merely depict natural places. Hence, the show-title "Intimations," with all of its Wordsworthian associations.
But the means Noonan chooses are entirely different, if not oppositional, to Edlund's. He replaces Edlund's fine detail and minutely stippled effects with broad washes of color and scumbled application. His focus is not panoramic but specific: a single tree, a copse, or small body of water, for example. And the light is not bright and ubiquitous, as in Edlund's work. In his frequently back-lit images, the light seems to obscure as much as illuminate, leaving only broad outlines which loom monumentally in the encroaching darkness. His paintings invoke rather than describe. In addition to being a visual artist, Fran is a classical pianist, and his paintings might best be described as "tone poems." They speak to a sensibility or a reality beyond the visible.
The Oxford Gallery is located in the Roosevelt Apartment Building at the corner of Oxford Street and Park Avenue in Rochester.
Tuesday through Saturday, 12:00 Noon to 5:00 PM and by appointment. Admission to all events at the Oxford Gallery is free. For information, please call 585-271-5885.
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