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Posts Tagged ‘Icons & Exiles’

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My Icons & Exiles exhibit opens tonight at the Octagon Gallery at the Patterson Library in Westfield, NY. There is an opening reception that runs from 7-9 PM. The show hangs in the gallery until September 20. If you’re in the area, please stop in and I’ll be glad to spend some time telling you some of the stories behind the work in this show.

And there are a lot of stories in this show.

Much of the work in this show is from what I consider my three most personal series of paintings, the Exiles, the Outlaws and the Icons. For example, the painting at the top is the first painting completed in the Exiles series back in 1995 and is titled A Prayer For Light. For myself, from a standpoint of meaning, it might be the most important painting I’ve done. It hasn’t been displayed publicly in well over 20 years.

I am proud of this show and believe it is an interesting exhibit, one that I hope will provoke thought in those who see it. The Patterson Library is a beautiful building and the Octagon Gallery is a wonderful space in which to show work.  I hope you can make it to the lovely town of Westfield to see it.

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ICONS & EXILES

Now at the Octagon Gallery at Patterson Library, Westfield, NY 

Runs From Friday, August 23- Friday, September 20, 2019

Opening Reception Friday, August 23, 7-9 PM

Art Talk Thursday, September 12, 6-7 PM

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As I’ve noted here recently, my Icons & Exiles show begins tomorrow evening with an opening reception from 7-9 PM in the Octagon Gallery at Patterson Library in Westfield, NY. One of the things that most attracted me to accepting the invitation to do this show was the opportunity to exhibit work that has seldom, if ever, been shown in public. This includes the little piece below, a small painting from around 1997 that has been a personal favorite for all that time. I am reposting a blog entry about this painting from back in 2010. Hope you can make it out to see it in the show.

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More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones

— Mother Theresa

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This is a little piece that I did many years ago, one that never made it out of the studio. A piece that is really for me.  I can’t say that it’s a great piece of work or even good. But that doesn’t matter because it’s one of my personal favorites. It’s informally called Be Careful What You Wish For after the old adage: Be careful what you wish because you may just get it. I always bear this saying in mind to remind myself that with everything you desire there is a responsibility, a price to be paid that may not be evident on its surface.

 The unconsidered consequences we often fail to ponder when making wishes and decisions.

Kind of like the story of The Monkey’s Paw, the old tale where a family receives a monkey’s paw from a friend who has just died. The paw is a talisman with the supposedly mystical power to grant the holder three wishes. The family wishes for money and their son is killed in a horrific accident and they receive a large amount of money from his insurance policy. After the funeral, they are stricken with grief and they wish for their son to be alive again.  Soon, there is a knock at their door. It is their son–alive. But he is still horribly mutilated from the accident and in extreme agony. They use the third wish to wish him dead again.

This painting also reminds me of Pandora’s Box, where Pandora is given a box (or jar, depending on how the story is told) by the god Zeus with the instructions to not open it under any circumstance. Of course, she does. Immediately, all the evils in the world are released and in her panic, she slams the lid back down, trapping Hope in the box.

The man with the shovel in the hole here seems to be in the same situation. In my mind, he was digging for things that were better left alone and they soon flew from the pit he had dug, even as he feverishly tried to fill in the hole. What exactly they are, I am not sure. There is a giant or a troll that peeks from beneath a tree. Perhaps they are demons. Or regrets. Or lesser versions and aspects of the digging person, things he has been keeping inside for all his life.

Things that were better left alone.

Like many things, I am not sure. Whatever the case, it remains a little painting that always triggers thought in me. That’s probably why it remains a favorite.

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Yesterday, I delivered the work for my Icons & Exiles show to the Octagon Gallery at the Patterson Library in Westfield, NY. I have to admit that the gallery isn’t anything like the image of it I imagined when I was approached a couple of years ago to do this exhibit. But seeing the space and the library again put any doubts I had to rest. What a great gallery space! And the library is such a beautiful building! Both the gallery and the library are gems.

I am actually excited to see this group of work in this space.

The work for this show primarily consists of work from my early Exiles series along with my more recent Icons series. There is also a smaller group from my 2006 Outlaws series along with a variety of pieces that don’t fit into any series. They are just favorites of mine, personal paintings that I think are pretty interesting.

There are also two pieces from my Archaeology series including the painting shown at the top, Archaeology: A New History. This painting hasn’t been shown in many years and is, at 36″ by 48″, the largest painting of this series. It is one of my favorites from this series so I am pleased to have it back out in public view as part of this show.

I think this will be an interesting show, one that has a more narrative feel than my typical shows. There are many stories being told in these paintings.

I know that Westfield is a bit out of the way for many folks. For my friends in Erie, where my work has shown at the Kada Gallery there for the past 24 years, it is a 30 mile trek and for those in my home area it’s a few hours drive. But it takes you by lovely Lake Chautauqua and its famous institute and Westfield itself is a peach of a town. Hopefully, this show will make the trip worthwhile.

So, if you find yourself out around Lake Chautauqua or,over a short distance, closer to Lake Erie this Friday, August 23, between 7 and 9 PM, please stop in and take a look at the Icons & Exiles show at the Octagon Library at the historic Patterson Library.

I’ll be glad to tell you some stories.

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I briefly mentioned a few weeks back, in a post about the discovery of some lost work in my crumbling old studio, that I was preparing some work for a small solo show at a public space in western New York, out near the shores of Lake Erie. Well, here’s a little more on that show.

Patterson Library, Westfield, NY

The show takes place at the Octagon Art Gallery located in the historic and beautiful Patterson Library in Westfield, NY, which is a village in Chautauqua County, not far from the well known lake with the same name and its famous Chautauqua Institution. It’s an area known for its vineyards filled with the Concord grapes that have been made into Welch’s Grape Juice at a plant there since 1897.

Exiles: Cain 1995

The library is a gorgeous Beaux Arts structure from the early 20th century and the gallery is, as its name implies, a large octagon shaped space. When I first agreed to this show last year, I wasn’t overly thrilled about doing a small show in a distant library. But visiting the space changed my mind. It’s a great space and environment with a history of some very fine exhibitions. I began to see it as an opportunity to display the work from some earlier series that have seldom, if ever, been displayed. There is a large group of pieces from my very early Exiles series, several from my later Outlaws series, and all my ancestral Icons from 2016 along with a number of other anomalies that I feel fit into place with these guys. There will also be a few examples of my trademark work as anchors.

The show is called Icons & Exiles and it opens Friday, August 23 and is on display there until September 20. There is an opening reception on the evening of Friday, August 23,that runs from 7-9 PM. There will be an Art Talk in support of the show on Thursday, September 12 beginning at 6 PM.

I’m actually kind of excited for this show now. It will be great to see these pieces fully presented together for the first time. So, if you find yourself out in Western NY near the shores of Lake Erie, stop in and take a look. I think it will be an interesting show.

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