Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sight Specific: A Selection of American Perceptual Paintings, curated by George Nick

Edwin Dickinson, White Winter, 1915, Oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches, Private collection, New York

Edwin Dickinson, White Winter, 1915, Oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches, Private collection, New York

(note all images have a higher resolution image when clicked)

Regardless of where you live, the one show not to be missed this summer is the Concord Art Association’s Sight Specific: A Selection of American Perceptual Paintings, curated by George Nick. The show runs until August 13 in Concord, Ma. George Nick selected more than 75 paintings from 56 artists for this show. The diverse range of styles, subjects and formal concerns are united by their connection to great painting and observational traditions. Nick’s lecture with this show was video-taped and the hour long lecture and can be viewed later in this article. Philip Pearlstein gives another lecture, Just the facts: Contemporary Perceptual Realist Painting, on Saturday, June 28, 2pm – more information can be obtained from the CAA website or by calling (978) 369-2578.

From the Concord Art Association press release:

According to Nick,

“The goal of the show is to celebrate the tradition of careful observation as the basis for an important aspect of American painting and to emphasize the remarkable variety of imagery it has generated.”

Beginning at the turn of the twentieth century with the still-lifes of John Frederick Peto and landscapes of John Frederick Kensett and Childe Hassam, the exhibition will progress through subsequent generations, including paintings by Edwin Dickinson, Walter Murch, Philip Pearlstein, Neil Welliver, George Nick and Lennart Anderson. It will continue with work by current mid-career painters as well as recent graduates who will play a central role in the next generation of American painting.

Nick continues, “Our hope is that the consistently high quality of the painting exhibited will reveal the enduring relevance, the compelling visual richness, and the limitless variety of this pictorial tradition. Most important, it will serve as a reminder that many of the brightest and most gifted young painters working today have chosen this tradition, among all available options, to help define the future of visual arts.”

The artists in this exhibition include: Eric Aho, Kim Alemian, Lennart Anderson, Sam Cady, Matthew Cerletty, Bernard Chaet, Christopher Chippendale, Rachel Christofi, William Ciccarelli, Dana Clancy, Charles Demuth, Edwin Dickinson, Jeremy Durling, Richard Estes, Jeff Fichera, Shalom Flash, Rick Fox, Chawky Frenn, Elizabeth Geiger, Philip Geiger, Gregory Gillespie, Jill Grimes, Anne Harris, Kelley Harwood, Haley Hasler, Childe Hassam, Andrew Karnes, Catherine Kehoe, Ron Krouk, John Lee, Kathy Liao, Megan Marlatt, Siobhan McBride, Nancy McCarthy, Elizabeth Menges, K. Min, Joseph McNamara, Julia von Metzsch, John Moore, Walter Tandy Murch, George Nick, Scott Noel, Philip Pearlstein, John Frederick Peto, Paul Rahilly, Richard Raiselis, Robert Rasely, Harold Reddicliffe, Richard Sheehan, Charlie Shurcliff, Amy Sudarsky, Julia von Metzch, Lindsey Warren, Frederick Judd Waugh, Neil Welliver, and Alexi Worth.

I would like to thank the Concord Art Association for their help in making higher resolution images available of a selected number of the work in the show. (images shown below the fold) They have a terrific catalog that can be obtained for $10.00 if you speak to someone by phone or in person (see their website for details)

George Nick, Stairs Below



While this exhibition began somewhere between the vague boundaries of figurative art and realism, it coalesced quickly into something more personal, that is, a representation of those artists who have been foremost in my mind over the course of my own experience and personal development. These artists include, but are not limited to: Edwin Dickinson, Neil Welliver, Philip Pearlstein, Fairfield Porter, and Lennart Anderson. Ultimately I sought to gather together work by them, as well as that of an additional number of young talents, for this show.

Over the years it has become apparent to me that the fire of the old masters, which many presumed out (or smoldering) since WW II, has been growing steadily, and roars in full flame. Critics, museums, commercial galleries, and institutions of learning have largely chosen to ignore this growth of the contemporary realist movement, thereby serving to form an academy reminiscent of the French control of taste in the late 1800’s. Meanwhile, contemporary realism and figurative art work thus relegated to the margin by many, but not all, leading thinkers, continued to grow, driven by a real desire and focus of spirit sustained by the younger artists of our generation. They are the ones who continue to breathe life into Art and enrich our lives and futures by doing so.

This exhibition is dedicated to Edwin Dickinson, a mentor from the past, and to all artists contemporary or otherwise, who devote their lives to their art.

George+Nick+Lecture+2.0-HD from Concord Art Association on Vimeo

Lennart Anderson, Portrait of Barbara S.

Lennart Anderson, Portrait of Barbara S., 1976-77, Oil on canvas, 72.13 x 60.25 inches, Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia.

Gregory Gillespie, Snake Painting

Gregory Gillespie, Snake Painting, 1973, Oil and magna on panel, 9.75 x 10 inches, Private collection

Neil Welliver, Anonymous Freshet

Neil Welliver, Anonymous Freshet, 1975, Oil on canvas, 72 x 72 inches, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Graham Gund

Philip Pearlstein, Model in Japanese Robe with African Carvings,

Philip Pearlstein, Model in Japanese Robe with African Carvings, 2009, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches, Courtesy of the artist and Betty Cuningham Gallery

Bernard Chaet, Cows

Bernard Chaet, Cows, 1957, Oil on panel, 10 x 14 inches, Private collection

Scott Noel, Summer on Baker Street

Scott Noel, Summer on Baker Street, 2008, Oil on linen, 27 x 54 inches, Courtesy of Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Richard Raiselis, Blue ‘n’ Boogie

Richard Raiselis, Blue ‘n’ Boogie, 2013, Oil on Linen, 34 x 24 inches,Courtesy of Gallery NAGA, Boston

Philip Geiger, Monday

Philip Geiger, Monday, 2012, Oil on board, 20 x 16 inches

ann Harris

Ann Harris, 1994

Megan Marlatt, Orange Slinky

Megan Marlatt, Orange Slinky, 2007, Acrylic and oil on linen, 42 x 60 inches

Eric Aho, Ice Jumble

Eric Aho, Ice Jumble, 2011, Oil on linen, 24 x 40 inches, Courtesy of the artist and DC Moore Gallery, New York

Paul Rahilly, Figures with Rolled Paper

Paul Rahilly, Figures with Rolled Paper, 1982, Oil on canvas, 72 x 70 inches, Courtesy of Gail and Ernst von Metzsch

Harold Reddicliffe / Selectron

Harold Reddicliffe / Selectron, 2013 / Oil on canvas, 8 x 6 inches / Courtesy of Hirschl and Adler Modern

Alexi Worth, Flexi-Straw

Alexi Worth, Flexi-Straw, 2013, Acrylic on canvas, 21 x 28 inches, Collection of Rebecca Warren

Catherine Kehoe, Still Life with Wig

Catherine Kehoe, Still Life with Wig, 2013, Oil on panel, 14 x 11 inches, Courtesy of Miller Yezerski Gallery

Nancy McCarthy, Trunks and Vines

Nancy McCarthy, Trunks and Vines, 2013, Oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches

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4 Responses to “Sight Specific: A Selection of American Perceptual Paintings, curated by George Nick”
  1. April says:

    Looking forward to you coming east and very much appreciate you raising awareness about this show sublime.

  2. Bill White says:

    George has been such an important painter and teacher for many decades and his curatorial efforts at the Concord Art Association have been some of the most significant group shows on perceptual painting. These painters he has assembled share in pictorial values that get neglected by the mainstream art media, or worse call it retrograde and anachronistic. I wish this show would travel so more of us could see these wonderful paintings. I hope George will be willing and able to curated more shows like this in coming years. Thanks George.

  3. I remember George Nick and his work when we were both represented by the Fischbach Gallery, NYC. The exhibition he has put together looks great—-we could certainly use more of the same. I spend half the year in New York and the rest at our place in Italy together with my wife Sandra Caplan also a painter. In Italy from my studio, I see a valley of vineyards sweeping to the Appenines in one direction and in the other the intense blue-green of the Adriatic Sea. This, of course, informs my work and is truly a challenge.
    Best wishes, Ray Ciarrocchi

  4. Janet Thompson says:

    I wanted to let you know about two more painters from New England whose painting could well be part of another show like Site Specific. Conor Thompson of Massachusetts and Los Angeles, and Ryan Kish of Portsmouth, NH. Somehow I’d love to get word to George Nick about their show at the Buoy Gallery in Kittery, Maine that opens November 21, 2014. The show is called “In the Road”. It’s a series of painting that they did in August while traveling cross country from Los Angeles back to New England.

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