"I am a free man he boasted. I live by the sweat of my pen. I need not copy Boccaccio or Petrarch. Let others worry about style and cease to be themselves. Without a master, without a model, without a guide, without artifice, I go to work and earn my living, my well-being and my fame. With a goose quill and a few sheets of paper I mock the universe."
Past To Present February 4 - February 28 Opening for Artist Reception Gallery Walk February 4, 6 - 9 pm
The Work Of Leonardo Rafaelo Black Chris Wynter Susan Sauerbrun Nola Zirin Salvadore Rosillo Gloria Kennedy It is with great pleasure that we present “Past To Present”, opening Thursday, February 4th, 2010 through February 28.
The show will open on Feb. 4th for the Gallery Walk. The Artist reception will be held on Thursday, February 11, 6 PM – 9 PM at the gallery.
Director André Martínez Reed: “Past To Present,” was arranged purely spontaneously and totally on-the-fly …like a great improvisation, similar to a jazz or modern dance performance.
For this new show, I’ve assembled artists, all of whom are masters of their realm and put them together for a major performance. Rafaello Leonardo Black is an artist who’s graphite pencil drawings on gesso of the Jimi Hendrix Experience has immortalized him into an old world masterly. I first encountered his work at the Salomon Arts Gallery in Tribeca, by the invitation of the visionary and stalwart defender of great art and craftsmanship, Rodrigo Salomon.
After encountering Rafaello’s miniature drawings, which he does with a magnifying glass, I instantly realized his gift that I was setting my eyes upon. Inch by inch of his artwork, you can see everyday life on a cobblestone street complete with brownstones, stoops, stores and people everywhere roaming about. I have yet to see anything that precise and rhythmically done by a human hand in modern times in that dimension.
Alongside Rafaello, I present Susan Sauerbrun. Her artwork has graced our walls in the past. Susan exhibits great dedication and insight into the craft of art Abstraction with spirit, much like the way Rothko put his heart and soul into his work to become a timeless living organism.
I recall how at Susan’s first show “Silent Pictures” at the Henry Gregg Gallery, two legendary photography dealers, Howard Schickler and Billy O’Connor, arrived together to admire her work. There is good reason why Sauerbrun’s new work was recently selected for the “By Invitation Only” show at the National Academy of Fine Arts in New York! I chose to present her work again, as it represents timelessness in art, which I believe is arts true value. My third ‘Past to Present’ artist is Chris Wynters, the notable colorist who teaches at Pratt Institute. His piece “Orange” continually fascinates me.
It is an exemplary work for our period in which the layout of forms align and is tied to Chris’ outstanding improvisational and brilliant choice of color combinations, which together bring to my mind the experience of standing before Cézanne’s “Still Life with Apples” with its depth and warmth that warms one’s soul. Yes, Chris is a great colorist, but moreover a gifted portraitist and sculptor, whose oeuvre is collected, commissioned, cherished and desired throughout the world.
The fourth presence whose work will soon hang here at the Henry Gregg Gallery is Nola Zirin.
She’s a great artist, a dear friend and mentor. Her work speaks for itself. And not only to me, but to the entire abstract art community in NYC. Her choices of color, form and her conceptual framework show great spontaneity … and whether large or small they enter collections in the way of masterpieces. She’s shown works on paper, miniature paintings, all of which demonstrate rare skill and unnerving confidence. Nola is known to destroy her works where the results do not satisfy her, much in the way of Francis Bacon.
My fifth choice is Michael Price, a longtime artist of the gallery. Michael is the Renaissance scholar who has dedicated his life through intense practice to understand through experiment and painting the makings of great and everlasting works.
My sixth artist is a fellow gallerist, as well as a close friend, Gloria Kennedy who will be presenting some of her original works. She is well known and respected in the art community and is an exceptional sculptor in her own right. The three pieces presented in this event are of highly textured white stoneware with metallic pewter and gold glazes. The works represents the Akan Queenmother Ohemmaa and her attendants Nkotimsefo. â¨
Finally, the Henry Gregg Gallery presents, in-group show, the works of Salvador Rosillo. I’ve known Salvador longer than any of the others whom I represent. He’s director of the Salvador Rosillo Museum in Tribeca. In fact, Salvador has just returned from a major presentation of his work in Mexico. He is a ‘free-jazz” painter and a great one, improvising in color and by means of a new attack, and has become a true performance artist who paints with his hands and fingers and never uses a brush. Moreover, he is a very active poet, philosopher and revolutionary whose being can jump out at you from the canvas. Salvador is the extension and embodiment of Rafael Tamayo as Jimmy Lyons is the extension and embodiment of Charlie Parker in the latter day.
I am extremely proud to have succeeded in creating these associations, making possible the bringing together of extraordinary talent in a unique and timely show for our times.
The Experience - Pencil Drawing - Raphael Leonardo Black