Published: July 3, 2018
This week’s Gallery Beat highlights exhibitions on Wharton Esherick, Richard Hambleton, We’wha and Arroh-ah-och, Keith Sonnier, Thornton Dial and Mark Leonard.
Through July 14
PHILADELPHIA – The Moderne Gallery presents an exhibition featuring 20 pieces of furniture and objects made by Wharton Esherick between 1931-1968, as well as 50 woodcuts made between 1927-1933. Esherick is the “father” of the Studio Furniture Movement and is usually referred to as the “Dean of American Craftsmen.” He is universally credited as having had a major influence on Wendell Castle, Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Sam Maloof, David Ebner and almost all designer-craftsmen of the Twentieth & Twenty-First Centuries. He received numerous prestigious honors, including the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, which he received posthumously in 1971.
Much of Esherick’s work is in museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Penn., the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Modernism Museum of Mount Dora, Fla., and the Renwick Collection at the Smithsonian.
The Moderne Gallery is at 111 North Third Street. For more information, 215-923-8536 or www.modernegallery.com.
“Keith Sonnier: Tragedy and Comedy”
Through July 29
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – In its second solo exhibition with Keith Sonnier, Tripoli Gallery, presents “Tragedy and Comedy,” which was curated around 40 new drawings and accompanied by related sculptures. The exhibition illustrates the artist’s continued creative process during a period of personal health challenges.
The drawings are accompanied by four African masks: Hodo, Monsieur Pierre, Mr Smith, and Red Smile, as well as an original plaster cast referencing an elephant head, Blue Flocked Pachyderm. All are transformed by the velvety covering of solid color flocking. A playful take on his early conceptual use of industrial and ephemeral materials, these works recall Sonnier’s application of flocking (tiny rayon fiber particles infused with raw pigments), albeit this time on solid and recognizable objects. In the late sixties, Sonnier combined flocking and latex to produce the seminal, ephemeral work (Flocked Series), which is now widely recognized as belonging to one of the most important periods in contemporary American art.
Tripoli Gallery is at 30A Jobs Lane. For information, 631-377-3715 or www.tripoligallery.com.
“We’wha & the Two Spirit Tradition in Native Society”
John Molloy Gallery
Through July 14
NEW YORK CITY – John Molloy Gallery is pleased to present, “We’wha & the Two Spirit Tradition in Native Society,” an exhibition and sale of antique work by We’wha and Arroh-ah-och, two Native American Nineteenth Century two-spirit artists, as well as contemporary work by Mona Medicine Crow (Crow), Thomas Huakaas (Lakota), Sheldon Raymore (Lakota, Cheyenne River Sioux) and Lokowi-he-ne (Mohawk).
The two-spirit tradition refers to a traditional role in Native America of people who did not relate fully to the binary genders of male and female, of people who identified as having the spirit of both genders. While the terminology varied from tribe to tribe, the ethos of acceptance permeated all the groups and often granted these individuals special status.
The John Molloy Gallery is at 49 East 78th Street. For additional information, 212-249-3020 or www.johnmolloygallery.com.
“Richard Hambleton: Eternity”
Through July 27
NEW YORK CITY – ACA Galleries presents, “Richard Hambleton: Eternity,” an exhibition showcasing major paintings and works on paper from Hambleton’s two signature series – “Shadowmen” and “Horse and Rider.” Widely considered the “Godfather of Street Art,” Hambleton’s contemporaries included Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Andy Warhol.
Exhibition highlights include a colossal unstretched canvas with five life-sized Shadowmen figures; several large single Shadowmen; and rodeo paintings on canvas – these prime examples demonstrate Hambleton’s ability to expressively combine representation and gestural abstraction. Sourced from private collections, the majority of these works have never been exhibited before.
ACA Galleries is at 529 West 20th Street. For information, www.acagalleries.com or 212-206-8080.
“Thornton Dial – Works on Paper”
Online, closing date TBD
NEW YORK CITY – Nearly 30 years ago, Ricco/Maresca Gallery opened the first New York show of Thornton Dial and the Dial family. That show was followed by two subsequent shows: “His Spoken Dreams” (1999) and “Drawings” (2000). Now, in conjunction with “History Refused to Die,” the exhibition of works by self-taught contemporary African American artists at the Metropolitan Museum, Ricco/Maresca Gallery presents an online-only exhibition of works on paper by Thornton Dial. This exhibition presents a series of drawings produced by Dial between 1993 and 1997, which have never been exhibited.
Dial was born in Emelle, Ala. He grew up in poverty and received almost no schooling, staying essentially illiterate all his life. Lacking conventional toys, Dial and his siblings constructed playthings out of discarded items, a practice that influenced his later work as a sculptor. Dial dedicated himself exclusively to art only come age 55 and, in the three decades that followed, produced a vast oeuvre depicting the poignant complexities of the African American experience within the American narrative.
Works may be viewed by appointment. Ricco/Maresca Gallery is at 529 West 20th Street. For information, 212-627-4819 or www.riccomaresca.com.
“Mark Leonard: Myths and Old Masters”
Louis Stern Fine Arts
Through July 14
LOS ANGELES – Louis Stern Fine Arts presents, “Mark Leonard: Myths and Old Masters,” an exhibition of recent paintings and drawings that evince the artist’s skill and expertise cultivated over his long career as a paintings conservator. After decades spent dissecting and reconstructing the anatomy of paintings, Leonard wields his brush as a surgeon might a scalpel – not a stroke is out of place in these economical, precise compositions.
Mark Leonard earned a multidisciplinary bachelor’s degree in studio art, art history and chemistry from Oberlin College, and a master’s in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Leonard worked in conservation for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art. He began working full-time as an independent artist in 2017.
Louis Stern Fine Arts is at 9002 Melrose Avenue. For information, www.louissternfinearts.com or 310-276-0147.
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