My Summer Vacation
On view July 8 – August 27, 2010
Opening Exhibition Bash: Wednesday, July 21, 6-8pm
Winston Wachter Fine Art NY’s summer show featuring work by:
Beau Chamberlain, Scott Patt, Jil Weinstock
On view June 24 – September 3
Cocktail reception: Wednesday, July 14, 6-8pm
The first exhibition of Russian art to make its début in Italy at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice is experiencing rigorous scrutiny by art historians. “Russias! Memory/Distortion/ Imagination,” on view through July 25, 2010 is a reinvention of the Guggenheim Museum’s blockbuster exhibition “Russia!” from 2005-2006. For the current show, the title was pluralized as a reflection of how the region has changed so much throughout the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st.
The show is comprised of 100 artworks acquired from only two private collections, surprisingly both collections were previously unknown. Scholars and experts in the field of the Russian avant-garde are puzzled by the art on view. The exhibition boasts numerous famous names including Chagall, Kandinsky, Malevich, Lissitzky, Tatlin, Goncharova, and Larionov, but the images are unlike any previously attributed to these artists.
The period of the Russian avant-garde is no stranger to forged work. In this case, experts in the Russian avant-garde field are particularly concerned with provenance and are suspicious of any work that was not exhibited or published during the lifetime of the artist said to have created it. However, organizers of the Venice show have claimed that these collections are being seen and published for the first time only now as an explanation for the confusion.
Among several works in question, one is a watercolor, Composition, attributed to Vasily Kandinsky and dated 1919. The work is not included in the catalogue raisonné published by the Paris-based Kandinsky Society, the internationally recognized authority on the artist. Another previously unknown work is Girl with Goat, attributed to Marc Chagall and dated 1911. The Paris-based Marc Chagall Committee has proclaimed that it is an “obvious fake” and has written to the exhibition organizers demanding that it be removed from the exhibition and that all reproductions of the image be recalled.
According to various specialists, some pieces seem to differ dramatically in style from that of officially documented works by the named artist from the same period. While other works in the show are uncannily similar to well-known paintings in established Russian museums. However, the curators explain that they were “quite convinced of the possible authenticity of the paintings by the way and the time in which they were obtained.” Also stressing that this is the reason they did not consult the respective foundations to verify authenticity of the work initially.
Painter, photographer shroud their Northwest landscapes in mists of memory, mood
Painter Tracy Rocca and photographer Christopher Harris put a deliberately hazy spin on Pacific Northwest landscapes in their new shows.
By: Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times arts writer
You might call it “neoimpressionism.”
Two gallery shows featuring work by painter Tracy Rocca, at Winston Wächter Fine Art, and photographer Christopher Harris, at Lisa Harris Gallery, converge on similar aesthetic territory approached from strikingly different angles.
Rocca’s paintings in “Wish You Were Here” draw on Seattle-area memories masked in a haze. Each one depicts a scene that can be recalled, yet not quite retrieved.
Rocca, who grew up partly in the Pacific Northwest, lives in New Mexico now, but it seems our land- and waterscapes still have a grip on her. Rocca, who grew up partly in the Pacific Northwest, lives in New Mexico now, but it seems our land- and waterscapes still have a grip on her. These meditations on place — the University of Washington campus, the Seattle waterfront, the Sammamish River — pulse with a keen visual yearning.
Take “The Quad,” a 60-by-60-inch oil on polyester over panel. It’s a vivid rendering of a campus stroll, even if all the detail remains out of reach. Hints of redbrick buildings frame a green lawn that’s partly in sun, partly in shadow. Above, blue sky is suffused in a whitening mist. The sheen of the glazes creates an almost reflective surface that deliberately won’t let you gain a firm purchase on the painting.
Some of its companion pieces — “Edgewater,” the oddly spelled “Lili Pad” “Andover” (inspired, the artist says, by family visits in West Seattle) — would read as abstract if it weren’t for their titles, which let you discern something figurative in them. In others, recognizable shapes soon emerge: our local volcano in “Rainier” and the Space Needle and Belltown high-rises in “Waterfront” which, on closer perusal, proves to be a view from the car deck of a Washington state ferry. (In the lower right-hand corner, you can make out a car that may have its headlights on.)
“Spalding Trail,” even though it verges on abstraction, reveals Rocca’s extraordinary sensitivity to the content that color alone can convey. It captures, unmistakably, a forest light: bright on the path, tree-shadowed on the fringes. In a similar way, “Back of the Boat” (the only oil-on-muslin piece in the show) is clearly a vision of Puget Sound: white sun in broad water-reflection filling the center of the canvas, while dim, distant bluffs frame the scene with a floating-world fragility.
Rocca’s seamless transitions between colors and her knack for barely hinting at something figurative in a wash of hues testify to her exacting technique and control.
It may seem odd to compare photographs to paintings that are so deliberately nonphotographic. But Christopher Harris’ “Skagit Series” — long exposures shot at twilight with a digital Nikon camera through a pinhole lens — evokes a similar sense of landscapes slipping into eiderdown softness. The difference is that Harris’ subjects are right in front of him, while Rocca’s are in her mind’s eye.
The first impression that “Beached Boat” gives is of a layering of colors from top to bottom: wan azure, dusky pink, slate gray, mist-pale blue, a brassy brown curve, a gritty black foundation. The title, of course, clarifies what you’re seeing.
“Padilla Bay Cloud” is title-reliant, too. Otherwise, its discolored sun, breaking through a fissure of cloud, would read simply as an off-center brightness surrounded by a moody darkness.
In these and other photos Harris, like Rocca, cuts to the essence of what his landscapes offer him. Even in shots with more instantly identifiable subjects — “Winter Tree” or “Road’s End” — he brings out a ghostliness that has a potent effect.
Though they work in different media, both artists share an affinity in the direction they’re pushing Pacific Northwest art.
Researchers have located bones in a Tuscan ossuary that Italian experts have confidently identified as the remains of Michelangelo Merisi, the famous artist known as Caravaggio. While a controversial painter in his day, Caravaggio is most notably remembered for his intensely emotional realism and for his striking contrast between light and dark in the composition of his paintings.
DNA testing shows a reasonable match between the newly discovered bones and presumed relatives of Caravaggio. Records show that Caravaggio died at age 38 on a beach north of Rome in 1610. However the circumstances of his death and burial are largely a mystery. Some speculate he died of syphilis, while others say he may have been murdered.