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New works on paper by Nona Hershey

March 1st, 2016

Nona Hershey continues to explore cloud imagery.  Her newest drawings juxtapose the ephemeral nature of clouds with flat color in highly formal patterns.  Grids of bright act in opposition to the soft gray atmospheric tones and then bring to mind abstracted farmed fields.  Nona’s choice of spectral colors to bring to mind the phenomenon of rainbows.

Weather patterns and wave lengths have appeared earlier works and linger within these fresh new drawings to evoke land and sky in a fresh and surprising way.

Nona Hershey Unsettled 2015 graphite powdery & gouache

Unsettled 2015

Letterio Calapai’s 1946 Underground

July 24th, 2014
Letterio Calapai Underground, 1946

Letterio Calapai Underground, 1946

Underground by Letterio Calapai (1902-1993) is a dynamic work that shows a keen awareness in the methods of Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17, incorporating a combination of engraving, soft ground and aquatint techniques.  Calapai’s vivid reaction to the crush of people commuting on the subway at 42nd Street is well matched to the rich surfaces and charged engraved lines.  The subject brings to mind the social realist works of the WPA prints of the 1930s which Calapai knew first hand from his work in the New York print shop.  It is also interesting to consider this work in the context of Benton Spruance’s 1937 series of lithographs, The People Work.  Views to multiple levels of trains and spaces bring to mind the imagined 18th Century interior Prison etchings of Giovanni Battista Piranesi.  In Calapai’s hands the space is flattened out, and a sense of folded space is created by forced angles.  We are above and below the action, seeing it all simultaneously.

 

A rare bronze by Richmond Barthé (American, 1901-1989)

February 27th, 2014

Head of a Dancer is an elegant portrait of Czech-born dancer Harald Kreutzberg. Kreutzberg was active on the stage and German cinema. Kreutzberg befriended Richmond Barthé when he performed in the United States in the 1930s. Barthé was working in Harlem and the performing arts were a constant interest and theme in his work.  Barthé studied Martha Graham dance techniques to better understand movement and the human form. We have found other examples of Head of a Dancer in the public collections at the Driskell Center, University of Maryland, the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, the Scad Museum of Art in Savanah, GA, and in two private collections. Ours is the only example with the rich, green patina visible here.

Richmond Barthé Head of a Dancer, bronze

Richmond Barthé Head of a Dancer, bronze