Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Exciting news for HYG Artists John Goodman and John O'Reilly!

Our NAKED exhibition is going strong in these hot summer months and two of the 14 artists featured in NAKED have had very successful summers in New York as well.

John Goodman, Venus, Tuscany, 2003
Photographer John Goodman who's "Venus, Tuscany, 2003" is included in NAKED, has just recently had a photograph acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The photograph, "Couple, 327 Commonwealth Ave" was taken in 1976 and is part of his Boston Combat Zone series. It is the sixth photograph of Goodman's to be included in the Met's collection, a fantastic achievement. 

John Goodman, Couple, 327 Comm Ave, 1976
After a laudatory review in the New York Times by Holland Cotter of his current show at Tibor de Nagy gallery, John O'Reilly was also mentioned in last week's New Yorker "Galleries" section. Two of O'Reilly's photomontages are featured in NAKED and we are looking forward to the upcoming show of his work here at Howard Yezerski Gallery in October, which will be curated by Trevor Fairbrother.

John O'Reilly, The Bathers,  2010

The New Yorker blurb reads:
"The artist’s meticulously constructed photocollages have the feverish, chaotic, slightly mad quality of transcribed dreams. Dedicated to Marsden Hartley, Hart Crane, Nijinsky, and C. P. Cavafy and alluding to countless other classical, literary, and art-historical sources, the work is also intensely personal and enthusiastically erotic. Vintage snapshots and scraps of gay porn are layered with images of a Renaissance angel’s wings or a Greek bronze head in collages that strike a perfect balance between raunchy and refined. O’Reilly seems to be rooting around in civilization’s ruins and rearranging them into fragile but enduring monuments to the restorative power of the imagination. Through July 29."  Read more http://www.newyorker.com/arts/events/art/john-oreilly-de-nagy#ixzz1TDzyZ6Z9

Come in to see these two talented artists' work in NAKED, open through August 19th. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Reviews of NAKED

NAKED has so far been a great success as a summer group show for the gallery. It has been reviewed in two separate publications: artscope Magazine and the Boston Globe. Check out the reviews below!

Artscope Magazine:

Robert Colescott
Woman Fleeing From Her Youth, 1974

Perhaps what’s startling about Howard Yezerski’s group show “Naked” is not so much the nudity but the wide variety of it. The evolution from taut, youthful bodies to their maturing counterparts is a study in search of lost time. And when 14 markedly diverse artists come together in an exhibit dedicated to the human body — unwrapped and exposed — the results are as disparate as you might expect.

Stephen DiRado rests at the bottom of the generational arc with his bright young things, sunning in black in white on Gay Head beaches. His photographs capture the pinnacle of a sort of carefree indiscretion. His figures slink, casually, across the sand. The sunlight plays with the tension of tight skin; their easy nakedness frolics in sharp contrast to the daylight and the very public setting in which they recline. DiRado’s seaside muses radiate an underlying comfort in regard to their state of affairs; the sense of security is passed to the happy viewer.

So, too, does fellow photographer Peter Hujar endow his human form with undertones of splendid satisfaction. But Hujar’s “Anthony Blonde,” is more
demure; we’re allowed to peer into his private respite. Hujar’s figure reclines on his side upon a slab covered in a thick folded material. The moment is peaceful, and the body beautiful; the scene transcends “nakedness.” Were the figure carved from marble it might feel at home in the Galleria Borghese. But the figure is cast only in the fleeting moment of the flash, and time marches on.

We turn next to Neeta Madahar, stepping from shades of grey into a world of boisterous, satirical Technicolor. Madahar maintains a body of work in which she sets women against wildly colorful, over-feminized floral backgrounds. Playing with gender roles, Madahar embraces and overcomes traditional stereotypes. In “Melanie with Roses,” the artist builds a highly structured setting where the model lounges in a chair, naked except for pink high-heeled shoes. She’s beginning to age; her skin slowly slumps against a background of draped silk. The manual manipulation of the environment is in sharp contrast to the minimalism and effortless of the black and white photographs. There is a sense that Melanie is also confident, but the finish is less relaxed. With Madahar, we’re trying harder to feel comfortable as clothes come off.

Of course, the decline and fall of the human form is also captured in black and white photographs and less literal paintings. John Coplans’ work is remarkable in its rawness. Skin sags with the gracefulness of a life lived in full; wrinkles ripple across a deeply shadowed torso. Coplans’ aging form exudes an air of nobility that is conceivably only awarded for time passed. His “Side Torso Bent with Large Upper Arm” features a model transformed, but with the war wounds to make it worthwhile.

The human form is also deconstructed in paint and sculpture. Robert Feintuch’s oil painting “Last Grapes” laments (in a rather cheeky fashion) fading virility on a vine. In “Bacchus,” Feintuch’s forlorn subject looks longingly at a shriveling bunch of grapes as his watch ticks away on his wrist. The message is clear.

In some cases, the body is removed from time. Rona Pondick’s carbon steel sculpture, “Untitled Animal,” dismantles the human form with a heavy hand, the leg extending beside a nebulous torso. It is rusted over, deliberately inert, palpably sinking into the ground. The lethargy makes for the natural conclusion to an arc born from lithe and virile Vineyard sunbathers.

The Howard Yezerski Gallery is triumphant with “Naked,” not as a celebration of nudity, but as an examination of our individual relationships with the evolving human form.

-Text by Christine Laferriere

The Boston Globe:

Robert Feintuch, Bacchus, 2006
In the flesh 

“Naked,’’ the summer group show at Howard Yezerski Gallery, playfully investigates the pleasures and mortifications of the flesh. It’s an elegantly hung show. Denise Marika’s video “Leg,’’ in which the artist’s naked leg lies almost painfully atop a pale stretch of fallen tree, is installed across the gallery from photographer Peter Hujar’s slickly beautiful reclining, leggy nude, “Anthony Blonde.’’ In between sits Rona Pondick’s rusty carbon steel sculpture “Untitled Animal,’’ in which a cast of the artist’s leg monstrously conjoins with the torso of a small, seal-like critter. These works are wildly different in concept, but formally in concert.

Other favorites: Emily Eveleth’s painting “Sultan’’ portrays the oozing orifice of a jelly doughnut, but conveys something of the flesh. Photographer Barbara Norfleet offers a startlingly weird color portrait of a wide-eyed, wild-haired naked doll in the grass in “Prepubescent With Pansy.’’ Robert Feintuch’s sad, sweet painting “Bacchus’’ offers a profile of a middle-age fellow in his boxers, standing but stooped, holding a small bunch of grapes out in front of him.

John O’Reilly’s “The Bathers’’ has as its backdrop a reproduction of a Degas pastel. We see the beginning of the curve of a nude hip rising from the red tub, and O’Reilly seamlessly attaches that hip to the back of a man embracing another man in a photo, and they lean directly into another torn photo of a splayed hairy leg. O’Reilly’s montage artfully knits together artistic dreaming with erotic longing - just the right theme for an exhibit of nudes.

- Text by Cate McQuaid

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

HYG Artists in the News

Howard Yezerski Gallery artists have been busy this spring and summer, participating in shows across the country. Starting farthest away we have Massachusetts-based artist Robert Cumming, recently had a show at Jancar Gallery in Los Angeles. Jancar showed work from Cumming's 1977 "Studio Still Life" series, a very popular series of photographs by Cumming, taken at movie studios in the 1970s. The show was reviewed here in the Los Angeles Times. 

Moving closer east, Yana Payusova is currently in a show at the University of Arizona School of Art in Tuscon. The show is called Tale of Two Heads and is a collaboration with Joseph Farbrook in which the two have created characters from moments in Payusova's childhood and have written and illustrated the stories that have formed around them.  To view more information about the show visit the University of Arizona's website.

Laurel Sparks has been busy in New York; she is currently in two shows there -- two group shows and a solo show of her work at 443 PAS called Against Nature just recently closed. At DODGE Gallery she's in their current show, Shakedown, which features a large work on canvas by Sparks and the work of 13 other artists. Shakedown is open until the end of July. At D'Amelio Terras, Sparks is included in the show Affinities: Painting in Abstraction, which was curated by Kate McNamara and is on view until August 19th. 

Also in New York, John O'Reilly is currently having a solo show at Tibor de Nagy gallery, which was reviewed by Holland Cotter in last Friday's New York Times. The show, called Recent Montage is on view until July 29th. Sebastian Smee, who is a critic for the Boston Globe mentioned the show in his blog in mid-June calling O'Reilly one of New England's "most bewitching artists."

Back in Boston we have been enjoying discussions of our NAKED show, on view through August 19th featuring 14 different artists. We hope to see you this Friday, for July's First Friday!