Blue Mountain Gallery
Opening reception: Friday, November 3, 5-8pm
- Additional Information -
The new work in Michael Chelminski's latest solo exhibition at Blue Mountain Gallery represents a culmination and "coming together" of 30 years of landscape painting. There is a new vitality to this work, a clarity -- and a new direction. While the older work relied on painting from nature and an adherence to figuration the new work has evolved into an abstract language of organic motifs derived from earlier observations. These same motifs -- the light on and movement of water, the sky and water seen through trees -- are replicated in a variety of ways that illustrate Chelminski's perception of the interconnectedness of all things in nature.
Chelminski began his recent foray into abstraction with sketches and small watercolors, gradually, as he describes, gaining the confidence to rely on memory and work abstractly. A number of the paintings in the show hover between landscape and abstraction while others fully inhabit their new province. All preserve some allusion to object. Of the paintings, Transfiguration (2000, oil on linen, 48 x 44"), most nearly epitomizes the new direction. It is a big diptych, of a 200 year old oak tree on Chelminski's property in Connecticut that was destroyed by lightning; painted in a way that is both evocative and captures the essential nature of its subject. Swirling branchlike patterns spread out from a central trunk in a palette that moves from cosmic blue to primeval green, the effect, a transformation -- from destruction to resurrection.
Michael Chelminski has a BFA and MFA from Yale University, with studies under Bernard Chaet and Louis Finkelstein, and critiques with Josef Albers. He did Residencies at the Macdowell Colony, New Hampshire; the Crescent "H" Ranch, Wyoming; and Blue Mountain Center, New York. Chelminski has been in numerous exhibitions, most recently at the Sleeth Gallery, Wesleyan College; The Kosciuszko Foundation, NY; the Trenton Art Museum, New Jersey; and Indiana University Art Gallery. His work is in the collections of Indiana University Art Museum; Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art, Florida; and Yale University Art Museum, as well as private collections throughout the US.
For further information contact Blue Mountain Gallery 212 941 9752, or the artist 860 354 8940.