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Vision Quest Seven, curated by Richard Kirk Mills , will open on August 5, 2017, First Saturday from 5 to 7 pm.  The exhibition will be from  August 5 through August 27, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

Some notes from Richard Kirk Mills

I found myself in unfamiliar territory when asked by David Schell, the visionary behind Green Kill to gather painters for an exhibit. I’m trying to become a painter myself, not a curator.

My inclination is to look at painters around me for inspiration and support.
Not really a theme show person, I selected people who start from observation of the natural world and go from there.
So here in my view are six extraordinary upstaters who start with perhaps some similar impulses, often in similar environs and end up in very different places.
I am happy to introduce them to each other, though full disclosure – the group includes two couples – and I look forward to the dialogues their work sets up.

They extend traditions and articulate personal visions. All are in search of something: peace, wholeness, release, the sublime, the transcendence of the every day, maybe just a good days’ work. No virtual stuff here: it’s all natural colored dirt. Their natures run deep and with great character. And they’ve been at it for a long time.

Scott, Kathmann and Lorenz frequently share an immersion in the woods, among the trees, their great friends. That is, one feels surrounded; in, a part of. Morris and Maguire pull us back to a vantage point perhaps embedded in their English and Irish genes where we can again imagine and dream. And Contes gives us the heat of the sun, refracted into searing color. Like Greece in August, not much shade.

Artists

Victoria Scott . Victoria Scott’s woods are a domestic idyll: trees, tilting ground and a studio clinging like a birdhouse to a sleep slope, another layer the soft curves of the western Catskills. Scattered about are more or less permanent easels; brightly painted perches. She works ceaselessly outdoors and indoors by a single window in the coldest weather. Her studio is lit by a string of white Christmas bulbs. Her work ranges beyond the idyll into symbolism, though the woodland paintings – in the hundreds – suggest a near psychedelic quest to see and feel every possible arrangement of changing light and pattern. Pinks, blues, green and grey are forever shifting shapes. Paraphrasing Peter Schjeldahl of another original, “she keeps her own counsel”. And that’s a good thing.
Richard Kathmann . Kathmann, the peripatetic, always comes home. Home to the family farm and the woods in the western Catskills. From Brooklyn, Chicago, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Medellin Columbia, Georgia, New Hampshire and Maine. From street theater to Tamarind’s litho workshop, large scale drawings and intimate paintings, Richard’s marks are like musical notation; nature’s song, observed, abstracted, embraced and very personal. If you can imagine Lois Dodd on one shoulder and Jake Berthot on the other. Richard seems from the East, a green sage, an angel perhaps.
Patrice Lorenz. Patrice Lorenz’s immersion is complete: emotional, expressive and visceral. Her best work is near, kinetic; you’re ensnared in wind, movement, brambles, tree branches, you’re prone in a bed of flowers. But it’s paint, pastel, gesture, arm – It’s allover, top to bottom sensuality. Nature and painting merge in a felt unity. And she’s not afraid to go to the point of almost losing it. The good kind of improvised explosive device. You can feel her working something out.
Wayne Morris. Wayne Morris’ subtle yet powerful landscape studies seem faraway as if seen through time or memory. Like a detail glimpsed through Morandi’s binoculars.
Mist, a patch of snow, a slash of valley green, the dull warm brown of massed trees thinking about leaf-out, a rooftop shape, all drawn close for us upon a united flat surface. A local realtor says there’s magic in these Catskill mountains. These small tonal gems go beyond that. Morris paints large too: figures, interiors, with a meditative light. A calm interiority infuses all the work, a bulwark against worldly agitation, no doubt a hard fought battle. This dude abides.
Anna Contes. Too bad Josef Albers was such a square. Had he studied with Contes, he’d know much more about how color feels. She maintains a cool control of really hot stuff. The heat of her native Ikaria Greece vibrates through flowers, figures, fruit, gourds and the Catskill landscape. Contes makes her own pastels, works in oil and egg tempera. Cobalt violet sizzles next to yellow orange, magenta and cerise vibrating with cerulean. A hot pink toned ground launches a tree dancing amid fire. Better wear sunscreen. She has a broad range of formats and goes from the single centered icon to overall marks, from broad flat pattern to pointillist facture.
Doug Maguire. Doug Maguire’s modernism is sublime, but how does that jibe? If you took Milton Avery’s simplified shapes and asked Thomas Cole to flesh out the details what century would you be in? Maguire’s landscapes are what you see when you close your eyes and imagine “landscape painting”. These are in a grand tradition:
large, sweeping, panoramic visions singled out for us to believe again in the power of earth, sky and water. His natural resources as a painter give us back what the Hudson River School painters warned us about: the disappearance of our natural resources. Look up, look down, look across. God may just be everywhere in the details.
Richard Kirk Mills. As for me, I’m trying to be content with the every day details.  A view out the window, a corner of the studio, the back yard garden, a neighbors house or barn, paintings on a wall, the light on a meadow, the heat of summer. The trick is, how to make it work as a painting? My disciplined and accomplished cohort here are an inspiration for me to just keep looking and working the colored dirt.
—Rick Mills

Vision Quest Seven

Vision Quest Seven, currated by Richard Kirk Mills , will open on August 5, 2017, First Saturday from 5 to 7 pm.

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