EMILY NELLIGAN: EARLY DRAWINGS

MARVIN BILECK:  DRAWINGS AND PRINTS

November 12 - December 22

Please contact the gallery for times that Emily Nelligan will visit  with friends and for holiday hours:  inquiries@alexandregallery.com

The gallery is pleased to present a two-person exhibition:  Emily Nelligan: Early Drawings and Marvin Bileck: Drawings and Prints.  The show remains on view through December 22nd and marks the gallery’s fourth joint showing of these artists’ work.  Included are 32 works, all recently uncovered in the studio and have not been previously exhibited.

Nelligan’s (b. 1924) and Bileck’s (1920 – 2005) lives together are a remarkable story of a creative partnership and a celebration of one small remote place – Great Cranberry Island off Mt. Desert – that spanned over more than fifty years.  After attending Cooper Union in the 1940s, Nelligan and Bileck heard that one could find small cottages on the water in Maine for less than $100 a season.  The two returned each summer until Bileck’s death in 2005 to draw from the land and water around them.  During the academic year Bileck taught printmaking at Queens College and maintained a career as an illustrator.  In 1965 his beloved Rain Makes Applesauce was awarded a Caldecott.  Feeling constrained in New York, Nelligan took various jobs, including looking after others’ children, only drawing a few months each year on Cranberry.

Bileck looked into the woods and shore.  The subjects of his meticulous and finely detailed drawings and prints are the complex, tangled and layered landscapes of trees and rocks defined by intricate line.  Nelligan looked out to sea and sky.  The subjects of her unfixed charcoal drawings are the varying light – often at dawn or dusk – and the atmosphere defined by rich blacks and soft grays, bold quick marks and soft erasure.  In a 2014 Times review Ken Johnson wrote:  “(Nelligan’s) are as exquisitely delicate as Mr. Bileck’s but sacrifice detail for a misty realism and sometimes verge on pure abstraction.  With velvety blacks describing land and forest masses, and pearlescent whites in skies and reflective waters, they are haunting, at once mournful and ecstatic.”

Work by Emily Nelligan:

Work by Marvin Bileck: