John Walker's Exhibition at NY Studio School written up in artcritical

At the Edge of Land and Water: John Walker’s Landscapes

by Wendy Gittler

At first glance, the bold patterns in John Walker’s recent paintings and drawings appear to mark a change in direction from the large gritty paintings of tidal pools of Maine that were his last body of work. On further viewing, it becomes apparent that his familiar landscapes of mud, water, fire and tides have become compressed into signs or ideograms. These perhaps reflect time spent in Australia during the1980s when he made a study of boriginal bark and cave paintings as well as the abstract lineage of modernism.

The intimate, explorative exhibition at the New York Studio School exposes his complex interaction with a particular place and its shifting transient nature. Walker has often spoken about rejecting the picturesque in favor of primordial nature as represented by mud, dirt and water. In the region of Maine’s Seal Point and John’s Bay, he has found these necessary elemental motifs. At the edge of land and water, he has become immersed in the visceral experience of light, space and motion. There he has sought to bridge the atmospheric, volumetric world of matter and its equivalence in signs. Landscape thus becomes an arena not only to view the fleeting nature of the elements with its seasonal and biological cycles but also a vessel for thought and process within the context of various pictorial languages.

In Fire and Tide and Two Brush Fires, some of his former complex spatial panoramas with their diverse vantage points and horizon lines remain. Walker, however, has often changed his viewing perspective. At times, he has vicariously crawled along the surface of the earth or seen things as a fish traversing water or as a bird from above or a combination of different vantage points in the same painting. In Two Brush Fires a vertical panoramic space is grounded by two trees uniting land, fire, water and sky seen both from above and at the horizon. By contrast, John’s Bay Pollution” reveals a flatter, condensed spatial world of water patterns containing floating interactive shapes. Viewed from above, a brown form hovers over incoming and outgoing tides acting as a magnifying glass revealing particles of pollution. This pivotal form compresses the action of the bird/fish and shield shapes reminiscent of the mapping of animal and water trails found in Australian aboriginal painting.

Sign language becomes even more evident in black and white drawings that evoke musical exercises with their motifs and recapitulations of the ebb and flow of tides: times of day amidst floating objects pulled by currents. Walker has stated that all his abbreviations of shapes and forms come from acute observation of particular sites. His drawings reflect these observations of a sea world with undulating patterns, horizontal and vertical lines that act as cross currents creating pulsating tensions. Fish, ice cakes, detritus, clam markings, and fragments of land intermesh with the tides.

Walker’s quest to reassemble pictorial language from a diverse painting vocabulary is no easy task. Throughout his long career he has searched for ways to meld the painterly traditions of Goya, Constable, Turner and Abstract Expressionism with the more formal language of Matisse, Malevich and Ethnographic Art. Over the past decades he has been moving back and forth between both pictorial concepts, sometimes emphasizing his love of light and expressive painterly forms, other times using abbreviated signs, and sometimes managing to simultaneously employ both modes. In his painting series, “A Theater of Recollections” (about his father in the muddy trenches of World War I) he combined ideograms, patterns, and words from poems that interact with volumetric shapes and atmospheric moods. The Studio School show is a good introduction to his innovative merging of the physical tactile world with a formal language of signs, ideograms and pictographs, expanding the painter’s language in this time.


John Walker: The Sea and The Brush

John Walker: The Sea and The Brush

New York Studio School
8 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011

Exhibition Dates Mon, December 11, 2017 - Sun, January 21, 2018

Opening Reception & Lecture, Tuesday, December 12, 5:30-8pm
Lecture: William Corbett: John Walker Drawing, 6:30pm-7:30pm
Join us for the Opening Reception of John Walker in the NYSS Gallery, 5:30-6:30, and again after the lecture, until 8 pm.

Closing Reception with the Artist, Thursday, January 18, 6-8pm

The New York Studio School and Alexandre Gallery present John Walker: The Sea and The Brush, an exhibition featuring new paintings and works on paper that capture the power, rhythms and raw beauty of the Northern New England sea coast.

As with the landscape, the works present themselves as simultaneously tight and loose, primal and poetic. Each piece seems to reconsider the systems of nature from which they are derived.  Walker’s line work, its zigs and zags, elucidate the artist’s attempt to grasp what can’t be held—the lapping water, disintegrating horizon, evaporating marks in the muddy shoreline. The works contain the repetitive restlessness of Kusama’s infinity works and the clarity of Matisse cut outs.

The drawings show an intimate side of Walker’s process and initial impulses.  They are fast, but not casual, real, but far from literal.  A viewer unaware of Walker’s attachment to the Maine landscape may not realize that this scene sparks the works, yet for Walker these works hold the essential elements of this place. With his brush, Walker transforms the personal into the heroic.

John Walker (b. 1939) is British born American abstract painter whose work is inspired in part by observation of the landscape and sea. He has had numerous exhibitions both domestically and abroad. Walker studied at Birmingham College of Art, The British school in Rome, and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris. John Walker was a Gregory Fellow at Leeds University. He was awarded a Harkness Fellowship to the United States (1969–70) and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1981. He has been artist-in-residence at Oxford University (1977–78), and at Monash University, Melbourne (1980). In the 1980’s he was Dean of Victoria College of Art in Melbourne, Australia.  He is professor Emeritus of Art and former head of the graduate program in painting at Boston University School of Visual Arts, where he taught from 1993 to 2015.

His work can be found in museum collections, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; The Guggenheim Museum, New York; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Gallery, Edinburgh; Tate Gallery, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut.

Will Barnet: Family Homage

Will Barnet: Family Homage

Will Barnet: Family Homage

Ogunquit Museum of American Art

July 1 – August  29

Will Barnet is a giant in the history of 20th Century American Art. He was widely associated with the most prominent figures in painting spanning several generations and movements, from Stuart Davis and Yasuo Kuniyoshi, to James Rosenquist and Cy Twombly.  Entwining figurative and abstract elements with personal and universal themes, Barnet’s practice charts an extraordinary progression through 20th Century American painting. Will Barnet: Family Homage features 29 rarely exhibited paintings drawn from the artist’s most personal body of work, those retained by his family and a foundation created in his name. The exhibition is organized by the Ogunquit Museum of American Art in collaboration with the Barnet Foundation.

John Walker: From Seal Point at the CMCA

John Walker: From Seal Point at the CMCA


Center for Maine Contemporary Art


For more than two decades, artist John Walker has been painting the view from his property at Seal Point, Maine, and his tough, lush, muscular paintings from this place have been described as “existential images.” Seal Point is for Walker what Mont Saint Victoire was for Cezanne, a subject to be revisited time and again until, as the artist says, “one knows more about it than anyone else. That is what Seal Point is to me.”

For the first time, Walker’s most recent paintings of Seal Point are exhibited together near their place of origin. The exhibition includes paintings and small works on paper created over the past five years and updates the exhibition, Looking Out to Sea, presented at Alexandre Gallery in NYC in 2015.

An esteemed figure in contemporary painting, Walker has been called “one of the standout abstract painters of the last fifty years” by The Boston Globe. And art critic John Yau writes, “He makes paintings that you can move around in, argue with, think about, and chew on.” From 1999 to 2014, Walker led the Graduate Program in Painting at Boston University, helping to make it known for excellence in painting at the graduate level. Prior to that he taught at Cooper Union and Yale University.

John Walker was born in 1939 in Birmingham, England, and studied at the Birmingham School of Art and at La Grande Chaumière in Paris. He has exhibited widely internationally, including representing England at the 1972 Venice Bienniale.

Concurrently, The Bowdoin College Museum of Art will feature six large scale drawings in the exhibition John Walker: A Painter Draws, on view May 18 – August 20.

John Walker: A Painter Draws at Bowdoin College Museum of Art

John Walker: A Painter Draws at Bowdoin College Museum of Art

John Walker: A Painter Draws

Bowdoin College Museum of Art

On view May 18, 2017 - August 20, 2017

The focus of this exhibition is a series of six large works on paper created by John Walker during a visit to Sydney, Australia, in 2012. Titled Sydney Botanical Garden they respond to a bamboo plant that the artist encountered. Walker worked on-site, often attracting onlookers, when he captured his subject in ink and acrylic and subsequently tore and collaged several of the works. Exhibited here for the first time, these stunning works surround viewers with a luscious, richly textured and colored, immersive environment. John Walker’s art offers a bold and imaginative demonstration of the possibilities inherent in the medium of drawing today.

Walker has held a residence in Maine since the 1980s and, after concluding his service as director of Boston University’s Graduate Program in Painting and Sculpture, now lives in Walpole. John Walker has represented Britain in the Venice Biennale and has received numerous awards and distinctions. The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; The Tate Gallery, London; the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, all exhibited his work in solo exhibitions. The Bowdoin College Museum of Art organized an exhibition of Walker’s work in 2001.  The Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland, Maine, presents John Walker: From Seal Point, from June 17 through October 29, 2017.

Sydney Botanical Gardens, 2012, No. 1 - 6, ink, acrylic and collage. 

Sydney Botanical Gardens, 2012, No. 1 - 6, ink, acrylic and collage. 

Sydney Botanical Gardens, 2012, No. 1 - 6, ink, acrylic and collage. 

Sydney Botanical Gardens, 2012, No. 1 - 6, ink, acrylic and collage. 

John Walker speaking about his exhibition with Bowdoin curator Joachim Homann and museum co-director Frank and Anne Goodyear.  CMCA director Suzette McAvoy is at left.

John Walker speaking about his exhibition with Bowdoin curator Joachim Homann and museum co-director Frank and Anne Goodyear.  CMCA director Suzette McAvoy is at left.

Why Draw? 500 Years of Drawings and Watercolors at Bowdoin College

Why Draw? 500 Years of Drawings and Watercolors at Bowdoin College

Why Draw? 500 Years of Drawings and Watercolors at Bowdoin College

Bowdoin College Museum of Art

May 3, 2017 - September 3, 2017

A drawing by gallery artist Neil Welliver is included in the exhibition, "Why Draw? 500 Years of Drawings and Watercolors at Bowdoin College"

This exhibition surveys the Museum’s distinguished collections of drawings, which was founded by James Bowdoin with a bequest in 1811 and is widely regarded as the first in the country. This overview features rarely seen works by artists from Carlo Maratti and Peter Paul Rubens to Winslow Homer, Ed Ruscha, Eva Hesse, and Natalie Frank. Throughout the last 500 years, artists found ingenious ways to capture their observations, visualize information, and work through pictorial ideas. They drew to learn, to teach, and to communicate with workshops, colleagues, and collectors. The intimacy of drawing makes it an absorbing field of study for anyone interested in human imagination and creativity.

Lois Dodd: Early Paintings Reviewed by Roberta Smith in the NY Times

Lois Dodd: Early Paintings Reviewed by Roberta Smith in the NY Times

Read the article on the NY Times website here

What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week


With their frequently scant brushwork, marks and indications of natural phenomena, the 10 landscape paintings and three graphite drawings in “Lois Dodd: Early Paintings” at Alexandre Gallery form a real eye-opener. Ms. Dodd, who is 89 and has only lately been receiving the attention she deserves, made these works between 1958 and 1966. This show is probably their biggest reunion since then.

The gathering reveals an ambitious, sometimes awkward painter devoted to working in the open air who felt compelled to respond to Jackson Pollock and the radical allover compositions of his abstract drip paintings. Alex Katz had done something similar in the early 1950s in paintings in which he worked the branches of bare winter trees into black crisscrossing networks.

Ms. Dodd found a different solution: the dispersion, sometimes across nearly empty backgrounds, of discrete brush strokes that sometimes but not always hint at leaves, grass, trees, rocks and streams, along with a couple of tiny fairylike figures. The freest, most notational works are two titled “Figure in Landscape” (1962-63 and 1963) and a third, “Yellow Pond” (also 1963). But abstraction was ultimately not in Ms. Dodd’s game plan. She circles it with marvelous aplomb in two fuller but still scattered compositions, both titled “Pond,” from 1962.

In several other paintings, cows enter the picture, most decisively in “Cows and Clouds” from 1961, in which two animals seen from awkward perspectives lead into a wonderfully painted, relatively conventional vista. With the 1966 “Apple Tree,” all seems resolved. The representational style that Ms. Dodd has since explored comes into focus with paint handling and abbreviation yielding their own abstract forms. This is a great show for painting students and also for students of painting.


Lois Dodd in Conversation with Irving Sandler and Philip Pearlstein at the Grey Art Gallery

Lois Dodd in Conversation with Irving Sandler and Philip Pearlstein at the Grey Art Gallery

Text courtesy Grey Art Gallery:

Tenth Street Days

In conjunction with the exhibition Inventing Downtown:
Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965

Moderator Irving Sandler, art historian and critic, in conversation with artists Lois Dodd and Philip Pearlstein, will reflect on their early days at the Tanager Gallery.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Art & Art Professions (Steinhardt) and Grey Art Gallery.

Starts: 3/6/17 7:00 pm

Ends: 3/6/17 8:30 pm

Participants: Irving Sandler, Lois Dodd, and Philip Pearlstein

Location: Einstein Auditorium, Barney Building, 34 Stuyvesant Street (between 3rd Ave. and 9th St.)

Cost: Free

Lee Bontecou Exhibition Opens in the Hague at the GemeentaMuseum

Lee Bontecou Exhibition Opens in the Hague at the GemeentaMuseum


Lee Bontecou
February 25 - July 2, 2017
GemeenteMuseum Den Haag

Stadhouderslaan 41, 2517 HV Den Haag
click here for more information

Text courtesy the GemeentaMuseum:

Since her first exhibitions at New York’s Leo Castelli Gallery in 1960 and 1962, the work of the American artist Lee Bontecou (b. 1931) has occupied an entirely individual place in contemporary art. Its importance was immediately recognized and was widely exhibited through the 1970s and 1980s. A major touring retrospective of her work was presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, with a concluding presentation at The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2003-2004. Significant works however, many from her years in Europe in the late 1950s, have never been exhibited outside the studio. However, for the first time, Bontecou has collaborated with the Gemeentemuseum on a unique exhibition of work from every stage of her career, including many drawings and sculptures never previously exhibited. In addition a new, installation, a ‘Sandbox’, has been created especially for inclusion in the exhibition.

In 2010 the Gemeentemuseum acquired Lee Bontecou’s bas-relief sculpture, Untitled (1960). The purchase sparked a desire to show this important work in the context of Bontecou’s rich and varied oeuvre.  Although all stages of Bontecou’s artistic development are represented in the new exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum, the focus is not a chronological overview. Rather, it is centered on the coherent interconnections between works from different periods and in different media. Drawings made during Bontecou’s years in Greece and Italy in the late 1950s - never previously exhibited - are shown in relation to an imposing suspended sculpture from the 1980s. A reconstruction of a wall of drawings in her studio illustrates the vital role played by drawings in her artistic practice, both in their own right and as they relate to her sculptures.

The new Sandbox created for the exhibition together with Bontecou’s artist friend Joan Banach is her largest in this format and her most recent work. It features a compilation of Bontecou’s sculptural objects spanning the period from the early 1960s to the present. The installation underlines not only the coherence between the different parts of her oeuvre and works in different media, but the relationship between her work and the natural world. The objects that are positioned on and suspended over its white sand represent the array of material and technique in which Bontecou has worked: clay, porcelain, vacuum-formed plastic, wire, steel and wood. The found objects accompanying them – stones, dried botanical specimens, fossils and fragments of bone – reveal the organic sources of Bontecou’s creations.

However abstract it may be, Bontecou’s work invariably evokes associations to the natural world. Her oeuvre is well-suited to the Gemeentemuseum and its collection. The edifice designed by Dutch architect H.P. Berlage is regarded as one of the earliest truly modern museum buildings in the world. The daylighting and human scale of the exhibition areas create a sense of intimacy that suits the proportions, details, and textures of Bontecou’s work. The skylight over the Sandbox will allow for cast illumination to create shadows and a constantly changing impression of the composition.

Announcing Recent Museum Acquisitions at Alexandre Gallery

Announcing Recent Museum Acquisitions at Alexandre Gallery

Alexandre Gallery is pleased to announce recent museum acquisitions by Amon Carter Museum of Art, Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Sheldon Museum of Art, and the Phillips Collection.

George Bellows at Amon Carter Museum of Art, Fort Worth, Texas

George Bellows,  The Fisherman , 1917 acquired by Amon Carter Museum of Art, Fort Worth, Texas.

George Bellows, The Fisherman, 1917 acquired by Amon Carter Museum of Art, Fort Worth, Texas.

Excerpted from the museum release:

“This painting is one of the museum’s most significant acquisitions in the last 10 years,” says Andrew J. Walker, executive director of the Amon Carter. “Bellows is perhaps most famous for his gritty depictions of early 20th-century New York urban life, but he was equally adept at depicting the powerful force of the American landscape. This fascinating painting adds invaluable depth to our collection and will surely become a visitor favorite.”

Click here to read the full Amon Carter Museum of Art's press release on the Bellows purchase

Tom Uttech at Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.

Tom Uttech,  Mamakadendagwad , 2015 - 2016 (It is Astonishing) acquired by Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC.

Tom Uttech, Mamakadendagwad, 2015 - 2016 (It is Astonishing) acquired by Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC.

Tom Uttech,    Mamakadendagwad  installed at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.

Tom Uttech,  Mamakadendagwad installed at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.

Lois Dodd at Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska

Lois Dodd, Ice Opening and Shadow, 2001 acquired by the Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Gregory Amenoff at The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Gregory Amenoff,  Trinity (for Van) , 1982 acquired by the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Gregory Amenoff, Trinity (for Van), 1982 acquired by the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Lois Dodd, Sally Hazelet Drummond and the Tanager Gallery at NYU Grey Art Gallery's current exhibition

Lois Dodd, Sally Hazelet Drummond and the Tanager Gallery at NYU Grey Art Gallery's current exhibition

Gallery artists Lois Dodd and Sally Hazelet Drummond have both been included in the exhibition "Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965" at NYU's Grey Art Gallery. The exhibition will run from January 10 - April 1, 2017. Dodd and Drummond were both members of the artist-run gallery scene which operated primarily in downtown New York and set the stage for the art meccas of Chelsea and the Lower East Side. The exhibition is accompanied by a 296-page book of the same name. For more information, please visit Grey Art Gallery's webpage.

Recent press for the exhibition includes an article titled 'Inventing Downtown' Recalls When Artists Ran the Galleries, written by Randy Kennedy of The New York Times. Click here to read the article.

Below are two paintings included in the exhibition by Sally Hazelet Drummond:

Sally Hazelet Drummond,   Bluebird , 1960, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches 

Sally Hazelet Drummond, Bluebird, 1960, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches 

Sally Hazelet Drummond,   Wings of the Dove , 1960-62, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches

Sally Hazelet Drummond, Wings of the Dove, 1960-62, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches

Lois Dodd's upcoming exhibitions at Swarthmore and the Grey Art Gallery

Lois Dodd's upcoming exhibitions at Swarthmore and the Grey Art Gallery

List Gallery at Swarthmore College
Lois Dodd:  Windows and Reflections
November 3 – December 15, 2016

Lecture by Lois Dodd at the Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema, 4:30 p.m. / List Gallery opening reception: 5:30-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 3

Lois Dodd is the 2016 Donald Jay Gordon Visiting Artist. Featuring a variety of paintings made between 1968 and 2007, this exhibition reflects Dodd’s life-long fascination with windows and similar structures that focus attention and kindle new ways of seeing. Lois Dodd: Windows and Reflections will be accompanied by a color catalog with an essay by Barry Schwabsky.

deCordova Museum
deCordova New England Biennial
October 7, 2016 – March 26, 2017

The exhibition will feature sixteen New England-based artists who are making significant contributions to contemporary art in the region. Showcasing the work of painters, sculptors, video artists, book illustrators, performance artists, and photographers, the exhibition will occupy the main galleries of the Museum and extend into the Sculpture Park with new site-specific commissions.

Grey Art Gallery at NYU
Inventing Downtown:  Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952-1965
January 10 – April 1, 2017

Focusing on groundbreaking experimentation in the New York art scene that spawned our contemporary art world, Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965 chronicles the development of new art forms and practices in fourteen key artist-run and experimental galleries, including the Tanager, Judson, and Reuben. The exhibition is divided into five sections: Leaving Midtown, City as Muse, Space and Time, Politics as Practice, and Defining Downtown. Each features paintings, sculptures, installations, and photographs by well-known artists—such as Jim Dine, Allan Kaprow, Alex Katz, Claes Oldenburg, and Yoko Ono, as well as by others who deserve to be better known. Inventing Downtown is curated by Melissa Rachleff, clinical associate professor in NYU’s Steinhardt School.

Alexandre Gallery
Lois Dodd: Paintings from the Tanager Years
January 7 - February 25

Gallery mourns the loss of Elena Barnet, beloved widow of Will and dear friend of the gallery

Gallery mourns the loss of Elena Barnet, beloved widow of Will and dear friend of the gallery

Elena Ona Barnet died on Monday, Oct. 10 in Brunswick, Maine. A longtime resident of New York City, Elena had come to Maine – a second home – to spend her remaining time with family.

Born on July 24, 1923 in Kaunas, Lithuania to Jurgis Ciurlys, a government minister and scholar, and Elena Ciurlys, a concert pianist. Elena was the younger of two daughters.

In her late teens, at the height of World War II, Elena pursued a passion for dance, studying modern dance in Vienna, Austria. After the war, Elena’s parents were increasingly concerned about the danger represented by Soviet rule, and arranged for her to emigrate. She arrived in New York City in 1947 (passing through Ellis Island), and lived with her sister Janyte and brother-in-law, who had been living in the United States for over a decade.

In her early years in the country, Elena explored various occupations. These included work as a resettlement aid for fellow immigrants at the Lithuanian consulate, and as a waitress at Schrafft’s in New York City.  A highlight of her first few years in the states came as Elena traveled the country as a member of a professional dance troupe, returning to her performance roots honed years earlier.

In 1953, her association with the Arts Students League in New York led to her initial meeting with artist Will Barnet, whom she would marry within three months. Ona Barnet, their only child together, was born a year later. Elena also became stepmother to Will’s three sons from his previous marriage.

As Elena raised Ona, she found herself drawn to the world of art that her husband inhabited. Surrounded by artists, musicians and writers, she found a home in the creative community of New York City and Provincetown, MA. She was also pursuing an undergraduate degree in psychology from The New School, followed by a Master’s degree in social work at Hunter College. She worked at Memorial Sloane Kettering as a social worker for over ten years.

Summers in Maine would prove an enormous influence on her family’s life; the state becoming a major influence on Will’s work and eventually home to her daughter and grandchildren. The muse for many of her husband’s most iconic works, she was an equally strong force in the lives of her daughter and grandchildren.

As grandparents, she and Will would leave their artist residence above the National Arts Club in Gramercy Park, where they were active members, and spend each summer at her daughter’s inn on the coast of Maine.

After her husband’s death in 2012, Elena remained in New York City, becoming director of the Will Barnet Foundation. As director she took on the responsibility of advancing her husband’s artistic legacy, remaining close to Will and to the art world that had been their home.

Elena is survived by her daughter, Ona Barnet and husband Randall Gowell; stepsons Peter, Richard and Todd Barnet and their families; grandchild Will Porta and his spouse Roslyn Gerwin; grandchild Ellie Porta-Barnet and her spouse Andrew Rice, and great-granddaughter Willa Rice.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Elena’s memory to the Will Barnet Foundation. There will be a private service for family. Both she and Will are buried in Trinity Wall Street Cemetery at Broadway and 155th Street in New York City.


Will Barnet Three Generations, 1990, oil on canvas, 54 3/4 x 54 inches

Gregory Amenoff: New Paintings mentioned in artnet News

Gregory Amenoff: New Paintings mentioned in artnet News

David Ebony’s Top 10 New York Gallery Shows for October

8. Gregory Amenoff at Alexandre Gallery, through October 29.
The art of painting is alive and well in this luminous exhibition of recent works by New York artist Gregory Amenoff. Though fundamentally abstract, the fourteen works on view all refer to landscape in some way, and convey a rather mystical reverence for nature. Early Bright, for instance, showing a brilliant yellow starburst radiating toward a salmon-pink sky, is unabashedly sensuous, and suggests an almost hallucinatory sunrise vision. Other works, such as Clearing (for JB) and Flood feature sinuously undulating and overlapping curving shapes. In the former, the shapes are yellow, trimmed in blue, and stretch from the top center toward the lower portion of the composition, surrounded on either side by highly stylized vegetal forms and organic shapes.

There is a consistent sensuality and muscularity in Amenoff’s application of paint, and in the impasto surface textures he achieves. Aside from technical richness, the works bear a significant art-historical depth especially in their references to American modernist painters like Dove, O’Keeffe, and Hartley, as critic and painter Stephen Westfall emphasizes in his essay for the show’s catalogue. After spending some time with this exhibition, Amenoff makes a convincing case that the medium of painting is still the best way by far to express the euphoric state of being that one may experience in the presence of natural phenomena.

Lois Dodd at the Sheldon Museum of Art

Lois Dodd at the Sheldon Museum of Art

For Immediate Release | It Was Never Linear: Recent Painting, May 6–July 31, 2016

Lincoln, Nebraska—An exhibition celebrating abstraction in contemporary painting opens May 6 at the Sheldon Museum of Art. It was Never Linear: Recent Painting features selected works by twelve contemporary artists whose production demonstrates a primacy of the act of painting—gestural mark making and attention to surface material—over any true representation of form or figure. 

The exhibition was organized collaboratively by Wally Mason, Sheldon’s director and chief curator, and Aaron Holz, associate professor of art at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Attentive to the fact that many museum visitors and students have come to understand art history through a narrowly focused lens, the co-curators have assembled an exhibition that fosters reconsideration of the art historical canon by looking inclusively at artists who represent varied production.

“I want visitors to see the complexity and richness of paint as a language while supporting a new, more complicated narrative about painting’s current state and recent past,” said Holz.

The artists featured in the exhibition are testament to a nonlinear view of current art making that more fully embraces complexity in age, gender, ethnicity, and location. They are: Robert Bordo, JoAnne Carson, Dawn Clements, Lois Dodd, Michelle Grabner, Josephine Halvorson, Loren Munk, Joyce Pensato, Colin Prahl, Peter Saul, Barbara Takenaga, and Stanley Whitney.

“Although much of the work assembled was selected to resonate, there was a deliberate choice to have enough dissonance in the variety of works and artists selected that viewers will be challenged to make connections between artists and, ideally, argue for or against particular works,” Holz explained.

Mason concurs with his co-curator adding, “Although we are exploring the re-emergence of painting, we’re not looking at an aggregate, but are seeing the individual identity of each artwork and its comfort in jostling among its colleagues.”

It Was Never Linear continues a Sheldon tradition dating back to the 1880s of mounting regular survey exhibitions of recent contemporary art from around the country. Beginning May 20, a selection of objects acquired over the years from these exhibitions will be on view in Building a Legacy Collection: A Survey of Invitational Acquisitions.

Support for It Was Never Linear and its programming has been provided by H. Lee and Carol Gendler Fund. Additional support has been provided by the Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation Exhibitions and Programs Fund, Dillon Foundation, Nebraska Arts Council, and Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

Sheldon Museum of Art houses a permanent collection of more than 12,000 objects in a landmark Philip Johnson building at 12th and R streets on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln City Campus. The museum is open free to the public during regular hours: Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday through Saturday,10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays. For more information, visit

St. Lous Art Museum Purchases Horace Pippin's Painting Sunday Morning Breakfast

St. Lous Art Museum Purchases Horace Pippin's Painting Sunday Morning Breakfast

St. Louis Art Museum announces purchase of Pippin's 1943 painting SUNDAY MORNING BREAKFAST from Alexandre Gallery. St. Louis director Brent Benjamin says, "The painting is one of the finest examples of the African-American domestic scenes for which Pippin is best known."

Click here to read the full museum announcement.

To view the recent gallery exhibition American Masterworks From the Merrill C. Berman Collection, please click here.

More recent press on the Pippin sale below:

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: St. Louis Art Museum announces major acquisition

ArtNews: St. Louis Art Museum Acquires Horace Pippin's 'Sunday Morning Breakfast' 

St. Louis Public Radio: With Horace Pippin, the museum has a $1.5 million addition to celebrate

The Telegraph: Saint Louis Art Museum acquires ‘Sunday Morning Breakfast’ by Horace Pippin

ARTFix Daily: Saint Louis Art Museum Acquires Important Work by Horace Pippin

The Observer: MoMA Remixes Its Collection, New World Record for Indian Art, and More