Art News

The DC Moore Gallery to Showcase Charles Burchfield and Janet Fish

artwork: Janet Fish - "Russian Dolls", 2009 - Oil on canvas - 36" x 60" - Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York. On view in "Janet Fish: Recent Paintings" from February 9th until March 17th.

New York City.- The DC Moore Gallery is pleased to present two solo exhibitions, “Charles Burchfield: Landscapes 1916-1962” and “Janet Fish: Recent Paintings”, both open at the gallery on February 9th and run through March 17th 2012. One of the most original artists of the twentieth century, Charles Burchfield (1893-1967) created highly personal works that project an atmospheric intensity and a strong sense of mood. Throughout his life, he found evidence of the divine in the natural world and frequently imbued his paintings with a sense of otherworldly presence. This focused exhibition in our West Gallery presents a prime selection of watercolors that spans his fifty-year career. Drawing from the tradition of still life painting, Fish defies its connotations by engaging primarily with the movement of paint. Her paintings radiate with bold color and light, and her gestural brushstrokes guide the eye through transparent surfaces and across intricate patterns in paint.

Among Burchfield’s earliest paintings are modernist views of his hometown of Salem, Ohio and the surrounding countryside. While a student at the Cleveland School of Art from 1912-16, Burchfield was introduced to major trends in European and American modernism, Chinese and Japanese art, and contemporary design theory. His work at the time often evidenced an interest in imaginative, expressionist landscapes and a personal visual language of fantasy. In “Sunlight in Park” (1917), he approached abstraction through the bold optical effects of a burst of sunlight that creates dense, colorful patterning on a screen of trees while also illuminating the ground below. After moving to Buffalo, New York, in 1921, Burchfield engaged a deeper concern with realism and became a founder of the American Scene painting movement. Much of his work addressed the harsh realities of twentieth-century industrialization and life in small towns and urban areas. At the same time, he strived for compositions that were almost classical in form and often poetic in feeling. He once wrote that he preferred to be known as a “romantic-realist,” adding, “It is the romantic side of the real world that I portray. My things are poems—(I hope).”

artwork: Charles Burchfield - "Sunlight in Park", 1917 - Watercolor, gouache, and charcoal on paper - 17" x 22" Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York. -  On view in "Charles Burchfield: Landscapes 1916-1962"

In the early 1940s, Burchfield returned to a more active expressionism. Swirling skies, anthropomorphic forms, visual notations of insect sounds, and heavily outlined trees radiating a visible energy are some of the elements that characterize his watercolors from the decades that followed. He also focused on what he knew best—the landscape around his home in upstate New York. In “Brown Land” (c. 1962-63), he turned his attention to one of his favorite subjects, an intimate view of a field, a close up of a cluster of plants set against a backdrop of schematic trees at a time of seasonal transition. In both his life and art, Burchfield saw the universal in the particular, and nothing was too small or insignificant to capture his attention. He felt strongly that his identity as an artist was bound up with his relation to nature. “I feel impelled to embrace the earth,” he wrote in his journals. On another day spent in the fields and woods, he found that his “spirit was in complete harmony with the world of nature and absorbed every sight and sound with a completeness that has not been my lot for many a month.” DC Moore Gallery is the exclusive representative of The Charles E. Burchfield Foundation.

Janet Fish sometimes spends days meticulously arranging her compositions with objects that often connote particular seasons or activities. The specific objects chosen, however, do not create the content of the work. Fish utilizes colored glassware, crystal tchotchkes, patterned textiles, and vibrant floral bouquets merely as a surface for her energetic exploration of the properties of paint. “The real structure of a painting comes from the movement of color over the surface,” Fish has said. Indeed, the wild and mesmerizing motion of her colored lines combined with commonplace decorative items produces what artist and critic Robert Berlind has called a “hallucinatory experience of the everyday.”Fish attributes her fascination with light and color to her childhood spent in Bermuda. Her grandfather was the American Impressionist painter Clark Voorhees, and her mother was a sculptor. Fish attended Smith College and earned her Master’s Degree in Fine Art from Yale University in 1963, when art school faculties taught Abstract Expressionism. Fish notes that she absorbed those artists’ interest in gesture and matters of form, but she independently gravitated toward figuration. Fish lives in New York City and Vermont. Works by Janet Fish are included in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Detroit Institute of Arts, MI; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, TX; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; and American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, among others. Harry N. Abrams published a monograph of Fish’s work by poet and critic Vincent Katz in 2002. DC Moore Gallery is the exclusive representative of Janet Fish.

artwork: Janet Fish - "Wreath", 2002 - Oil on canvas - 60" x 60" - Courtesy DC Moore Gallery On view in "Janet Fish: Recent Paintings" from February 9th until March 17th.

DC Moore Gallery specializes in American twentieth century and contemporary art. The gallery represents a lively mix of more than twenty contemporary artists including Eric Aho, Katherine Bowling, David Driskell, Janet Fish, Mary Frank, Mark Greenwold, Mark Innerst, Yvonne Jacquette, Cynthia Knott, Joyce Kozloff, Robert Kushner, Jack Levine, Whitfield Lovell, Nathan Oliveira, Barbara Takenaga, George Tooker, Jane Wilson, and Alexi Worth, along with the estates of Romare Bearden, Charles Burchfield, Gwen Knight, and Jacob Lawrence. The gallery also deals in art work from early twentieth century movements including American Modernism, African American, Social Realism, Regionalism, Magic Realism, and Precisionism, by such artists as Milton Avery, Thomas Hart Benton, Oscar Bluemner, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent, John Marin, Reginald Marsh, Guy Pene du Bois, Fairfield Porter, Ben Shahn, and others. The DC Moore Gallery staff is dedicated to providing expertise, guidance and personal attention to beginning and established collectors, as well as working with museum, corporate and other art professionals in both the acquisition and sale of works of art. DC Moore Gallery is a member of the Art Dealers Association of America. Visit the gallery’s website at …