'New York, New York II' Exhibit Opens at Watson MacRae

New York, New York II opening (photo by Shannen Hayes)

New York, New York II opening (photo by Shannen Hayes)

BY SHANNEN HAYES, Santiva Chronicle
March 21, 2016

Watson MacRae Gallery has opened its much-anticipated exhibit “New York, New York II,” featuring six acclaimed New York City painters – Lynn Kotula, Ro Lohin, Albert Kresch, Mark Heyer, Kevin Wixted and Ruth Miller Forge.

“The show provides a look into the different types of wonderful painting happening in New York today,” Gallery Owner Maureen Watson said. “We were honored that New York School painter Albert Kresch made a personal appearance at the opening. He delighted audiences at the artist talk with insights into his paintings and stories of famous artists he knew."

An original member of the Jane Street Gallery of the 1930s, Kresch is best known for his landscape and still life compositions painted with evocatively rhythmic forms and vibrant colors. As he says about his work, “Although I had studied with Hans Hoffman for two years I am not particularly interested in his famous 'Push and Pull.' On the other hand, my aim is to hurl the viewer off the surface.”

The exhibit was co-curated by Ro Lohin, who for nine years was the co-owner and director of the Lohin Geduld Gallery in Chelsea. Now, Lohin has returned full time to her love – painting. Lohin captures the “everyday-ness” of life around her, layering bits of color until images of her subject beautifully emerge. Kevin Wixted's geometric paintings at first appear as an array of colorful simple shapes.

“Upon closer and longer observation, Kevin's shapes take on the form of a recognizable object and then the magic begins,” Watson said. “Shapes cluster, pulsate and reform giving his paintings an organic aliveness that captivates.”

Lohin and Wixted, who is Professor of Painting and Drawing at Alfred University, NY, held a second artist talk giving insights into the exhibition and the current NY and European art scene.

Lynn Kotula uses vegetables, cloth and bowls to construct landscapes in her still life paintings. Color next to color, form next to form, Kotula paints a non-verbal story that is clear and vibrant. Until recently, Ruth Miller Forge was a teacher of painting and drawing at New York Studio School. She now paints what she taught: forms are significant, colors contain an inner light and construction is essential.

New York, New York II, closing at the end of March, is a must-see before leaving the islands for the summer.

Artist Talk at the Gallery
Watson MacRae announced the gallery will expand its acclaimed Artist Talks to a monthly series starting in November. The series will focus on contemporary art appreciation and be conducted by Sanibel painter and former art history professor Hollis Jeffcoat. More details will be announced at a later date.