Galleries : Coloring In The Vineyard
The Eisenhauer Gallery offers a celebration of the attractions of Martha's Vineyard as interpreted by a group of fresh-eyed off-Island artists. In "Island Inspired," a show that opens tonight, the artists featured come from as nearby as Connecticut and as far away as New Zealand.
Mikel Wintermantel, of Alleghany, N.Y., is a Copley Society artist who has exhibited small Vineyard-inspired landscapes at Eisenhauer Gallery in the past. He counts himself among those landscapists influenced by the Luminism movement, an offshoot of the 19th-century Hudson River School, of which Frederic Church was a member.
In his powerful canvas, "Beyond Where the Giants Live," Mr. Wintermantel fills most of his 36-inch square canvas with the radiating colors of a coastal sunset. Moss green water with red reflections in the foreground recedes before the multi-colored glow of the sky, as does the distant, bluish horizon line.
"I am most drawn to the deeply filtered light of dawn and dusk," the artist says. "It is then you can usually find me scanning the horizon and sky for nature's light show, making plans for another painting."
Eric Abrecht of Baltimore, Md., will show six large landscapes in the "Island Inspired" show. Working primarily in soft shades of green, Mr. Abrecht's paintings highlight rustic barns and outbuildings surrounded by trees and shrubs. His landscapes tend to be balanced compositionally and set between substantial sections of sky and pasture or fields. Preferring not to name his paintings, he wants viewers to apply their own feelings without the direction of a title.
John MacGowan of Newport, R.I., presents six versions of a dinghy. The combination of colors, water patterns, and lighting on the boat, always facing prow first, creates powerful and dramatically different effects.
His preoccupation with boats connects to his experiences as an international sailor who has crewed in five America's Cup races. Gallery owner Elizabeth Eisenhauer says she usually puts one of his boat paintings in the window of her gallery because it invariably entices people to come inside.
New Zealand artist Ron Druett, who paints on wood boards, will exhibit "Poppy," a vibrant, extreme close-up portrait of the red flower. Another of his dramatic compositions focuses on a leaf surrounded by water that is so clear it acts like glass.
Purist Heidi Palmer of Westport, Conn., favors stripped-down interiors in muted colors, almost always devoid of human figures, although a hat or other item may be left behind suggestively or a door propped open with a water view beyond. One example of her minimalist inclinations is a portrait of two white Adirondack chairs overlooking a saltwater pond and the ocean. Originally, drinking glasses were placed on the arms of the chair, but Ms. Palmer painted over them.
Other Vineyard depictions include traditional landscapes and seascapes, some in great detail, others done in a lush palette, such as Darlene Wall's "Autumn Sunset," and "Summer Pasture."
The one sculptor in the exhibit, Veronique Clamot of Brussels, Belgium, will show eight female figures cast in bronze. Ms. Clamot's swimmers have the pear shape of middle age, one even wearing a daisy-bedecked bathing cap. Another figure gets ready to jump in the water, while yet another sits on a park bench reading. The artist casts each element of her lighthearted pieces separately, then welds them to create the finished work.
Opening reception, Thursday, June 26, 6-8 pm. Exhibit runs through July 9. Mike Benjamin will perform in the first of a regular Thursday night jazz series at the gallery.