Since its inception in 2008, the abstract show at Vineyard Haven’s Louisa Gould Gallery has established a solid place in the Island’s summer art scene. While a number of galleries include abstract work, Ms. Gould believes that hers is the only one that annually devotes an entire show to abstraction.
This year she has six artists in Landscapes of Color, which opens August 8, with a reception on Saturday, August 10. They are Val Rossman, Joan Konkel, Susanne Hill, Roberta Gross, Laura Roosevelt, and Jeanne Campbell.
New this year to the gallery is Ms. Rossman, who lives in Philadelphia. She works in pastel and mixed media. In pastels like “It Was Also Brilliant” and “Held their Own,” this artist wields the medium with a fluidness akin to watercolor. She chooses intense colors for “Grows in Meaning” and “All Results Integrated,” but in another pastel, “Missing the Gathering Storm,” she achieves her lyrical effects through combinations of defined line and washes of color.
Also working acrylic on aluminum, Ms. Rossman explores more linear forms, with an eye for cerebrally oriented interactions of strong colors, as in “Surveying the Crowd,” where a deep red almost bounces against its neighboring blue and asks the eye to look again. Thin, black strokes dash across the color blocks to unify them. In “I Figured I Could,” the artist piles yellow rectangles of varying hues in an effect that gives the work multiple dimensions.
Aquinnah summer resident Roberta Gross has participated in the gallery’s abstract shows since their inception, and she helps Ms. Gould curate the show. This year she is exhibiting a series of pastels, like “Eye of the Storm,” which could pass for stained glass windows.
“She suggested the abstract shows and helps find the artists,” Ms. Gould says. “It can be hard to show abstract work next to representational art. There is so much representational work on the Island, but it has a sophisticated audience, one that is interested in abstraction and collects it.”
“I love her work,” Ms. Gould says of mixed media artist Joan Kunkel, who first exhibited with the gallery at last year’s abstract show. This year Ms. Kunkel is displaying several soft sculptures, made of mesh and acrylic on canvas. A work like “Realm of the Mermaid” conveys both the movement of water and its shadowy dimensions. This piece contrasts with the artist’s more hard-edged work like “Light and Shadows #5,” and it ably demonstrates her versatility.
The sagar firing of ceramicist Edgartown summer resident Suzanne Hill expands the show in pleasing directions by employing the concreteness of sculpture as a background for abstraction. In sagar firing, pottery is enclosed in a box-like container to protect the work while inside the kiln. “Azure Muse” incorporates Ms. Hill’s signature blues alongside black and brown on its surface. The lid on this bowl is topped with a soaring, winged handle.
Digital photographs by West Tisbury’s Laura Roosevelt and Vineyard Haven summer resident Jeanne Campbell round out an exhibit that remains unified but diversified in satisfying ways. Ms. Roosevelt’s “Behind Bars” evokes a quiet elegance that relies on composition more than color. Ms. Campbell’s “Newly Beautiful” and “Tulip” add the illusion of three dimensions to images suspended against a black backdrop. The shapes in these photographs approach representation without losing their sense of the abstract.
Ms. Gross will give an artist’s talk on Thursday, August 22, at 6 pm.
Opening Reception for Landscapes in Color, 7th annual Abstract Art Show, Saturday, August 10, 5–7 pm, Louisa Gould Gallery, Vineyard Haven. Show runs through September 16. Open daily from 11 am–5 pm and by appointment. For more information, visit louisagould.com.