“crossing the line”

By Dennis Wheeler (exhibition opens at The White Gallery July 29, 2016)

If there was a line someone should have drawn it a bit deeper. I often wonder about programs that establish lines. It stems, no doubt, from academia where it’s probably a necessary guidance and directional tool. Many schools have what they refer to as a Foundation year. Mine did. I was to choose one between five or six great alternatives, to specialize in for the remaining three years, and in the end still winding up not choosing the right one. Much later about the year 2007 It occurred to me my life was a foundation year. It serves no point here to recall the somewhat overboard kinds of things I have designed which weren’t available to me to choose back in foundation land. But fifty years of designing answers for other people’ s problems can sharpen one’s desire to identify your own problems and solve those.

It would be hard for me to say that what I was doing was not Art.  Happily, there were many opportunities to paint and draw and experiment with my own ideas. Criss-crossing the line so much the line seems gone.

Wheeler 41A9815

Abstract 19, photograph, Dennis Wheeler

Wheeler 41A9806

Abstract 21, photograph, Dennis Wheeler

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Award-Winning Photographer Avery Danziger Opens Exhibition in Beacon, NY

Putnam County News & Recorder – Focus On: Photographer Avery Danziger  

By Tim Greco  June 1, 2016  Click here to read at PCNR

Award-winning photographer, artist and filmmaker Avery Danziger opens “Seeking Permanence” for a limited-engagement exhibition June 4 – July 17 at the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon.

HARLEM VALLEY / WINGDALE © 2011This exciting photography exhibition draws visitors to the past to the paradoxical beauty expressed in the slow transformation of man-made order to the beauty of natural chaos.

It all began when Danziger was out getting barbeque at Big W’s in Harlem Valley. On the way back he turned into the train terminal and he noticed this extraordinary building with a bunch of windows broken out. He always has a camera ready and stuck through some of the windows and fired off some shots to see what was inside. When he returned home he started to look at the pictures, which he called extraordinary, “because it showed the terrible beauty that I’ve never seen before, a complete chaos of colors and forms.” Danziger said he is not an “end times” type of photographer and does not photograph abandoned buildings per-se, but he is attracted to that kind of art.

The Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center, which opened in 1926 and fully shut down in 1997, cared for five thousand people. The thought of filming soon captured his interest. It took about a year to gain permission to film the space and to convince the powers that be that he would be a worthwhile effort. He wore a HAZMAT suit and respirator at all times throughout the filming due to asbestos. The filming took place thirty times over three years and there were only a few hours a day which he could film, because he only films in natural light. Danziger said the more he shot, the tighter and more abstract the photographs became. His fascination grew with “the beauty that could be made from this incredibly chaotic, self-destructing environment.”

The hospital has been sold in part to a Korean Evangelical Church and is about to open. An openings artists’ reception is Saturday, June 4, from 3 – 5 pm at the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon.

Danziger is represented by The White Gallery of Connecticut. You can reach Danziger at AveryDanziger.com.

Danziger has photographs in museum permanent collections at Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, N.C.; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France; Chicago Center for Contemporary Photography; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City; among other places.

View the entire interview at www.focusonphilipstown.com.

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“My paintings are grandchildren of the New York School.” What do I mean by that?

The 1950s were a time when I was most open to deeply absorbing the gestalt of that period, when young minds were able and also ambitious to be caught up in ideas larger than ourselves. Painting offered itself to fill that void, both rebellion and moral act. The model was found in the spirit and work of the New York School painters.

At that time the New York City art world was giving birth to its own apocalypse. Folks like John Canaday, Tom Hess, Greenberg, Rosenberg, the Black Mountain College milieu, and a cabal of painters, sculptors, dancers, etc. were dismantling existing criteria, establishing new parameters for each of their disciplines.

Every part in this evolving art world enterprise, except the media, was made jittery by the specter of Picasso and his strident, encyclopedic, monolithic, iconoclastic, unstoppable, in-your-face, glorious art making.

Into this upheaval appeared an eighteen-year-old Pratt Institute freshman from upstate New York, a recent winner of the Albany Halloween Window Painting contest, confident in the belief that art was illustration. He was ready! Or so he thought.

I remember walking for the first time up out of Brooklyn’s Dewitt-Clinton subway station, carrying suitcases and paint box – finding a tattered neighborhood, worrisome ethnic faces and odd-looking people I would soon find out were artists. In complete naiveté I had stumbled into perhaps the most turbulent place and period in the history of art.

The following six years in Brooklyn and Manhattan were madly wonderful. If the definition of learning is “to be changed by newly acquired knowledge,” I majored in learning.

My carrying forward the spirit of the 50s art world legacy into our time is the common thread for me in the studio. Continuing to believe, now as then, that making paintings is part of something larger than myself – and important. Thus my paintings today are grandchildren of the NYS.

_Untitled- Curves and Straights_

Harry Rich, “Untitled Curves and Straight”, acrylic on canvas

Click here for more work from Harry Rich at The White Gallery.

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Changing Speeds, Slow to Fast
Posted on February 16, 2016 by David

Compressed space with articulated edges and textured density slows our sense of time and motion. Blurred and blended forms expressed across space with uniform textures quicken our feeling of time and motion. They give the beholder a variety of experiences of time, motion and space within a single 2D frame presents a set of challenges.

If your intention is like my first postulate, to build compressed space with an abundance of articulated edges and dense textures then, example 1 offers a possibility. Here the beholder is embedded in a thicket of flora. They are pressed against (almost into) the picture plane. This thickly textured territory offers little sense of near-and-far until the beholder discovers the dark background above and, above that finds a paler texturally uniform secondary distance. This last area is blurred and pale to offer a feeling of infinitely deep space. The forward area is a matrix of thin overlapping forms. These textures are generated in acrylic with generous applications of transparent retarder allowing ragged bristle brushes and squeegees time and opportunity to work into this malleable film of acrylic. [read more]

To see David’s work currently on display at the White Gallery click here.

WG Dunlop 2016

David Dunlop, “Angled Meadow”, oil on aluminum, 18″ x 18″

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My paintings, drawings and prints are generally based on habitats that include water. Water is often seen as the ‘eye’ of a landscape. Vast or minimal, salt or fresh, water has helped to shape the land and create geographies that have become familiar to us all. I spend a great deal of time outdoors observing various habitats. I focus on spare composition, honing in on the shapes and marks water creates and at the same time leaves behind. I am also concerned with the quality and quantity of water. Water is our most precious resource. My work shows an authentic appreciation and is a subtle reminder, about the environment that we often take for granted.

WG Fran Ashforth Inlet

Frances B. Ashforth, “Tidal Inlet 5”, Oil on Panel, 30″x 40″w



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“Urban Renewal”

The choice of working with textiles came very naturally to me. I love the supple and tactile nature of fabric and its ability to take on rich colors, both absorbing and reflecting light. I strive to express energy and movement within my work. Yet I also try to create spaces that allow the eye to pause or pivot in its journey and I’m fascinated by how these spaces can change from one viewing (or viewer) to the next, as the relationship between figure and ground emerges and collapses in perceptual shifts.

Many of the motifs in my work are abstractions of things I see around me – from the architecture and urban environs of NYC to the wooded hills and open fields of Northwest CT. It may be a distant view, the stark line of a building, or the subtle curve of a branch that sparks a new thought. The influence of urban and rural places may also explain why I’m drawn to both angular geometric shapes and curving organic forms.


“Shaping Space”

I usually begin with a simple idea, arranging and constructing (or deconstructing) abstract forms into patterns until I feel a harmonic tension or unity. Color also comes into play, and I choose my palette from hand-dyed fabrics that provide me with a wide range of values. I think of my process as being very intuitive, but when it’s time to join the pieces together, each stitch is made with thoughtful intent, fastening the layers and adding textural depth. I’m a firm believer that every cut, line and stitched seam leads somewhere, so I try to remain open to the process, to change and variation, and to exploring both traditional and modern techniques. I feel my works owe as much to modern art as they do to historic quilts.

I feel very lucky to be doing work that I love. I’m intrigued by the creative process and the world that inspires it. I hope that my joy in creating this work touches those who view it.


“Ice Matters”


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Recombinant Media and Heat In Winter

Our 21st century challenge is how to combine materials, tools, and other artists to reveal new visions and new forms. With vast access to metals, laminates, fabrics, catalogs of pigments and tools from armies of printers, to libraries of software, to new hand-tools, artists have a superabundance of opportunity. To exploit this expanding mine of materials, tools, and sources artists must share their process and their discoveries. From entrepreneurs to scientists we are often reticent to share. We want the payday and fame for ourselves. This constrains the path of discovery.

Recombining media and using a theme packed with contradiction like, “Finding Heat in Winter” I turned to a collaborative painting made by Max Dunlop and me (example 1). I superimposed one of Max’s photos on the image (Example 2). Next, this combined painting and photo was elongated and glued to a sheet of aluminum (example 3). While generating the combined photo and painting I intensified the warm tones. In the final step, the combined image was re-covered in a bath of warm dark paint.  After brush, finger and squeegee manipulations you can see the result in example 4.

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Come see David Dunlop’s newest pieces on display at The White Gallery.


“BLUE HOUSE BEFORE TWILIGHT” David Dunlop, Oil on Linen



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