OK Harris Shows Elke Albrecht, Richard Hanson, Bruce Thurman, Ken Morgan, Matthew Murray

Sat Jan 15 2011:  OK Harris rounded up five artists for its New Year show, which opened yesterday afternoon as crowds thronged Soho streets.   If any wondered what the name of the gallery meant, the answer is nothing more than a label for the legendary gallery: it was pulled from the air by founder Ivan C. Karp of Leo Castelli in 1969, when he founded what has long been Soho’s most notable showcase.

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POST PUBLICATION UPDATE:  THIS ARTIST OFFERING COURSE AT FARMINGTON VALLEY ART CENTER APRIL 13-15:

NEW this Spring! ‘The Process of Abstraction’ illustrated by Elke Albrecht

Understand abstraction in a personal way then identify and communicate with emotional responses to subject matters.  Be guided to explore your own abstract aesthetic and create a clear visual statement with your work. Learn to create in a critical yet generous and productive way.Teaching privately  her entire career, Elke currently works with acrylics and favors layered brushstrokes, often in subtle contrast of whites.  Her work has  been exhibited at OK Harris Gallery, New York  City, Ceres  Gallery  and the Uta Scharf Gallery, New York/Berlin.  Her work has  also been included worldwide in many private collections  including The Owings Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Lecture – Drezner Gallery, Wednesday, April 13, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Workshop – Thursday and Friday, April 14 & 15, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
TUITION: $240. Materials NOT included. Limited seats available.
Farmington Valley Arts Center FVAC 25 Arts Center Lane, Avon, Connecticut
860.678.1867 Additional information:FVArtsCenter@gmail.com
UPDATE: These classes came off well, as AvonPatch reported: http://avon.patch.com/articles/abstract-artist-advises-be-radical

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We found Elke Albrecht‘s ultra subtle abstracts particularly compelling, with her rows of four small red and white tiled collages against a grey background and framed, and of eight or nine large white canvases, emanating a palpable aesthetic force from their subtle, sotto voce variations.   All of them spoke for the nature of this artist as one driven (“impelled” in the word of gallery owner Karp) by an ineluctable inner force to create these external voicings of her intriguing psychological interiors.   The delicacy of the light grey and white tones of the row of larger canvases proved hard for a small camera to capture with the right white balance and contrast against the white walls of the gallery (click to enlarge for a slightly improved viewing).

Here is Elke standing in front of one of her larger canvases, which need to be mouse clicked to enlarge the image and discern the details of the canvas, though barely:

At the opposite extreme were the disturbing scenes of incipient gun violence disrupting the domestic lives of Iowa farm workers in Richard Hanson‘s bold watercolors, whose vibrant, realistic textures enhanced compositions which started out as posed photographs acted by himself and his son.   As we imagined, Richard, a tall, ruddy cheeked Iowan who teaches art in his home town of 25,000, and paints on a table rather than an easel, confirmed that his own family life and sanguine temperament bore no relation to the intense dramas  that sometimes arise from his palette (the theme of this selection was chosen by the gallery) .  How did the gallery learn of his work?  He sent it in, he said – and got a phone call next day.

Here’s another striking domestic nightmare by Hanson, featuring his son Rob emerging from a clothes closet, gun in hand (click to enlarge):

Bruce Thurman chose an ingratiating form to work in with his latest compositions in collage binders, mounted in a row on the wall each with one stiff page loose  on the metal rings for viewers to turn.

The corridor was crowded with friends and well wishers of the sociable artist. Unlike many others, Thurman told us, he does not keep his friends at arms length to preserve his artistic independence or exploit them ruthlessly in the Picasso manner, but draws on his friendships for stimulation and support. His studio is on Wall Street with a window looking out at the New York Stock Exchange.

For all 89 images of the event – including more of Thurman’s vivid action watercolors, such as those above and below, go to Photogenie at SmugMug or click this link:  http://photogenie.smugmug.com/Art/OK-Harris/OK-Harris-Sat-Jan-15-2011/15465154_mBtPg#1157867652_Q6uWK Feel free to take whatever pictures you wish by copying directly from the site, or if you wish to avoid the dollar or two charged by SmugMug, email Anthony@OnlyGoodPhotos.com

Ken Norman continues his work after suffering a stroke two years ago with a wall full of ink drawings and four larger works of mixed media on paper hung separately on the facing wall of the major gallery space.

Matthew Murray presented a striking collection of photographs of crumbling industrial and theater architecture and other relics of a past age, in his series Abandoned America:  Dismantling the Dream, which evokes nostalgia for a time when products we used and spaces we inhabited were intelligible in hands-on, real time where material shape and tactile experience were part of work and recreational activity, a sense texture now increasingly lost as work and play moves into the virtual realm of the Internet.

(Special note: This blog is in beta and theme and layout may change).(Apologies for the image corruption, if you see it,  which is apparently not caused by the WordPress hosting (the originals in the blog gallery are intact) but by the blog display.  Remedies are being sought)

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2 Responses to OK Harris Shows Elke Albrecht, Richard Hanson, Bruce Thurman, Ken Morgan, Matthew Murray

  1. CriticNYC says:

    A remarkable show, which confirms that OKHarris remains the established standard for New York galleries who aim to find talent without pretension, originality without alienation, and cutting edge work which remains firmly attached to permanent artistic values.

  2. R Firestone says:

    Could not agree more

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