Buck and Keller at Garrison Art Center, April 7-16

‘Up in the Air’ By Deborah Buck

Riverside Galleries hosts concurrent exhibits

Two exhibitions will open in the Riverside Galleries at Garrison Art Center on April 7:  paintings by Deborah Buck and paintings and prints by Marthe Keller.  The shows continue through May 6 with a public reception for the artists on April 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. For both artists color plays a role, but where Buck uses color sometimes with boldness and sometimes surprise, Keller’s color takes a backseat to rhythm and pattern.  Buck’s imagery hints at a narrative urging the viewer to look for a way to define or understand it, whereas Keller’s works is non-objective, with quiet and unlikely colors locked in a dance together.

Grace Knowlton, curator of Marthe Keller’s exhibition, says of her work, “Marthe creates beautiful, meditated paintings using a vocabulary of vertical strokes.”  Keller, now a New Yorker, grew up in Italy and has exhibited internationally since 1974.  Keller’s paintings, collages and prints are represented in public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, British Museum, San Francisco MMA, and Philadelphia Museum of Art.  She has received numerous grants from foundations such as the NEA, NYFA, PSC/CUNY and the MacDowell Colony.  She has been a visiting artist at numerous Universities and Arts Residencies.

 “Rain kiss on me back continues my ongoing theme of the brushstroke and its multiple returns. Repetition of the stroke gives the work life and breath, opening the space of painting against stylized gesture and the banality of skill. Like steady breathing interrupted by a hiccup. Or like the phenomenon of the steady tempo of passing through shadows on a tree lined street causing photosensitivity seizures,” says Keller.  “I pinch my titles from James Joyce’s hilarious, encyclopedic and never-ending Finnegan’s Wake. The show title, rain kiss on me back, expresses the fluidity of love and loss that is painting for me.”

‘Raucous’ by Marthe Keller

Inside Out is a select retrospective by Deborah Buck that includes works on paper and large-scale oils on canvas.  These colorful, expressive compositions, which span a period of 20 years, show the range of Buck’s skill and sensibilities.  Piano Legs and Up in the Air are examples of her masterful handling of paint and demonstrate her wit, humor and curiosity. Although the imagery is abstract, the pictures invite interpretation or suggest a narrative.

“The work is smart in every sense of the word,” says Bill Burback, curator of Buck’s show and president of the Board of Directors at Garrison Art Center. “What impresses me is the boldness, strength and originality of her imagery along with the consistency of her vision. She loves paint and has a resourceful, accomplished hand and an impressive command of the medium. Buck’s work offers many rewards. They all make you want to know her.”  Buck will give a talk about her work on April 29, at 2 p.m. 

Now living and working in New York City, Buck is originally from Baltimore and credits her early artistic and intellectual development to her encounters with the legendary Abstract Expressionist painter Clyfford Still. Impressed by her paintings, Still arranged for Buck to go to Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine at the age of 18.  Buck began showing her work professionally in the 1980s and her work has been exhibited at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Grey Art Gallery and The Bronx Museum, among other galleries and museums. She is currently a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts in the MFA Design Program in New York and also sits on the Board of Trustees at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

Both exhibitions continues through May 6, with a reception for the artists on April 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. and an artist talk by Deborah Buck on Sunday, April 29 at 2 p.m.  The Riverside Galleries at Garrison Art Center are open Tuesday through Sunday form 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more about Garrison Art Center exhibitions and programs, please visit the Garrison Art Center website  or call 845-424-3960.
Images courtesy of the Garrison Art Center

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