One of the photographs from the exhibition “125th: Time in Harlem” by Diggs & Hillel was featured in November’s issue of Time Magazine’s “Guide to the Best Photography.”
Diggs & Hillel‘s exhibition, on display at the gallery through November, features an exclusive look at ten of the artists’ photographs. Between 2008 and 2012, the two photographers set out together with one large-format camera to document the changing identity of Harlem, focusing solely on 125th street, as it experienced redevelopment, gentrification and urban planning make overs.
With roots in the neighborhood, the Columbia Daily Spectator reviewed the show, looking closely at some of Diggs & Hillel’s works. Says the Reviewer, “[s]hot in film and processed digitally, the photos capture the street with incredible precision. The range and intensity of color in the photographs draw the eye to the layers of depth in each scene.”
See the full review here: http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2013/10/29/photo-exhibition-puts-changing-125th-street-front-and-center
Claire Oliver Gallery at
December 3-8, 2013
Gabi Trinkhaus, Always the same, magazine clippings on canvas. 74.8 x 63 inches
Herb Jackson began his series Veronica’s Veils in 1980 as a way to create a new space in which he could explore the enigmatical nature of the moment when a painting attains a life of its own. 33 years and 223 paintings later, the exhibition Veils: new paintings from the artists ongoing exploration , continues the Artist’s quest to create his own language of space.
The series of works first debuted in New York City in 1982 at Phyllis Weil Gallery receiving an enthusiastic review form Ms. Hedi O’Beil for Arts Magazine. With the distance of time and the additional wisdom that arrives with age, we thought it an interesting experiment to ask the artist to address some of the remarks made about his most famous series of works.
Herb Jackson Studio | Davidson, NC
In her 1982 review Ms. O’Beil writes “The intimate quality of the artist as painter, one who has a particular relationship with the brush, the paint and the canvas, gives Jackson’s art a special “felt” quality.” How do you keep that intimate relationship to the materials fresh in your 30 year journey with the Veil’s?
All I have to do is mix the paint and begin to apply it for the sensation of “each time is the first time” to occur. The materials are simply an extension of the mind-body relationship, and as such facilitate a pathway to discovery.
Veronica’s Veil CCXII (detail) | acrylic on canvas | 60 x 48 inches | 52.5 x 122 cm.
In her 1982 review Ms. O’Beil writes, “While they are not intended to relate literally to the ancient myth (Veronica’s Veil), the thin layers of paint both reveal and hide the secrets within, whatever they may be.” At this point on your journey, are you still able to be surprised during the creative process by “hidden secrets”?
I am always surprised because there is no preconception of the outcome. If there were, it would be just making a product; whereas the important aspect for me is discovery. Although the subconscious is the lake I swim in, the stroke and direction are constantly changing, so the growth comes through the surprise.
My process is to build paintings by putting on and immediately removing a layer, leaving a residue of the new application in some places and covering it in others by the subsequent layer. It is a metaphor for the life process.
Putting on: The individual is formed through layers of experience.
Taking off: The ever shifting constructed self is revealed through the excavated layers of transformed memory.
Herb Jackson Studio | Davidson, NC
In her 1982 review Ms. O’Beil writes, “A more powerful presence is seen in Jackson’s paintings containing one large primal form. In these works, color is the total significant element. Whereas previously the ground was a field on which to incise a series of lines that transcend drawing and become meaningful symbols.” Many reviews of your work mention “symbols.” and have even attributed meaning to these “symbols.” What is the true message and do I need a key to crack the cipher.
There are recurring forms and marks, as one would expect since they come from the same source; however, like dreams, I feel like the power is limited by trying to pin them down to one meaning. People are fixated on the issue of meaning, which is tied to a dependence on words.
Abstraction is a way of creating something that is intensely personal and has never existed before, almost as a piece of nature, and not dependent on a narrative.
Veronica’s Veil CCXI (detail) | acrylic on canvas | 60 x 48 inches | 52.5 x 122 cm.
In her 1982 review Ms. O’Beil writes, “Small bands of brilliant orange, electric currents, dart through the aggressive, crusty cobalt-blue mountainous form that projects from the bottom of another painting like a Marsden Hartley turned abstract. In its rough assertiveness, the volume holds a weighted primitive strength.” Why do you think that so many people over the years speak of a primitive strength within your works, or a base emotional connection? Do you feel that this is the true rule of all abstract works to succeed, a primitive connection?
Not just abstract works, or I should say that all work is abstract. A narrative painting has to possess an inner power that transcends the story, or the viewer will be finished with the experience in 45 seconds. As adults, we get the story, especially if we have experience with the culture from which it comes. The power that comes through a successful piece is the result of the artist’s infusion of the self; thus all painting, abstract or narrative, works on the same principle. Tapies would call it the “power of presence”.
Herb Jackson Veils, installation view | Claire Oliver Gallery
In her 1982 review Ms. O’Beil writes, “In the modernist tradition of abstract painting, Herb Jackson knows his way around. He is capable of creating paintings and drawings which are both visually seductive and expressive in both minor and major key.” You were an educator at Davison University for 42 years and influenced generations of painters. Who influenced you?
I grew up studying the paintings in the NC Museum of Art. From the age of 12, I drew a diagram of each one and kept a record of my evaluations. This process allowed me to learn the fundamentals without giving over to one teacher. Instead, I had hundreds of them. Early on, I decided that literal observation was too obvious a process for me, and so I turned inward for discovery. My role models in the 50’s and 60’s were the abstract expressionists, but I preferred the iconic surface of the pre-renaissance Italians, so my work became a synthesis of gesture and icon. I am not an action painter, but I want the work to have that kind of energy. Each painting should be like a coiled spring or a tuned piano, ready to explode but held in check in a dynamic tension. This gives it its life and energy.
The Battle of Carnival and Lent, Judith Schaechter’s new exhibition at Claire Oliver Gallery, tackles one of the most fundamental struggles known to man: the war humankind wages between good and evil. Dancing on the psychological border between spiritual aspiration and human suffering, the Artist questions the association of an environment of confinement/reflection in the name of self betterment and the harsh realities of the physical experience of imprisonment; she is speaking about the ‘prisons’ we all encounter, be they mental or physical.
Schaechter’s title window in the exhibition (and the largest in scale), inspired by the 16th century Brugel painting with the similar name “The Fight Between Carnival and Lent”, contains 96 figures (almost all previous Schaechter works contain only a single figure)
locked in a mythic battle between virtue and vice. Depicted here by somber monks and garish clowns, hilarity and mayhem seduce impulse control; no blood is spilled in the Artist’s rendition; here, softened by humor, we see the constant battle we face between our will, our desires, and our choices.
Inspired by the history of Philadelphia’s notorious Gothic castle-like structure, Eastern State Penitentiary, where they were on temporary exhibition, these 17 works draw on mythology, the Bible, and even famous works of art from ages past. Schaechter’s archetypes struggle with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, exploring in turn the stories of Atlas, Prometheus, Noah, Icarus, Mary Magdalene and Andromeda.
Artist Jazz-minh Moore combines her energetic and painterly style with a gouged and carved wood surface to create a fresh perspective on traditional realism. Embracing the authentic, her subjects possess a raw edginess that feels impulsive and sincere, never staged or idealistic.