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Cultivating Collectors and Julian Hatton’s Harmonies from Nature
“Treat collectors like they’re good friends,” says painter and printmaker Leslie Parke, who keeps her followers up to speed with newsletters, studio visits, and other simple but gracious gestures. If you are fortunate enough to have acquired a group of people sufficiently interested in what you’re producing, you want to find ways to keep them in the loop without overdoing it. In this week’s feature, artists offer tips for staying in touch and note that the rewards can go well beyond sending your work to a good home.

So much of art today is art about art, as Julian Hatton pointed out to me when I visited his studio in SoHo in December. Hatton, though, went straight to nature when he first spread his wings as a painter, but the results are not your usual plein-air post-post-Impressionist tedium. As you can see from the painting at the top of the newsletter (Elixir, 2016-17, 42 by 42 inches), in the past 25 years the artist has nurtured a vocabulary of shapes and colors and erratic passages that capture the exuberance rather than the verisimilitude of the great outdoors. More of his work is Under the Radar this week, but Hatton also has a show coming up soon at Elizabeth Harris Gallery in New York (April 20-June 3), so if you’re in the area, you should go see for yourself.

Other shows to keep in mind….

Jill Bedgood’s installation “Soliloquy” opened at Box 13 Artspace in Houston, TX, on March 18 and runs through April 22. “My grandmothers taught me how to embroider,” she says. “Using hair instead of thread references Victorian hair jewelry, created as love tokens or objects of memorialization. Absence is indicated, family perspectives inherently embedded. Reflecting on personal events from my recent past informs the art, such as loss of relationships and death of a sibling, illness and medical intervention, caregiving and restorative mending.” Below is a detail of Passive Passion (2015), hair embroidery on a vintage family pillowcase.

Angela White has four landscapes and fourteen abstract encaustic paintings in Artomatic 2017, opening March 24 and running for about six weeks (1800 South Bell Street, Arlington, VA). The show is described as an “art event drawing hundreds of artists and performers throughout the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area for a free exhibition that routinely attracts thousands of visitors.” Below is one of White’s signature dreamy landscapes, Uprise (2016), oil on canvas, 24 by 48 inches.

And work from new members….

Thanks to our handy new “Donate” tab at the top of the home page, we have made it super-easy to contribute your hard-earned dollars to Vasari21, truly the only Internet site dedicated to the 98 percent of working artists largely and unjustifiably ignored by the art press. And for a mere $25 you will eventually take the spotlight as a Vasari21 Pic of the Day on Instagram and Facebook (my followers grow daily and include dealers and curators….so you never know). My thanks to those who have signed on, and here’s a sampling from their studios.

From Jim Osman, who teaches in the first-year program at the New School, comes Picnic (2015), wood and paint, 10.5 by 7.5 by 3.5 inches. The sculpture, he says, “is from a recent body of work that connects, in new ways, ideas I have about the figure, personal space, and structure."

“My ‘Nano Nature Series’ is based on the term, ‘Smart Dust,’ a futuristic conception that the earth is sprinkled with zillions of nano-electro systems that monitor everything on the planet, including nature,” writes Jane Dell. The image below, Nano Nature Orange Seaweed (2017, acrylic on canvas, 40 by 40 inches) “captures an imaginary moment of time in an ocean. The work aims to create several layers of meaning which the viewer can slowly, upon reflection, unravel. Shapes, movement and seaweed forms interact with abstract elements that fuse a narrative of fantasy and reality inspired by the love of nature and concern about environmental issues.”

In her ever-evolving home/studio in Gilbertsville, NY, Chelsea Gibson investigates personal domestic spaces in large oil paintings and very small watercolors. “The duality of possessions and clutter versus the creative, life-giving, and universal importance of home fill her paintings to the brim,” she writes.  “Directly based on collaged photographs, the oddly shaped panels establish an all-encompassing and welcoming perspective. The viewer is invited into my spaces to sit at the table or help cook; to investigate and empathize with the lives of people we can relate to on a basic, generous, more human level.” Below is Trix and Rick’s Log Home III (2017), watercolor on paper, 18 by 22 inches.  

Dana Kleinman and Ruth Avra are “artists and sisters working together in metal and painting to create wall and freestanding sculpture,” writes Dana. “Geometry plays a strong role in our work. Not only does our process involve a series of equations to create the constructions, but we also see this as mimicking an underlying script of mathematics that ties all elements of the universe together. Our latest exploration in curves and circles skews the expected from the rigid lines of metal construction, with circles serving as the full expression of connection, balance and harmony.The sisters’ Sagittarius A and Arcturus (2016) are made from 3-D powder-coated aluminum with paint and mixed media on canvas, 44 by 20 inches.

And that launches us into another week. Coming up: the whys and wherefores of pop-ups, varied approaches to the contemporary landscape, and a new series about residencies you may never have considered, with insight from insiders.

Hang in there. Spring is ready to be sprung.


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