Three Contemporary Painters Who Just Happen to Be Women
January 8th – February 15th
Reception: Saturday, January 10th
The upcoming winter exhibit at Carrie Haddad Gallery will feature works by three diverse artists; Darshan Russell, Eileen Murphy and Donise English. The title of the exhibit “Three Contemporary Artists Who Just Happen to Be Women” emphasizes the gender of the artists in the exhibit.Gallerist Carrie Haddad enjoys giving equal exhibition time to women so she has planned this show to follow up on two artists who have been with the gallery for some time; Darshan Russell and Donise English, and to introduce a new artist to the gallery, Eileen Murphy.
The colors and feeling of Darshan Russell’s compositions are greatly influenced by Matisse, but her inspiration comes directly from life and the simple scenes that surround her in Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Hudson and other Hudson River towns where she paints. Occasionally, Ms. Russell will paint cities that she has traveled to like New York, Baltimore, Portland and Paris, but the bulk of her work documents local scenes and local people. Family photos and photographs from the Poughkeepsie Journal or the New York Times inspire much of her figurative work. Portraits of Madelaine Albright, Barak Obama, and Mayor Dinkins are part of her repertoire, as well as less prominent individuals.
Ms. Russell’s paintings have a unique look that can be contributed to her practice of daily painting and years of dedication to develop a primitive style all her own.
In 1993, Rich O’Corozine of the Poughkeepsie Journal wrote, “With vision comes transformation, and Darshan Russell has the power to transform. With paintings so potent and beautifully realized that one wonders of the pain inherent in their gestation, Russell’s paintings are magical interpretations of a Poughkeepsie that few can ever visit.”
And, critic Wayne Lempka writes, “Russell’s works are truly seductive. One is immediately lured into them by their lively surface and bright colors. Her grouping of three separate New York City scenes is a fine display with their whirlwind of furious brushwork and quirky stacking of shapes. One feels the continual motion of life in the city even when some of the works lack a human presence.”
Russell has studied at the University of Pennsylvania, Suny New Paltz and VassarCollege and currently lives in Poughkeepsie.
Local artist Donise English received a BS in Art History at SUNY New Paltz and a MFA in Painting at BardCollege.She has received numerous awards and has exhibited in galleries and museums across the country including, the Bronx Museum of Art, the DeCordova Museum of Art, and the Baltimore Museum of Art.English currently teaches at MaristCollege.For this exhibit, Ms. English has created encaustic works on paper and panel.Encaustic, or pigmented beeswax, has been in use as an artistic medium since the 5th century, B.C. Despite the difficulty of working with a medium that must be melted in order to be used, encaustics have long been prized for their translucent, varnished effect.
The abstract pieces featured in this exhibit remind the viewer of tribal art or cave drawings with spirals and simplistic images.Other works on panel combine geometric shapes and line drawing in layers of soft colors.
Born in Yorktown Heights, NY, Eileen Murphy received her BA at MountHolyokeCollege and her MFA at Pratt Institute.She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
This will be her first exhibit at Carrie Haddad Gallery.Ms. Murphy is a representational painter and the subject of her recent work is Brooklyn.There are paintings of the WilliamsburgBridge, the underbelly of freeways, and colorful views of rooftops and graffitied walls in the commercial districts, which all look beautiful and crisp in Murphy’s large oil on canvas paintings.
In the Backroom gallery, another female artist, Jessica Houston, is featured with a mini exhibit of new works inspired by the artist's passion for the Arctic.
"My work," writes Ms. Houston, "is an investigation of ephemera and transformation of the everyday. I often use found materials that either reveal or subvert underlying formative principles. Whether I’m painting over newspapers, making installations from objects collected in the Arctic, intervening in public spaces, or inviting scientists to interact, I am driven by subtle shifts in perception and a rearrangement of form. I’m drawn to the fleeting experience that allows for impermanence, chance, unpredictability and tenuous stability. I’m looking for the possibility of revelation through simple means, a place and a moment where now dissolves into always, and always into now."
For over a year, Jessica Houston has been painting over newspapers—obliterating, whiting out, and rearranging the page. The underlying typographical structure is laid bare by the absence of language and a parallel, simultaneously existing abstraction is exposed. These are works about sustaining an epiphany of bodily presence while working within parameters of pre-determined systems. The newspaper provides a constant format within which there is no possibility of prediction, allowing chance to provide the parameters of the work. In their multilayered process of making, Houston's paintings become a palimpsest—a chance to sand away and begin anew.
Three Contemporary Artists Who Just Happen to Be Women will run from January 8th through February 15th with a reception for the artists on Saturday, January 10th for .All are welcome to attend.
Carrie Haddad Gallery is located at 622 Warren Street in Hudson, NY.Gallery hours are daily and for the winter the gallery will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.You can call the gallery for directions or more information at (518) 828-1915 or check the website at www.carriehaddadgallery.com