Russell Sharon paints landscape based, gestural abstractions using clusters of calligraphic brushstrokes that can be experienced as nature in both a feminine and masculine form. Similar in touch but of a different texture than Joan Mitchell’s paintings - he layers white strokes over fresh lavenders, greens and blues. They might be flowers in the snow or a fragment of a Monet garden. Inspired by his surroundings, both sea and mountains, his imagery rests on the fine line between abstraction and representation.
The artist states that his paintings have been made in the “same spirit over twenty-five years”. That when he spends time in nature; even a very short time … he feels at peace in his being, with the world and the universe…a feeling that he projects in his work….
Sharon’s specific hand is one that brings abstract movement to bloom, and gives a feeling of motion, the turbulence of things stirred by the wind. Daubs of paint turn into blossoms as he builds surfaces that are sensual, densely textured and richly colored. He makes some of his own tools allowing him greater control in the act of applying and removing paint. Sharon grew up on a farm in Randall, Minnesota where he absorbed an aesthetic of artfully arranged rock piles and beautiful haystacks.
Sharon’s paintings make up the larger part of this exhibit, which is his twenty-fifth in New York and his tenth with Cheryl Hazan. Also on display in the gallery are Donald Sultan’s stark pop-style blossoms; an Ellsworth Kelly black on white line drawing of an orchid which displays his signature elegant spaciousness and; Donald Baechler’s “Flowers in a Vase” with his trademark textured surface. In addition are Tom Wesselmann’s painting of a nude bent in front of red flowers and tulip-patterned yellow wallpaper and, of course, a painting by Joan Mitchell.