The Painting Center is pleased to present “Modern Romantics: Spiritual Expressions In Paint.” This exhibit is curated by Janet Y. Larose, focusing on artistic depictions of feeling that do not merely reproduce reality, but reveal components more internal and intrinsic about it, in the uplifting tradition of the Romantic oeuvre.
The painters represented are: Carol Diamond, Owen Gray, Diane Green, Mary Hrbacek, Parris Jaru, Sandra Lee Kaplan, Joella Jean Mahoney, Marcy Rosenblat, Stephen Yorke and Alice Zinnes.
In the current exhibition, ten artists strive to infuse higher, optimistic, external and/or mystical qualities into their artwork. The underlying theme in this exhibition is the ability of transcendent art to uplift the familiar and the commonplace to a higher, more evocative and more emotional realm.
For example, Joella Jean Mahoney’s “Storm Rollin In”, Mary Hrbacek’s “Gold Diptyck” and Parris Jaru’s “Male & Female: The Optical Illusion” all explore the abstracted use of the figure in a symbolist landscape. Owen Gray’s “Smoldering Forests”, Alice Zinnes’ “Forest of Tears”, and Sandra Lee Kaplan’s “Junk” are mythical, poetical landscapes inspired by each artist’s internal spiritual world.
Stephen Yorke’s “Sermon on the Mount” and Diane Green’s “Underneath Green” use a symbolic ability of light to refashion a view. Carol Diamond’s “Spiral” and Marcy Rosenblat’s “Italian Honeymoon” represent dualities and the layering of conflicting and metaphysical symbols of life to achieve unique contemporary syntheses.
These various Romantic themes have been explored by past generations of American and European Romantic artists. As this exhibition illustrates, such themes continue to motivate and inspire contemporary artists to achieve new insights into art, and will no doubt remain pertinent to future generations of artists. The styles and subject matters of these ten painters are diverse. Nevertheless, they are unified by their subject: The ability of their art to transport the viewer to a different realm; to inspire the imagination; to affect the heart; to uplift the soul.