Elizabeth Harris Gallery is pleased to present a show of recent work by Ron Milewicz. The exhibition, his second at Elizabeth Harris Gallery, features cityscapes painted from a single vantage point in Long Island City, Queens, over the course of a year.
This new work represents both a logical progression and a marked departure from Milewicz's previous urban landscapes. In this series of oil paintings, Milewicz once more takes on the outlying industrial spaces of Queens - hectic with warehouses, bridges, construction sites, and water towers. The high-keyed color of earlier works is more restrained here, but nonetheless exciting. The paintings possess an exquisite delicacy of color and subtly nuanced shifts in tone.
Viewers acquainted with Milewicz's work are familiar with his practice of returning to one location many times, often seeking odd studio spaces for the extraordinary views they offer. Once he has staked out his terrain, Milewicz tracks the daily and seasonal shifts of light and atmosphere as they dramatically change the view, month by month, minute by minute. He is a witness to the vulnerability of these seemingly permanent buildings and spaces, constantly threatened by bulldozers, zoning laws, real estate development, and other vagaries of human intent. From the richness of this visual experience, with all its potential for chaos, Milewicz constructs a charged yet ordered world. Stripping away the daily noise and commotion of the industrial landscape, he uncovers an underlying quietude, challenging assumptions about human activity and about the experience of time itself.
Through a long meditation on transient forms - both architectural and those of an implied human presence - Milewicz creates images with a profound stillness; time seems embedded into the surfaces. The painted images themselves are artifacts that enfold the time of their own making, just as the built city embodies its own historical time. In Milewicz's work, time is concealed within the thinnest veils of paint. Look closely, and you will see spring foliage beneath the autumn russets, summer skies behind the winter fog. Ultimately, the images exist outside of time, engendering silence, solitude and calm conditions that are too often under siege today.
Ron Milewicz was born in 1963 in Brooklyn, New York. He studied art history at Cornell University (1979-83), received a masters degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture (1983-86), and attended the New York Studio School (1990-1994) where he currently teaches. He lives and works in Queens, New York.