Betty Cuningham Gallery is pleased to open its 2013-2014 season with an exhibition of recent paintings, by Chuck Webster. This exhibition is mounted in cooperation with ZieherSmith, Webster’s primary dealer.
Webster can best be characterized as a visionary painter. His visual vocabulary is highly personal. Drawn from his imagination and from the world, the shapes in his paintings are abstract but oddly recognizable. Webster chose to title this show ‘Blessing’ (written in reverse) because, for Webster, it alludes to something beyond, something that he is reaching towards in his painting.
The current exhibition contains twelve paintings, all oil on panel, ranging in size from 12 x 14 to 78 x 112 inches. Sharing a kinship to the late paintings of Philip Guston, Webster’s paintings play with scale. Whether in a large painting or a small painting, Webster’s figure typically dominates the work. The surfaces are further activated by heavy brushwork, incidental markings and taut delineation.
This spring, Webster visited the Rothko Chapel, at the Menil in Houston, TX and completed several sketches during the visit. The chapel became a metaphor for his own interior space and the chapel’s octagonal footprint is the form in and entry to several of the paintings in this exhibition.
Born in Binghamton, NY, Chuck Webster received a BA from Oberlin College in 1992 and a MFA from American University in 1996. The artist’s work can be seen in numerous public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; and The Beinecke Library at Yale University, New Haven, CT. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Milton and Sally Michel Avery Visual Arts Fellowship, at Yaddo, 2010 and 2000; the MacDowell Fellowship, Peterborough, NH, 2004; and the Winter Fellowship at the Fine Art Works Center in Provincetown MA, 2004. Webster lives and works in New York City.