Four Seasons

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Four Seasons
Curated by: Michel Allen

526 West 26th Street
Suite 403, (Between 10th and 11th Avenues)
New York, NY 10001
February 10th, 2009 - March 14th, 2009
Opening: February 19th, 2009 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Open by appointment only


Allen Gallery is proud to present Martin Weinstein's Four Seasons. This is the artist's first solo show with the gallery.

Each painting in this show represents a particular season. Weinstein uses a unique process where he paints layer upon layer of transparent acrylic sheet also using oil paint. The paintings in the exhibition include images of the garden planted by his wife Teresa in front of their family home on the Hudson.

Martin Weinstein was born in New York in 1952 and grew up there in Westchester County. He had a strong, early affinity for art, an interest encouraged by his father, a painter. Weinstein visited museums regularly with his parents, and recounts the particularly powerful experience of spending two days with his father at the British Museum, looking at Turner watercolors. Weinstein's own work in watercolor began as a youth, making snapshot-like travel images, a practice that he has continued ever since.

Weinstein studied painting at the Tyler School of Art, graduating with a BFA in 1974. His early interest was in abstraction, ranging from the vivid canvases of Hans Hoffman, to the elegant stain painting of Morris Louis, to the automatic spectacles of Gerhard Richter. Of partiuclar note was the work of the minimalist artist Dorothea Rockburne with her use of translucency  and self-generating forms. Weinstein's early works were large-scale stain paintings with cloud-like or interpenetrating geometric shapes. In the 1980s, he began masking portions of paintings, allowing for representational elements, such as clouds or leaves, to be layered on top of the abstract compositions. These works were followed by paintings which were, in their entirety, abstract landscapes.

Weinstein's shift from abtraction to representation was based on the satisfaction he found in observing and portraying the visible world. However, abstraction remains a structural foundation for his paintings with recognizable images. In 1988, Weinstein saw a limitation in simply representing a single view of the world, without acess to the multilicity of ways that we imagine reality. His solution was to paint various parts of the painting's final image on clear sheets of acrylic plastic. This Technique allowed for the juxaposition of images, or the building up of a single image. -John Mendelson

The works are painted on two or more sheets of transparent acrylic plastic. The process is an intuitive one, with the image developing and changing in stages that are not always predictable. The colors are built up in successive layers and worked on simultaneously from the bottom layer up and from the top layer down. The figure/ground relationship is crucial, so edges or the lack of them are importnat. A painting may be resolved ina week or sometimes it is left for a year, until the season returns.

The works continue the artist's interest in using varied styles of painting to represent the lasndscape at different times, often within the same work, layering disparate ways of imagingin reality, rather than simly reconciling them. These paintings emobdy the artist's thoughts about time, simultaneity, and metamorphosis in represeting a landscape that is charged with memory and emotion.

This work invites viewers to experience for themselves the painter's love of the visible world and his sense of the mutability of experience. they encourage the viwer to participate in the work both visually and emotionally, allowing  it to resonate with their own fellings and sensibilities.