Non-Objective or Not: Dialogues in Modernism
Wendt Gallery of Laguna Beach, California is pleased to announce the opening of its newest gallery location, Wendt Gallery New York, located in the landmark Fuller Building at 41 East 57th Street, 8th Floor. The gallery program will consist of Southeast Asian art, with a focus on Indonesian Contemporary artists, and 20th Century European and American Modernism. Owners Joseph and Serina Manqueros are looking to showcase Asian artists who have not yet had an opportunity to exhibit in New York and Modern artists who, until recently, have not been widely shown in the New York area.
Steven Lowy of Portico New York has been invited to curate the inaugural exhibition and the gallery’s ongoing Modern Program. For the last 20 years, Mr. Lowy who was from 1988 until 2005 the curator of the estate of Rudolf Bauer has curated a number of Modernist shows with such prestigious galleries as Gary Snyder Fine Art, Weinstein Gallery (San Francisco), Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery and David Findley Jr. Fine Art. In addition, Lowy provided much material support to Karole Vail and her co-curators for Art of Tomorrow: Hilla Rebay and Solomon R. Guggenheim the exhibition which may have been the tipping point to resurrect the careers of Rudolf Bauer and Hilla Rebay.
The title of the inaugural exhibition is Non-Objective or Not: Dialogues in Modernism. Lowy has a history championing work by artists who merit reconsideration. In this exhibition superb representational works will accompany non-objective works by the same artist. The collection exhibited by Wendt exemplifies the creativity and importance of this group of “non-objective” Modernists. Highlights from the exhibition consist of two Irene Rice Pereira canvases, which were included in The Whitney Museum’s dual show “MacIver/Pereira” in 1953. A large canvas, Orange Cross, 1947 painted by Hilla Rebay, Solomon R. Guggenheim’s art advisor, who introduced him to the work of Wassily Kandinsky and Rudolf Bauer is a fine Guggenheim deaccession that could never be sold today in light of Rebay’s return to favor. Rolph Scarlett another artist who was championed by Rebay and later ignored by subsequent Guggenhiem curators will also be featured,
Some relative newcomers to the exhibiton program are Juanita [Rice} Guccione, Xanti Schawinsky and Seymour Fogel, Guccione the less well know sister of I. Rice Pereira studied with Hans Hoffmann had an interest in cubism which later evolved into surrealism then abstract surrealism. Xanti Schawinsky, a Bauhaus student and theatre instructor was also an award winning graphic designer. He was an energetic artist and great experimenter who made paintings with everything from his own dancing feet to a Triumph TR3 automobile whose tires were covered in paint! In 1936 Schawinsky was invited by Joseph Albers (Assistant Director of the Bauhaus) to emigrate to the United States and teach at Black Mountain College, where he taught Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage and inspired “The Happening.” Schawinsky later settled in Greenwich Village where when not making art he could be found playing chess in Washington Square Park. Marcel Duchamp was a frequent opponent.
Seymour Fogel is considered to be Americas greatest modern muralist. He produced social realism early in the 20th century, abstract and expressionist art mid-century, and transcendental art late in the century. His painting, Elements, is one of the rare canvases from the 1940’s where the influence of Piet Mondrian is easily seen with a high keyed palette more reminiscent of Rolph Scarlett than the dutch master. Fogel who exhibited eight times at the Whitney Museum during his lifetime and executed a number of murals in the New York metro area worked out of a studio on canal street for many Years.
The Wendt Gallery survey concludes with a group of contemporary artists who continue to work in a modernist idiom. Gary Stephan who has had a distinguished career experimenting with impossible geometry and teaching at SVA will exhibit his masterpiece What Objects Dream. Painter Victor Matthews’ work is a blend of influences from graffiti and hip-hop to Brice Marden and Robert Motherwell, while Daniel Villeneuve plays with geometric forms in both two and three-dimensional works. Finally, the abstracted and vibrant multi-media lenticular works of Mary Ann Strandell complete the show with their electric palette, dizzying movement and sensual textures.
Wendt Gallery is a fine art gallery whose purpose is to create greater awareness of the importance the arts play in contemporary culture. By showcasing past and present, representational and abstract art the gallery hopes to bring special focus to the influence that early modern artists have played on the art of today.
For more information please call 212-838-8818, visit www.wendtgallery.com or email Serina Manqueros at firstname.lastname@example.org.