by D. Dominick Lombardi
It’s no secret that water has its own unique attraction. Some of our best memories of youth often center around water, especially in moments when the summer’s oppressive heat is quelled by a dip in a cold lake, stream or pool where games and adventures, big and small, take place. Then there are the socio-political aspects of water: chemical pollution, climate change and even the damage that plastic water bottles can cause – some, even disputed facts that can separate us as much as it unites us.
The eight artists in this exhibition touch upon the above issues as well as add new and deeper ways of thinking that feature varied aesthetic or symbolic characteristics, as they offer distinctive jumping off points to view the world for all its beauty and frailty.
Tim Daly has, for as long as I have known him, been wholly concerned with environmental issues. His two paintings, which address the impending disaster of the Salton Sea in California, present a very real and startling symbol of how past abuses never lose their potential to reap havoc with our health.
Cecilia Whittaker Doe sees water through a complicated lens that challenges the viewer to put the pieces together the same way the Cubists once confronted their audiences. With Whittaker-Doe we see more of a subconscious, day-dreamy quality and a bit softer deconstruction than her predecessors.
Keryn Huang reveals with her images the magic one can harness with a black and white photograph, especially in setting a mood. Even the simplest of juxtapositions and angles can become overtly transformative or quietly compelling in the hands of a patient observer who waits for just the right moment.
Jim St Clair paints solely from his boat, most often along the shores of the five boroughs and New Jersey, as a he captures the beauty as well as the beastliness of large hulking ships, decrepit docks or wobbly walkways that have succumbed to nature and man’s relentless insults, all set against a quickly changing skyline.
William Thompson finds great concerns for what confounds our seas, reaping both physical and psychological harm. As a result, the sea is becoming angry, hot, even molten and we can feel in his intimately sized paintings centuries of abuse bubbling up to the surface as the day of reckoning approaches.
With their timeless sepia toned surfaces, Roman Turovsky creates photographs that feature awe-inspiring angles of some of New York’s most majestic bridges. That mix of time and testament to human kind’s ability to overcome great gaps is much needed today when considering our divisive socio-political climate.
Martin Weinstein looks at nature over days, months even years to collect illuminating imagery on layers of overlapping Plexiglas. Each painting is done from life as it leaps from moment to moment like the pages of a novel, unfolding through beauty, brilliance and the quietude present in each brush stroke.
Patrick Winfield’s Driftwood (2017) holds snippets of a story that reveals itself sequentially in recognizable elements veiled by raking sunlight. Each frame spawns memories in us of similar circumstances when we too have stopped to look and breathe in the timeless moments of everyday life.
Water Works runs from April 27 to May 22, 2019 at the Walter Wickiser Gallery in New York City’s Chelsea District.