The Louisa Gould Gallery is holding its first abstract art show of Vineyard artists, featuring Marjorie Mason, Ed Cohen, Jules Worthington, Roberta Gross, Margo Ouellette and Ovid Ward. Now hanging, the show runs until Sept. 12.
Marjorie Mason’s traditional artwork needs no introduction, but this is a first-time showing of her non-representational artwork. “The body of work that is called Tea Lane series, or T-lane and the Chilmark series, were begun in the mid-1990s,” she said in an artist’s statement. “My intention is ... to see how far I can push the familiar limits of painting this Island landscape in monotype.
“I am very interested in the work of Richard Diebenkorn and borrow heavily from his model of form as a way to see landscape more elementally. When pictorial ingredients are undressed this way, what is left is a more sobering view of the bricks and mortar, so to speak. It is in this more essential world that the usual games played with color, shape, edges and composition can be held up to the light and discovered anew..”
Ovid Ward is well known for his photorealistic maritime paintings of the Vineyard, but in Vineyard Abstraction there are new, very large abstract works. He calls these abstracts whimsicals.
“I love my whimsical paintings ... they are the only paintings in my house,” he said in his artist’s statement. “They are spontaneous, energetic, happy, colorful and fun. They have a good long-distant ‘read,’ and when you look up close, there are all sorts of interesting things going on. Although they are abstract, there is realistic subject matter scattered throughout the paintings.”
A new artist to the gallery is longtime summer resident Roberta L. Gross, who has recently taught abstract painting at Featherstone Center for the Arts. “My paintings, sometimes lyrical and other times bold and organic, represent my instinctive, gestural and expressionistic reactions to specific images,” she wrote. “The colors, however, often reflect my immersion in the Vineyard landscape, particularly the reds, yellows, blues and greens of the Aquinnah beaches as seen in the morning light and evening sunsets. Even my use of black lines, sometimes bold and other times wispy and coiled, also can be seen in the dark, inky seaweed left by the waves on the changing contours of the sand.”
Ed Cohen will show his work for the first time on the Vineyard, although he has summered here for 30 years. He’s been painting for over 18 years, both in New York city, where he has a solo show opening next month, and in Chilmark. His fresh canvases with bold but discriminating use of color complete the show. Mr. Cohen paints in a process called fluid acrylics, in which he lets the paint flow onto the canvas. “My interests grow out of my experience of painting — playing with materials, experimenting, confronting a blank canvas,” he wrote, adding:
“Living on Stonewall Pond, I experience the peace of the pond and the drama of the ocean waves pounding the endless rocks on Stonewall beach. The ebb and flow of the tides, the changing moonlight on the pond and ocean, and waking to the sunrise on the Eastern horizon are all experiences of natural forms that influence my work. I use the flow of the paint and am interested in the resulting natural forms.
“I have been influenced by the paintings of 17th century Japanese monks. Their works are called enso paintings in which painting is an expression of a state of mind and a way of seeing the world. In my painting, I seek a mental and physical space where painting becomes a kind of meditation. I hope the viewer has a similar experience.”
Louisa Gould Gallery is located at 54 Main street, Vineyard Haven. The gallery is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For details, call 508-693-7373 or visit online louisagould.com.