FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alpha 137 Gallery
Contact: Nadine Witkin
Direct email: Nrwitkin@aol.com
Telephone: 917 592 8379
April, 2017: Alpha 137 Gallery is proud to present select works by renowned landscape painter Thelma Appel, whose life and career span several continents over the course of more than 50 years. Now nearing 80 years old, Appel, is ripe for re-discovery.
Paintings presented at ArtExpo New York show the range of Appel's oeuvre, highlighting her background in illustration, landscape and gestural abstraction. Alpha 137 Gallery will exhibit a work from Thelma Appel's “Dream Cities”, a group of fabric collages about imaginary cities of the mind: "Ideal places I could call home after being geographically displaced from my own homes in Israel, London, India and later on, other places throughout my life", explains the artist.
Alpha 137 Gallery's booth will also feature a painting from Appel's "Times Square" paintings, a series of stunning interpretations of the city's iconic neighborhood. In a recent interview published by the website Artsy, Thelma Appel explains, "Images in my Times Square series are part real and partly made up; they’re also partly altered and re-constituted, while others are faithful to a reality that is no longer. The colors I used are also so different than the actual colors of Times Square...it’s my color, not the real color. What’s most important to me is that the images must always work as a composition, because I’m an artist; that’s more important than any faithful representation of reality. Like my landscapes. They were not a mimetic representation of nature. They were composites. I’m not interested in realism; I’m interested in representation."
In addition, Alpha 137 Gallery will present work from Appel's mystical "Cosmic Dance" series, powerful works of gestural abstraction, as well as a cityscape called "Santorini" from the artists's recent exhibition ("Landscapes and Cityscapes") at the Chashama Foundation in Manhattan. Gallery owner Nadine Witkin notes, "There's a long tradition in this country of women artists over 80 years old finally getting the recognition they richly deserve, from Grandma Moses years ago, to artists working today like Agnes Denes, Lois Dodd, Monir Shahroudy and Thelma Appel. Unlike in Hollywood, where women are expected to look beautiful forever, in the art world, it's all about how the work looks. Thelma Appel's paintings continue to look magnificent - and they stand the test of time. In fact, I think Appel's paintings get more stunning as she gets older. Gallerists like myself, unlike Hollywood talent agents, don't need to knock decades off their artist's age. In art, age is something to really be proud of."
Thelma Appel graduated from Central St. Martin’s School of Art & Hornsey College of Art in London before emigrating to the United States, where she settled in Vermont, teaching at Bennington College and Parsons School of Design and exhibiting in museums and galleries throughout the region. In 1974 she was awarded a YADDO Fellowship, and in 1975 she co-founded, along with painter Carol Haerer, the Bennington College Summer Painting Workshop, where many distinguished painters of the day were invited to conduct master classes. Among them were Neil Welliver, John Button, Alice Neel, Larry Poons, Friedel Dzubas, Stanley Boxer, Elizabeth Murray and Doug Ohlson. Appel became known primarily for her paint-soaked brush strokes on large canvases that sought to recreate the energy, color and immediacy of the landscapes. For years, she was represented by the renowned Kornblee Gallery and later Fischbach Gallery in Manhattan, and her works have been represented in many important museum and corporate collections nationwide.