september 8 – october 15, 2016
opening reception: thursday, sept 8, 6-8pm
The Elizabeth Harris Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by James Bohary. This will be his seventh one-person exhibition with the gallery.
In writing about this current body of work James Bohary states: “Historically working in large sizes has given painters the opportunity to create imagery that has been recognized as having a scale beyond its physical size; a historic scale beyond the time it was made and a communicative scale beyond its intended meaning. Tintoretto, Michelangelo, and more recently Matisse, Picasso, Pollack, Guston and De Kooning are a few masters who have been successful in this respect. More importantly for me are the Pre-Historic Cave Painters who developed a visual language as a response to their environment.
How Matisse dealt with the original impulse in his work has always fascinated me and I find that in these last paintings I am being drawn more and more in this direction. Through limiting the applied material to the surface of the canvas, the drawing armature takes on a bigger role and I am working more closely with the original impulses. I continue to look to my immediate environment for ideas such as the marine life under water as I snorkel in the Caribbean or as I walk through the tropical forest and through the forests in Upstate NY.
The large-scale size has been more of a consideration for this group of paintings. This scale forces me to use my instincts more acutely as opposed to smaller works, which can be grasped more immediately. In a way it is like I am underwater surrounded by life and exploring the environmental medium.
Through blocks of time devoted to these large-scale works, I have been able to develop and explore this area with greater focus. Also using acrylic paint in some of the work produced in Puerto Rico, the paint was more fluid and immediate, because it is more water like and I was able to explore how this medium would effect my usual application of oil paint in the creation of visual language.
Whether I am in Puerto Rico or New York, I find that I gravitate to the water for a source of material.
Due to the differences of the weather conditions in the working environments, I have found using acrylic in Puerto Rico and oil in upstate New York seems to be the most effective way to develop my understanding as a painter the biodiversity that exists in these areas.
At this point in my development as a painter I have had the opportunity to concentrate on making large paintings, helped in part through a sabbatical leave granted to me from Binghamton University in preparation for this exhibition.”
James Bohary has exhibited extensively since 1971 in the United States, Europe and Canada. His awards include a Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grant, NEA Grant, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award and numerous awards from the National Academy of Design including the Ranger Purchase Prize. His work is included in numerous collections including the Corcoran Gallery of Art; the Hood Museum; the Weatherspoon Art Center and the Snite Museum at Notre Dame University.
The Gallery is located at 529 West 20th Street, 6th floor, and is open Tuesday through Saturday 11-6. There will be a reception for the artist on Thursday, September 8th from 6-8 pm.
For further information please contact Miles Manning at 212 463 9666.