long island city
january 6 – february 10, 2018
opening: saturday, january 6, 3-6pm
Elizabeth Harris Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of paintings by Mario Naves. This will be the artist’s seventh solo exhibition with the gallery.
The title of the exhibition pays homage to Naves’s Queens-based studio of twenty-five years, as well as to the surrounding community of artists whose workspaces have been displaced by the current boom in real estate.
“The influence of one’s environment,” states Naves, “can’t be understated. Whether one is working in the light-drenched streets of Venice, the tropical splendor of Tahiti or the less glamorous precincts of New York City, an artist absorbs the particulars of the immediate vicinity. Whether consciously set into motion or through less overt means, a specific sense of place—its light and space, architecture, coloration and even social character--winnows its way into the imagery. Long Island City has, until recent years, been a haven of surprising quietude and gritty idiosyncrasy. I like to think these qualities are embedded within the structure of the paintings.”
Naves’s acrylic-on-panel paintings are arrived at through an improvisatory process that welcomes a variety of inspirations, including commercial signage, vintage comic strips, Indian miniatures, early Netherlandish painting, mid-twentieth century design, and the cut-and-paste rhythms of our digital age. “The older I get,” writes Naves, “the more mysterious the process of art-making becomes—the more allusive in associations, infinite in possibilities, and exciting in its conundrums.”
Using modernist means in the aim of transcending modernism’s limited scope of reference, Naves looks to the entirety of history and across disparate cultures in the hopes of channeling a sense of art’s sweep and density.
Mario Naves is an artist, critic, curator and teacher who lives and works in New York City. He is a member of the faculties at Hofstra University, Pratt Institute and Brooklyn College. Naves is the recipient of prizes and awards from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The George Sugarman Foundation, the City University of New York and other institutions. His art has been written about in The New York Times, Art in America, The Village Voice, The New York Sun, ArtCritical, Time Out New York and other venues. Naves’s writing has been published in The New York Observer, City Arts, The New Criterion, Slate and The Wall Street Journal.
The gallery is located at 529 West 20th Street, 6th floor and is open Tues. – Sat. 11 – 6 pm.
january 6 – february 10, 2018
opening: saturday, january 6, 3-6 pm
Elizabeth Harris Gallery is pleased to present Upland, an exhibition of new work by Ron Milewicz. This will be his fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. It will feature paintings and drawings based on the rural landscape of upstate New York.
For two years Milewicz made drawings in the woods, approaching nature simply and directly with only pencil and paper. In these intimately scaled portrayals of trees, meadows, ponds, and skies, the silvery graphite is seemingly soaked into the soft cotton paper. Critic David Ebony writes in his exhibition essay: “Milewicz trees are no ordinary specimens . . . the trees appear as spectral presences. Nurtured by ethereal light, crystalline air, and vaporous clouds of moisture—conveyed by finely nuanced tonal shifts—these ancient, ancestral trees possess firm roots and an insistent verticality.” Milewicz’s absorption into nature is evident, and the drawings are suffused with solitude.
Milewicz began making paintings of his drawings of landscapes. Relying on memories that are as much emotional as visual, Milewicz’s paintings are faithful to both interior and exterior experience. They regard nature as a spiritual wellspring, a view Milewicz shares with artists ranging from the Chinese scholar-painter to the American Luminist. His works assert the overwhelming truth of Nature’s elemental and mystical power. Reverence, however, is not confused with nostalgia. Conscious of the contemporary existential threat to Nature, Milewicz's depictions of landscape can be seen as elegies for the landscape itself. They present Nature’s force along with its vulnerability, silently marveling at the central miracle of being while admitting the miraculous fact of inevitable dissolution.
At the core of these works is their quiet refusal to restrict themselves to a single vantage point - physical, emotional or philosophical. In Milewicz’s landscapes, as in his previous cityscapes and still-lifes, multiple subjects - personal, universal and appropriately un-nameable - underlie the images, giving them their beguiling mystery and presence. As Ebony concludes in his essay, “In Milewicz’s metaphorical picture-language, trees resign themselves to command a terrestrial domain, yet persistently strive to attain a heavenly realm.”
Ron Milewicz was born in 1963 in Brooklyn, New York. He studied biology and art history at Cornell University (1979-83), received a master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture (1983-86), and attended the New York Studio School (1990-1994) where he has taught drawing and painting for a decade and a half. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, has been widely reviewed, and is represented in numerous private and public collections. He lives and works in Queens, New York, and Gallatin, New York.
The gallery is located at 529 West 20th Street, 6th floor, and is open Tuesday – Saturday, 11-6.
A reception for the artist will take place on Saturday, January 6 from 3-6 pm.
For further information contact Miles Manning at 212-463-9666
There will be an opening reception for the artist, Saturday, January 6th, 3-6 pm.