Concurrent with the exhibition of watercolors by John Marin and Charles E. Burchfield, the gallery will present a group show of work by four contemporary artists: Dozier Bell, Lisa Lebofsky, James Mullen and Eileen Murphy. Each of these artists has explored the tradition of landscape in unique ways, with varying perspectives.
The drawings and paintings of Dozier Bell are at once deep evocations of natural environments culled from memory and experience past, and reflections of a life of philosophical inquiry and keen observation that merge in her work as marvels of virtuosity and poignant imagery. Bell’s works bring to mind 19th-century American painters Albert Pinkham Ryder, R. A. Blakelock, Frederick Church, as well as England’s John Constable. “Exacting and deliberate, often mysterious impressions of nature's disquieting, transitory presence, her works comprise a vision of nature that sweeps across vast plains and valleys, ascends into lofty skies, and reaches toward far distant horizons,…” (Carl Belz, Left Bank Art Blog, 2014)
Lisa Lebofsky is a nomadic plein air painter. With a focus on water and light, she travels the world, seeking out places that are under threat by climate change. “I paint the susceptibility of nature, and correlate it with human vulnerabilities. The paintings are made with natural elements and painted on surfaces that remain visible through various layers of paint, permeating the entire image. The push and pull of light and dark, opacity and transparency, abstract and real, enhances the variability of these transient scenes.”
James Mullen has always felt a connection to the natural landscape. “I have never seen the landscape as a static thing, but rather as a process that is constantly changing. Because of this, my work revolves around an interest in light, and how even a single location moves through time via the constantly changing sense of the light that reveals it. The state of Maine has been the cornerstone of this projec … I have explored much of the state, with a special affection for the complex coastal regions from Kittery through the Schoodic peninsula. In all seasons, in all weather, it is a landscape that is constantly revealing itself in new ways, and is a source of near limitless reflection and possibilities.”
Eileen Murphy feels that a landscape painting is a reflection of its viewer. Trees and streams and skies mirror the mood and experiences of the people who see them. “I have recently been reading Jill Lepore's book The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity; in it, the rustic New England landscape plays a major role in a series of conflicts between settlers and native peoples in the early colonial era. The American landscape has shaped us as a nation while reflecting us back onto ourselves. This is a phenomenon that I try to capture in my paintings. I make extremely detailed landscapes, devoid of people, that have the uneasy feeling of something important having happened, or something about to happen. The viewer naturally projects his or her own associations and experiences onto the scene.” (Eileen Murphy)