Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Re-Emerging Artist's Hour

Robert Marx and John Greene
at Main Street Arts
Clifton Springs, New York

Brad Butler, the Director of Main Street Arts welcomed us when we came over to the gallery to see the show of the "Re-Emerging Artists" - Robert Marx and John Greene.  The show is quite extensive and you only have a couple of days to see this impressive show - so put on your traveling shoes!

John Greene and Robert Marx
A beautiful wall of select works

As a culture we are frequently following the next trend and take for granted artists who have been working away in the solitude of their own studios.  Those artists are making their work because of a passion and are following their own path.  Lucky for us that Main Street Arts has allowed these painters to show a bundle of their new things, because you can learn a thing or two from the experience.  Just looking at Robert Marx recent portraits for example takes me back to my student days when I was an engaged portrait painter  - and I respect what he is doing here.  Robert Marx has a relation to artists I grew up with from the 1950's like Leonard Baskin, and Francis Bacon, and even a more obscure artist like the printmaker Bruce Muirhead.

Robert Marx at Main Street Arts
Clifton Springs, New York

The focus on portraiture in the paintings of Robert Marx is not unexpected - he has been at it for decades, and his work is represented in museum collections  and he has shown widely.  John Greene - at least for this viewer - is a new discovery, and I especially like his more dimensional works that jut out from the walls.  This is a new kind of landscape that has a lot of potential and it seems that he is exploring a new bit of territory for a representational art.

Two landscapes by John Greene
jut from the wall of the gallery

John Greene left the business world to pursue his art career and the paintings he has on view are related to the colorfield abstractions of artists like Jules Olitski, but here the works have a more determined point of view that relate to landscape as abstraction.  I think the juxtaposition of the paintings by John Greene and the works by Robert Marx make a fine kind of duet ( both men have known each other for a while but this is the first time that they have had a show together ).

John Greene paintings at Main Street Arts

Robert Marx - in his paintings and the beautiful drawings upstairs explores the effects of pattern for clothes and a kind of scribble that begins to create mass when looking at the faces he portrays.  His people seem to have a purpose and you can find that the titles give you a sense of what the artist is driving at ( see "The Pretender" for example or the drawing " A Little Mad" ).

Robert Marx

On the second floor of the gallery there are a fleet of interesting drawings by Robert Marx that extend the vision of his work, and give you insight about how he develops a face for example.  Talking about faces, there is also walls of little paintings that is part of the young talent that the gallery tries to feature every now and then.  Below is a selection of the young talent.  But young and old have something to offer, so make it your business to see this show and enjoy!