…continuing on the theme of Artistic friendships….
Simon Carr and Thaddeus Radell, with a friendship that goes back over 30 years, are in an exhibit at Westbeth Gallery, NYC called “Prints By Painters” . This is a unique chance to see two painters plying their craft in the medium of print ( etching) and to recognize a long artistic friendship.
Carr and Radell met in graduate school at Parson’s, while studying painting with Paul Resika and Leland Bell in 1979-81. Carr feels that “these two teachers were masters in the old sense who formed our tastes and outlook”. In this stimulating environment Carr and Radell forged a friendship based on their shared commitment to painting.
Radell, ” Crossing the Acheron”
The work of Simon Carr and Thaddeus Radell can best be described as painterly figuration and one of the striking things about these two artists is their range of subject matter. They embrace the genre of still life, and the figure in the landscape, but they cite slightly different influences/ motivations.
Carr’s work often involves large groups of figures interacting in different environments. Carr says the following:
“The worlds I see are the source of the imagery in the paintings. I collect drawings of a particular motif, assemble them in the studio, work up larger drawings, then paint from those. Memory plays an important a part….. The paintings develop and change, figures and scenes develop and change, often the final image is very different from where the painting started.”
“My life in the museum, drawing and looking, studying and arguing, with the great masters and my colleagues, is one of the most important parts of my life as an artist”.
Radell’s recent paintings draw inspiration from literature. He describes it this way: “Last year I read Dante’s Inferno and was so struck by the relationship between Dante and Virgil. I felt … trying to work with this might harness a more poignant meaning to the random dialectic happening between figures in my paintings. From the Circles of Hell I have finally emerged and am attempting to work with another ungraspable equation: Lear and the Fool.”
Radell, “Hailing Charon “
Radell continues: “Painting for me is not something remotely enjoyable. I love being in the studio …it is where I feel most comfortable and free. However, working is a grim task and though the actual mixing of oil color, wax and dry pigments is a sensual delight, the birth of an image through some mad arrangement of marks…..does not come easy. I approach my work like a boxer- in rounds, each round lasting for an hour or so and in between rounds I take a small break…coffee, telephone Simon.”
The two artists teach at Borough of Manhattan Community College and their camaraderie is infectious. Their art conversations continue in the classrooms evidenced by the fact that they both walk into each other’s studio classes to continue a conversation on the progress of the art making.
Carr states: “Our view of teaching, even method of teaching is similar, and has found a home in the Art Foundation major at BMCC. Along with some of the other faculty there, we have developed a program, … an atmosphere where our shared values as artists and our own work ethic can survive and thrive”.
Carr, ” Piano and Family_062″
On their artistic friendship Radell says, “ Simon has been a dear friend for these many years simply because we have so much in common: the rigor of our studio practice, an instinct for materials, our love and respect for the Masters, mutual friends, shared exhibitions, great literature and music, being colleagues at the same institution (BMCC), a common belief in basic foundational skills for young students. Probably above and beyond all else is our belief in each other as artists, each fighting the good fight …
Carr and Radell are represented by Bowery Gallery, and have exhibited numerous times in group shows. Recently they were in “April Flowers” curated by Xico Greenwald at Queens College this spring, and prior to that they both exhibited in “Looking at the Overlooked” curated by Peter Colquhoun at Westbeth in January.
This current exhibit at Westbeth’s Project Room features a number of extraordinary prints by painters. Click on the link for more info:
Show dates: April 18- June 8
To contact artists by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
530 West 25th street, 4th floor,
Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 11-6pm. For more information, call 646-230-6655.
Diane Drescher ——–