Bowery Gallery is pleased to present “Plein Air Works” by Chris Semergieff in an invitational show at the gallery. The show runs concurrently with the Linda Carey show June 21- July 9.
The subject of this show is landscape at the edges of the urban environment. Presently working in the South Bronx and Yonkers, Semergieff ( pronounced semerjeff) began looking at the neighborhoods of Brooklyn in the late 70’s. The format of urban foreground in relation to urban skyline and the narrative it offers has comprised the main enterprise of his long career as a painter.
Sky, water, bridges have a strong presence in his compositions.
In a very lively talk at Bowery Gallery, Semergieff said that he was oriented towards landscape from the beginning when he first got interested in painting, and early on he knew that man-made structures needed to be in his paintings.
Semergieff says he wants to capture the sense of place but not depict it.
“Where is the Image for Longing”
To this writer the places in the paintings look familiar but at the same time could be anywhere. Semergieff is fascinated by areas that are seemingly abandoned. In fact, he says these recent paintings represent places that are going through a revival . So one sees evidence of construction even at the edges of marshland in his painting of Hunts Point.
“Steve’s Train Barge Terminal”
..and to this writer there are wonderful rhythms in all the paintings. They work abstractly even as they offer the somewhat unsettling reality of man-made elements intruding into the natural world.
When talking about his working method Semergieff says he scouts out locations, returning many times before deciding to paint a certain spot. He will do quick sketches and then a larger one on paper. When satisfied, he begins the final process of painting with a charcoal drawing on canvas at the location. The quality of light and color come from direct observation but he is quick to point out that he does not follow slavishly to the scene. It is an ongoing conversation between generalities vs particularities. He says it’s about, “how much do you really need”.
Semergieff credits his teachers Gabriel Laderman, and Wilber Niewald for exposing him to the genre of landscape painting. And he cites the work of Edward Hopper, Albert Cuyp, Rackstraw Downes and, more recently, Antonio Lopez as sources for his paintings.
Chris Semergieff’s contact info is firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bowery Gallery in Chelsea, NYC has a mission to exhibit work of the highest quality from independent artists. We welcome inquiries for our two invitational slots each summer. We are currently inviting artists and artist groups living in the US to apply for the Summer 2017 slots. More info is on our web site, www.bowerygallery.org.
530 West 25th street, 4th floor,
Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 11-6pm. For more information, call 646-230-6655.
** Diane Drescher **