Bowery Gallery is pleased to announce Close to Home , featuring recent work by Naomi Nemtzow. For this exhibit, Nemtzow returns to painting directly from observation in a series of 15 plein air paintings of the quiet Brooklyn neighborhood where she has lived for much of her life.
Across the Street #2, Oil on paper, 17” x 14”
Nemtzow combines paint with pencil drawing to capture the specific color and light of the time and place. Confident mark-making captures the energy of the many small events playing out around her as she works.
Seventh Ave with White Minivan, Oil on paper, 21” x 14”
Windsor Place, July #1, Oil on paper, 17 ½” x 14 ½”
Trees planted along the sidewalk are often Nemtzow’s focus. These city trees, with the implied gestures of their trunks and branches, can be read as stand-ins for the painter herself, rooted in place, taking in the scene. (Another example of Nemtzow’s rootedness: she has been a member of Bowery Gallery since 1980 and this is her 11th show!!)
7th Ave with Mailbox, Oil on paper, 20” x 15”
Parked cars, row houses, and sidewalks have a playful aspect. They too are characters in Nemtzow’s quiet dramas.
Red Tree, Blue Sky, Oil on paper, 22” x 16”
The exhibition also includes a group of drawings and collages based on Bellini’s, St. Francis in the Desert. Studying Bellini’s masterpiece, Nemtzow explores the underlying animation of the Italian landscape much as she explores her own immediate environment.
Bellini, St. Francis in the Desert
When asked about her history with the painting Nemtzow says, “The painting is incredible — very powerful, exquisitely complex. Much has been written about it. My own experience is that it got stuck in my head and drawing from it has been like unwrapping gift after gift. I have to say I’m in love with those crazy green rocks!”
Bellini’s St. Francis #2, Charcoal on Paper, 19 ½” x 22”
Small Bellini Study #3, Collage/mixed media
Small Bellini Study #2, Collage/mixed media
Reviewing Nemtzow’s 2012 show, Peter Plagens wrote:
“…it takes a real sense of visual poetry to make good (collages). Naomi Nemtzow makes very good collages….(which) exude a palpable sense of hope, in this age of technical sleight-of-hand, for guileless art.” That same spirit informs Nemtzow’s current work.
For more on “St Francis in the Desert” , there was a noteworthy article in the New York Times. Available on-line:
NAOMI NEMTZOW, “Close to Home” runs concurrently
with RITA BARAGONA, “Cadences”
April 24 – May 19, 2018
Reception, April 28, 3-6 pm
Gallery Talk, May 19, 3:30 pm
530 West 25th Street, 4th floor
NY, NY 10001
Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 11-6pm. For more information, call 646-230-6655