FROM ARIZONA TO VERMONT
Exhibition Dates: May 23 – June 17, 2023
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 25, 5PM-8PM
Artist Talk: Saturday, June 3, 3PM
Bowery Gallery is pleased to announce a major solo exhibition of new paintings by artist Martha Armstrong. This exhibition, From Arizona to Vermont, is Armstrong’s eighth show at Bowery Gallery. This new work features Armstrong’s distinctive energetic composition in landscape paintings depicting two contrasting environments: the forested hills of Vermont and the deserts of Arizona. An observational painter, Armstrong has been painting at the window of her Vermont studio for many years, observing the changing light and seasons of this New England landscape. More recently, Armstrong has turned her eye to the Arizona deserts. Each of these landscapes receives Armstrong’s painterly attention and passionate craft, and as each painting, in Armstrong’s words, exhibits its own “intuition, feeling, judgment and memory.”
In a New York Times review of Armstrong’s 2015 show at Bowery Gallery, critic Roberta Smith wrote:
“She attacks blocky shapes of color that describe one landscape—a hill with some woods and a shack—visible from the window of her Vermont studio that may be her Mont Sainte-Victoire. But her shapes also maintain a nearly sculptural independence….At once improvisational and carefully carpentered, these paintings explode toward the eye, like nature on first sight, at its most welcoming and irrepressible.”
About her new Arizona landscape paintings, Martha Armstrong says,
“Working on desert paintings, a wild dangerous place–large animals, thorns, snakes-brilliant flowers, saguaro cacti, tenacious trees. Tom Hanks said of the desert, ‘I couldn’t tell where heaven stopped and earth began.’ He was talking about the sun coming up. I am fascinated to be in the desert as the sun goes down. A mysterious event in a huge sky almost every day. We in the East see pieces of sky through tall trees. The drama before the curtain falls on darkness is breathtaking. It takes minutes—seconds–and is gone. I try to capture several changes in one image. That’s the only way it looks real to me. I’m usually painting in complete darkness in my studio trying to remember where colors are on my palette. Then I turn on the light and break the spell and say, so try another night. It will happen again.”
Born in 1940, Martha Armstrong has had an extensive and noteworthy painting career. She is a 1962 graduate of Smith College, and received a Master’s Degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1963. Armstrong has taught at the Kansas City Art Institute, Smith, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Indiana University in Bloomington, among others. She has exhibited regionally and nationally and is in the permanent collections of The Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and many other public and private collections across the country.
About Bowery Gallery: From its beginnings in 1969, Bowery Gallery – a cooperative founded by artists – has been a force for the expansion of art’s traditions in a venue unconstrained by commercial pressures.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am to 6pm. For more information contact the gallery at 646-230-6655 or email@example.com.