Friday, February 11, 2011

Stops Along the Way- Paintings by Bob Larsen

McGowan Fine Art announces “Stops Along the Way” featuring the paintings of Bob Larsen. The show will run from March 1 through April 1, with an artist’s reception on March 11 from 5 to 7 PM. This show is a benefit for Canterbury Shaker Village and is free and open to the public.

Bob Larsen is a noted local artist and former lawyer. His work has been featured most recently at the Sharon Arts Center, but also at the Sulloway Gallery in Concord, NH and the Forbes Galleries in New York City. As a lawyer Bob was in charge of the art acquisition and exhibition program at Sulloway & Hollis Law Firm where he was able to give outlet to his creative side by curating. In the past 15 years his passion to paint crystallized into something more than a hobby. A four month sabbatical and the inevitable retirement gave him the large chunks of time needed to develop his artistic skills.

Larsen has been recognized in the past for capturing the iconic structures of the state: the Capitol Dome, the buildings of Canterbury Shaker Village. For this show he revisits many of these icons but puts a twist on them. He bridges past and present by incorporating the contemporary and historic landscape. In ‘Benning Wentworth House” he has included the shadowy silhouettes of the Naval Shipyard cranes towering over the dignified yellow mansion. In “Lempster Wind Farm” the Washington Town Hall steeple vies with the stately wind towers. Some of the other icons he depicts are Strawberry Banke, Canterbury Shaker Village, the Bridges House and Gould Hill Orchard in Concord and the Cog Railway.

Mr. Larsen’s paintings are readily recognizable by their strong shadows and frequent use of reflections in windows. Attention to detail is his hallmark. In “Ministry” his close up of an historic window in the Ministry Building of Canterbury Shaker Village depicts the distorted images of other buildings, distant landscape and the shadowy image of a bowl and ewer sitting on the sill- effectively rendering three different worlds. “These paintings take me quite a bit of time to work out” says Larsen. “They might take a month a piece and I am a ruthless cropper. The painting generally starts off quite a bit larger than the finished piece. As I finish up I start to distill it down to the final composition.”

Thursday, February 10, 2011

100 Artists of New England

Last year I started working with author Ashley Rooney to identify  artists in New Hampshire to include in her recently published book 100 Artists of New England. Ms Rooney has published many books on a wide range of subjects from old barns to small kitchens to shingle style homes. She excels at bringing together a broad variety tied together by a common theme. She has done it again with this book.
Because Ashley, who lives down in Massachusetts, could not be plugged in to the art scene in each state she reached out to different galleries and art organizations for their input. Like many projects there was time spent making selections, then trying to round up images and profiles on the the artists. Time was short as Ashley was working on a deadline and I had other projects on my plate to look after. It was pressure for me and the artists I had helped to select, but it is the sort of thing that makes my job interesting. The artists of New Hampshire that I helped to identify are Gary Haven Smith, Peter Milton, Sandy Wadlington and Paul Pollaro.

I was only able to identify as New Hampshire artists as Ashley was reaching out to galleries in others states to identify their favorite artists. I was gratified to see that some of the ones I would have liked to select were chosen any ways. Artists such as Noriko Sakanishi, Holly Meade and Kim Bernard.

We are hoping to do a show in the near future to highlight a select group of artists from the book and bring in Ms Rooney for a book signing. So stay tuned!