Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ralph Stone Jacobs at The Hargate

I was able to attend the opening of Ralph Stone Jacobs paintings at The Hargate at St Paul's School in Concord, NH. Colin Callahan is the director. It is always fun to see how someone else will present the work of one of your artists. 

It is always problematic to hang lots of little pieces in a large room, but Colin opted for one of my favorite solutions. Rather than trying to fill the space by grouping the paintings he created a rhythm by hanging the small pieces at eye level. He also grouped the paintings thematically. All the Button Bay paintings hang together; all the still lifes hang together. 

The show is designed as a teaching aid for students so there is an emphasis on Stoney's process - namely several unfinished paintings. This will be appealing to artists and others who just like to know how he does it.
One of my favorite paintings in the show is "Jonesport #4". It is a loosely painted scene of fog rolling over rocks. The colors perfectly depict the softening effect that mist has on colors. The gestural  brush strokes reproduce the feeling of mist wrapping around an object. The horizon line is non-existent, the foreground and background a perfect field of atmospheric grey. The painting shows great artistic economy. 

Another exceptional painting is Amonoosuc Lake.There is a broader range of colors than in other paintings. The lake is dark black and reflects the sky and trees. Stoney uses brighter greens to portray the  raking light catching the tops of the trees. Autumnal russets line the shore. I accompanied an art appreciator to see this show and he also picked this painting out as exceptional. I think the composition, stepped back shore line and color palette make this a visually intriguing piece.

This show will be hanging through October 20 and there will be a second artist's reception taking place on October 12 from 6:30-8.

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