PEGGY ZEHRING AND HER STUDENTS AT MONTSERRAT GALLERYOctober 7, 2011
There’s a museum quality show at Montserrat Gallery showcasing the work of Peggy Zehring and several of her students. Peggy is a Colorado based artist. Before moving to Colorado a couple of years ago, she lived in the Seattle area. She has been conducting painting classes since 1979 – now 2 weeks in Colorado and 2 weeks in Seattle.
Zehring is a firm believer that, to do good work, an artist should strive for inner truth, not prettiness. In her classes, she forces her students to delve into their cores and create that which is them. As a result, her training has little to do with formal technique and much to do about finding the essence of the artist.
In this show, accompanied by 11 of her students, she proves her point.
Zehring’s own standout piece is a diptych which will be heading to a new museum home. Zehring crosses boundaries between painting and sculpture. She uses lightweight plastic sand and other materials to create sinuous dimensional objects which she adheres to a backing, molds and uses as a foundation for painting. Her colors are strong and distinctly oriental in feeling.
I did mention that Peggy’s students took classes with her, some coming year after year. Each is an excellent artist in their own right. You may not respond to someone’s work, but you can recognize the quality of the work. This is evidenced in this show. Here are a few highlights but please note that the images of Spellman’s and Bender’s work are not in the show and are included as examples of their styles.
Margo Spellman’s large triptych in the white to black palette with jolts of color is outstanding.
Karen Frances presents most interesting ambiguous pieces, which were textural, narrative and abstract simultaneously.
Fred Zehring shows a glorious abstract which glows and entices.
Mary Sewell Cooper is an anthropologist, reflected in her work which is closest most of us can come to owning cave paintings.
As I said, not a weak piece in the show. The artists’ styles vary as does their subject matter, media and techniques but the quality of the work from everyone is simply excellent
Montserrat Gallery is at 547 W 27 Street, NYC on the fifth floor. Put this on your must see list – open through Oct. 22.
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