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Joshua Liner Gallery – Resolve Exhibition Curated by Artist Tony Curanaj

February 3, 2012

There is an amazing group show at the Joshua Liner Gallery at 548 W 28 St., NYC. Artist and curator Tony Curanaj has assembled a group of 25 painters, sculptors and photographers. Some are well known, such as Kim Coogan and Jeff Hayman, others are not but likely will be.

The common theme is a grounding in realism and realistic training. To be included in this show, the artists’ work was required to be in the non-abstract tradition. Yes, painters and sculptors do need to know how to draw as the basis for executing their vision. This is not to say that these artists execute in the same style as their techniques range from ultra-realistic to neo-impressionist among the painters, from whimsical to realistic in sculpture, and, in photography, purely painterly.

Unique in recent shows, there are no weak pieces. Some may be disturbing, such as the butchered cow’s head, that one can’t imagine living with but that is still excellently rendered or Jeff Hayman’s photos of human skulls (living with bones might be a problem for some, including me). Other than the cow’s head, every piece is something that speaks to an individual, that they can buy and live with. I can see these pieces in museum collections but not as corporate art.

Highlights:

Jacob Collins – Interior III – a wonderfully moody oil of a painting filled interior, beautifully dreamed, hazily textured and lovingly rendered

Kim Coogan – American Dream – another of his beautiful urban oil paintings capturing a bit of a city at night

Tony Curanaj – Perched – the most beautiful little blue bird, oil on panel. He’s so warmly executed in ultra-realistic style that you expect him to fly onto your finger.

Jacob Pfeiffer – Nesting – a whimsical and amusing red origami bird brooding quite a collection of eggs presented via oil on panel.

Travis Schlaht – Anticipation – the baby canary learning to fly is an utterly entrancing oil on canvas

Jefferson Hayman – Torn Painting- it’s hard to believe this is a photograph, even though the subject is an old master ripped by a fork lift. You can almost see the brushstrokes and feel the despair of the museum curator.

Christopher Gallego – Studio Interior –you can feel the empty room with its texture and detail awaiting both the housepainter and artist with his canvas and oils.

This exhibition is open through February 25. I highly recommend it and am delighted to discover another group of artists to follow.  Wish I could have included more pictures.

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