Four of today’s top contemporary Realists come together for a summer group showcase at Haynes Galleries. “Joseph McGurl, Karen Blackwood, T.J. Cunningham, Marc Dalessio & Friends” will be on view through September 19 in Thomaston. Special guest artists will also present works during the show.
A clear commitment to the craft is the tie that binds in this show. McGurl, Blackwood, Cunningham, and Dalessio have each trained in time-honored techniques at various ateliers & academies but each has a signature style. They are devoted to traditional methods and use their skills to create landscapes and figurative work of the highest caliber.
As a landscape painter, connecting with the landscape on a profound level is of the utmost importance for Joseph McGurl. Trained in the methods of the French Academy with an emphasis on drawing, McGurl combines his emotional connection to vistas with his drawing skills & a sight-size approach, resulting in a unique approach to the genre. The finished landscapes are acute studies of the land & sea with brushstrokes that vary with the emotion, at times thin & long, other times short & thick as in Sunlight, Monhegan.
In contrast are Karen Blackwood’s expressive Impressionist landscapes. Her passion for landscape painting bloomed amongst a group of plein-air painters inspired by the rich tradition in California Impressionism. In her own work, Blackwood attempts to capture light’s effect on atmosphere which so often adds an emotional, personal element to a scene which can only be captured on site.
T.J. Cunningham’s “Docked,” oil on linen panel
With an education centered on the great Realists of the 19th and 20th centuries including Sargent and Bouguereau, T.J. Cunningham has an eye for strong, compelling compositions regardless of subject matter. In just a few short years, Cunningham’s output of portraits and landscapes has revealed a bright future for this thoughtful artist. Docked is more a loving portrait of a common fishing boat than just a seascape. Careful observation of the boat— its weathered hull and jumble of ropes & wires— reveal its timeless character.
Friends & colleagues of Dalessio from his days at the Florence Academy of Art will join the exhibition as special guests, sharing their work at Haynes Galleries for the very first time. Based around the world, they have congregated in Maine this summer to paint together. These guest artists will add depth to this diverse collection of contemporary Realism resulting in a one-of-a-kind exhibition that is sure to enthrall guests.