To close out another wonderful summer season on the Midcoast, Haynes Galleries in Thomaston is proud to introduce new works by John Baeder, Peter Poskas, and Phil Schirmer, alongside a number of other widely celebrated contemporary Realists. As a supplement to the two group shows hanging on the first floor, these artists will be on display until September 19 as part of the Upstairs at Haynes summer series.
Though each is working in a different medium, Baeder, Poskas, and Schirmer come together to highlight the breadth of talented artists currently carrying on the Realist tradition. Perhaps the most unique addition to the gallery’s collection is the photography of John Baeder. Best known as one of the leading painters of the Photorealist movement of the 1970s, Baeder’s oeuvre frequently uses small town American diners and eateries as a subject. In so doing, Baeder elevates the often-overlooked elements of American life and brings them into the realm of fine art.
Of the numerous works produced throughout John Baeder’s career, Haynes Galleries is currently showing large digital prints of photographs shot in the mid 1970s and early 1980s. Trailer, Arizona Route 66 embodies a taste of the American patriotism that can be found throughout Baeder’s work. The photograph shows a lone trailer, painted in stars and stripes, sitting in the middle of a vast deserted American landscape. The image is bold and striking in its simplicity. It speaks to the fierce independence of which Americans are so proud and celebrates the character of the rural Southwest.
While Baeder’s photographs find beauty in the more rustic moments of American life, Peter Poskas looks to the New England landscape as a source of inspiration. Painting the region for more than thirty years, Poskas shows masterful understanding of the nuances of light and perspective. Often he depicts the relationship between the region and its inhabitants, the effects of seasonal changes, and the quiet beauty for which New England is known and beloved.
Though a longtime Connecticut resident, Poskas often finds inspiration in the landscape of Maine. One of his most recognizable subjects may be the island of Monhegan. Passing Shower, Monhegan looks out over the island from atop a hill. In his distinctive style, Poskas captures the warm light of a setting sun as it glows through the mist. While many artists have painted similar scenes, Poskas stands out for his keen ability to so convincingly capture the subtleties of light.
In addition to John Baeder and Peter Poskas, several exciting new pieces at the gallery come from master egg tempera painter Phil Schirmer. Completely self-taught, Schirmer has spent over twenty-five years mastering the technique required to paint with the medium. Created by mixing powdered pigment, egg yolk, and distilled water, egg tempera is applied in layers of translucent color that result in highly detailed, highly realistic images.
Painting primarily in Maine, Schirmer uses his natural surroundings as subject matter. His paintings end up as extremely convincing representations of natural objects. Schirmer’s images are refreshing in that they throw off the joyful brushstroke used by so many landscape artists today. They do not push color, nor do they evoke a sense of action; instead their beauty comes from the stoic simplicity of the compositions and the exacting skill with which they’re executed. In Rock with Tree the subjects appear painstaking, still, frozen in time. The result is calming. It evokes within the viewer an appreciation for the simple beauty found throughout nature.
Donald Demers love of maritime subjects began during the summers of his youth spent the in and around Boothbay Harbor. The sea has stayed with him all these years. His artistic career began as an illustrator but soon expanded to traditional fine art. His background as an award-winning illustrator are clear in his seascapes— an attention to detail pervades his scenes— but they also exhibit visual poetry as if they are the carefully remembered memories from a trip to the coast long ago.
As the summer season begins to wind down, these three artists provide wonderful additions to the already extensive collection of American art currently on display at Haynes Galleries. If a trip to the gallery hasn’t yet been made, these artists are a great reason to come by Thomaston and see their work before doors close on September 19. Shown in tandem with group landscape show “Joseph McGurl, T.J. Cunningham, Karen Blackwood, Marc Dalessio & Friends” and the figurative show “Celebrating Art of Women by Women,” Upstairs at Haynes has plenty of new work to admire and only a little time left to see it all.
Haynes Galleries is located at 91 Main Street, Thomaston. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday or by appointment. For more information, visit www.haynesgalleries.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org