J. Thomas R. Higgins
Greenhut Galleries presents an exhibition of three incredible Maine artists from October 5th through 28th with an opening reception Thursday, October 5th from 5 – 7pm.
Growing up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, J. Thomas R Higgins’s earliest exposure to art was the work of Edward Redfield, Daniel Garber and related Pennsylvania Impressionists. Later, as a college student, principal influences were Van Gogh, Kokoschka, Abstract Expressionists and other painters with a romantic vision. For more than four decades Higgins’s paintings have responded to the Maine landscape with passion and a personal viewpoint.
“As a painter, what I find most interesting is the dialogue between perception and the act of painting, how a gesture of paint can become the equivalent of what is observed and subjectively transformed. Painting for me is an active and intuitive process of participating in natural spaces. By working on site through direct sensory experience, I hope to achieve a dynamic, animated, and painterly response to a subject that is often untamed and in flux.”
This exhibition consists of paintings produced during a residency at Maine Farmland Trust’s Joseph A. Fiore Art Center in Jefferson, Maine during the summer of 2016. The residency provided me with the opportunity to immerse myself in the rustic landscape from North Whitefield to Nobleboro, Maine—a subject matter to which I related unabashedly and enthusiastically.
This month Greenhut is also thrilled to announce its first exhibition of works by Neil Welliver. Welliver’s huge oil paintings of the Maine landscape are considered by art critic Robert Hughes to be “among the strongest images in modern American art.” While this exhibition includes oil paintings, it is primarily designed to celebrate the artists’ talents as a printmaker. The ten selected prints showcase Welliver’s use of the following media in creating an intuitive yet precise vision of the wild natural world: etching (using the difficult, laborious aquatint process) and woodblock (created in the intricate, exacting and time intensive Japanese tradition of ukiyo-e).
As former US poet laureate Robert Strand notes: “The world of the prints seems more vulnerable than that of the paintings. In fact, it seems oddly, radically poised for dissolution. Subjects are singled out, regarded, and given, finally, a painstaking mortal presence, reminding us that what we see will come to an end and that nothing in nature will last. It is on this that their lyric character depends, this terrible, gratuitous knowledge of limitation by which we make things matter.”
Neil Welliver was born in Pennsylvania in 1929 and lived in Maine for 35 years prior to his death in 2005. He received his BFA from Philadelphia Museum, College of Art and his MFA from Yale School of Art. He taught at Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as chairman the Graduate School of Fine Art from 1966 to 1989. Welliver’s works are included in many major museum collections, including Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, as well private collections worldwide.
This month our side gallery show will feature works by George Lloyd. These paintings were made in the 80s and 90s, following the artist’s move to Maine from the San Francisco Bay Area, where he had spent the previous 13 years as both painter and teacher.
The 8 works included in the present exhibit were selected in part on the basis of their Maine-centric palette. As poet and critic W.S. DiPiero puts it: “George Lloyd has lived west and east, and different weathers coexist in his work to strong, sometimes disturbing effect, especially in the paintings he has made while living in Maine. While haunted by Bay Area light, his work has also been infused with New England’s brutally changeful weather.” Lloyd’s paintings are marked by their exuberant vitality, and a brand of sensuality that incorporates both masterful brushwork and an extraordinary command of color.
George Lloyd received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA from Yale School of Art. In 1969, he moved to Berkeley to teach at the University of California. There he met and was befriended by Elmer Bischoff, a leader of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, with whom he drew from the figure model in weekly drawing sessions in a group that also included the painter Joan Brown.
Lloyd has received grants from the Pollack-Krasner Foundation in 1994 and 2006, and the
Elizabeth Foundation in 1995. He was a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome in 2002. His work is included in numerous museum collections as well as private collections both here and abroad.
For more information call 207-772-2693 or visit greenhutgalleries.me