Thomas Connolly’s exhibition, “Scenes I’ve Seen” runs from November 2 – 25 with an Opening reception Thursday, November 2nd from 5 – 7pm. This exhibition highlights Connolly’s keen gift for capturing and conveying the mood of any given location, as well as his ability to shift with ease from tight, detail-driven though painterly realist observations of architectural subjects to loose, lively and impressionistic land- and seascapes. Whether laboring in the studio on his architectural paintings or en plein air on his scenes of nature, Connolly’s stated goal is “to convey an emotional sense of place that is consistent with all the work I do. I want my paintings to have a sensual combination of colors that makes them feel like there is light coming from within the paintings, and this all comes from adjustments and balances within the work.”
With regard to his cityscapes, Connolly wants “to make the paintings look the way a city feels.” In this he is quite successful. As arts writer Mariel Melnick observes, “Connolly’s paintings are entirely realistic, but they are so much more. They contain brilliant, lyrical touches of paint that stand out like high notes in prominent harmonies. . .His paintings represent atmospheric light and emit their own luminosity. And instead of allowing architectural prestige and iconography to occupy the spotlight, Connolly forces them to succumb to the mood and atmosphere of his paintings. He deliberately chooses to paint identifiable sights, which are subsequently overshadowed by their painterly rendering.”
In the side gallery this month, Greenhut is pleased to announce its first exhibition of works from the estate of one of Maine’s most celebrated abstract artists, Frederick Lynch. His obituary states, “In a career spanning more than 50 years, Lynch pursued a singular vision that began with the observed world and went deep into the underlying structure of appearances.” This exhibition features a group of Lynch’s sculptural segments, with each displayed beside a gouache on paper representation of itself. The works on paper feel a bit like architectural specs and are, in Lynch’s own words, “almost obsessively accurate” renderings of the geometric oil and enamel on pine segments they represent. “I tried to translate every nick, every texture,” he says. Though Lynch’s method is systematic, it is not formulaic. Lynch’s aesthetic is drawn from the ordered chaos of nature, his shapes a bit quirky. “Deviations, mutations, and the unexpected” are welcome advents, staving off predictability. “Art,” Lynch says, “is perhaps the most interesting subject there is to me, and my art the most interesting of that—not out of ego, certainly, but out of curiosity. I make art to see what happens.”
These two and three dimensional renderings of each respective form are separately and independently beautiful; the combined effect is not only beautiful, but also fascinating. Observing each segment as it confronts its own image, the viewer is invited to contemplate the transformative effects of media, scale, and dimensionality. But philosophical ponderings are not at all necessary to appreciate the exhibition. As Lynch puts it, “My art is about aesthetics. All other positive associations, invocations, or implications are bonus points, incurred with the advantage of a second look.”
Greenhut Galleries located at 146 Middle Street, Portland is open Monday through Friday 10:00 – 5:30 and Saturday 10:00 – 5:00. For more information visit www.greenhutgalleries.com or call 207.772.2693.