Walking into the George Marshall Store Gallery from the heat and glare of the late summer sun one is struck by the calm monochromatic tones and simple shapes of Ernest Montanegro’s, Lisa Noonis’ and Dan Dowd’s work. The first glance belies the complexity of these three artist’s sculptures, collage-paintings, and found object instillations. Most of the pieces are untitled, ambiguous in name and form, leaving room for the viewer to discover their own interpretation and connection.
The late summer light in the river view gallery draws you into Carter Wentworth’s world of colorful garden inspired paintings. The vibrant water color and gouache images emulate the ease and flow of leaves, trailing vines, flowers budding, and exploding seed heads with layers of color that spread effortlessly throughout his paintings.
The dock level gallery features the work of international photographer Lucas Foglia. His show “Frontcountry” is an unbiased look at the contradictions of the American West, a region mythically famous for being wild, which is being radically transformed by the new boom in mining. Lucas’ photographic narrative has captured these vast wild territories and the people who live on the boundaries between small towns and wild road-less areas caught in the middle of two seemingly opposite lifestyles: ranching and mining.
The combination of the three exhibitions have much to offer. Curator Mary Harding had done studio visits with Montenegro, Noonis, and Dowd over the past winter. She chose to combine the their work in one exhibition as she sensed a visual connection although the medium couldn’t be more diverse: Dowd’s found fragments of clothing and rubber inner tubes, Montenegro’s cast bronze and steel and Noonis’ mixed media collage. In reading the individual statements about their current work, a common theme of impermanence, fragments of forms and figures, and a way of questioning how we view and value art runs through their work.
Harding has done numerous studio visits with Wentworth over the years, seeing work in progress as well as touring the artist’s garden. Wentworth’s earliest memories of the garden are the catalyst for his recent series Plant Life Dialogue. Observing nature and noticing its ability to create groupings and patterns over time in a garden, the artist strives to allow the layers of color and form to spread effortlessly in his paintings. Quoting one admirer of the work “Carter’s work is emotive – connected and vibrates – the colors and forms talk – engage and satisfy – new things emerge, old feelings reappear – Carter puts the solace of nature on my walls.”
Between 2006 and 2013, photographer Lucas Foglia traveled throughout rural Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming, some of the least populated regions in the United States. Frontcountry is a photographic account of the mining and cattle industries in the American West, and how people use land that is famous for being wild. Besides the photographs on exhibit, visitors are encouraged to spend time looking through Foglia’s three books of photographs related to some of his other projects.
The exhibitions continue through September 30. Gallery hours are 10-5 Tuesday through Saturday, 1-5 on Sunday. 140 Lindsay Road, York, Maine. The gallery is a program and property of the Old York Historical Society. www.gerorgemarshallstoregallery.com phone: 207-351-1083