June 21 – August 17, 2012
Ricco/Maresa Gallery is pleased to announce Weather featuring weather related paintings, photography and sculpture from the 19th century to present. Seen in this context, the viewer is offered a fresh platform from which to consider works as distinct from one another as in T. Bellerby’s dramatic painting “Flood,” 1887, Wilson Bentley’s intimate photograph of a single “Snowflake,” c. 1885-1931, and Toc Fetch’s large graphite drawing of distant clouds and alien figures in “Singing up the World,” 2008.
Since time immemorial, artists ahve been watching the skies for inspiration, subject matter, and as a channel to their inner psyche. Weather can elicit emotion and spark imagination — the anxiety of an approaching tornado, the rage of a hurricane, the glory of the sunshine, or the tranquility of a rain-washed landscape. Art historical periods have favored particular weather conditions. The sunbathed settings and sky-blue backdrops of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and Raphael’s School of Athens reflect the optimism and order of the Renaissance. The violent skies and turbulent seas in Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa and J.M.W. Turner’s The Slave Ship evoke the emotion and drama of Romanticism.
Works on paper exhibited in Weather include George Widener’s No Rain Five Days in which the artist weaves storm dates from the past into an elliptical magic square based on five days of the week. Toni Ross’ small abstract drawings from her Avebury Series, express a deep, damp mood enshrouded with hope. Elizabeth Rogers’ large and furious watercolors give Constable’s clouds Emile Nolde’s palette. Scott Ogden’s ink drawing recreates the vortex of a tornado through geometric patterns and line. Sindy Lutz’s series of small crayon drawings are contemplations on weather on the beach, bringing to mind Monet’s Haystacks.
Bastienne Schmidt’s photograph of a snow covered field includes herself, diminutive in relation to the wide-open landscape, yet strong enough to bask in the center of its overwhelming beauty — a tribute to the forces of both nature and woman. Photographer Rebecca Norris Webb encapsulates the stillness and trepidation of a South Dakota blizzard viewed from a window, in Homestead Blizzard. Gerald Slota’s Sun 2012 is unsettling in its depiction of a frolicking nude bather who is chased and harnessed by the red heat of the sun. Photographed using homemade film, Michael Flomen’s Skyline is a powerful and romantic reminder of our fascination with the fury and tranquility of weather in all of its infinite variation.