June 2, 2011—July 5, 2011 | Reception Thursday, June 2nd, 6-8pm
James Harris Gallery is pleased to present a group show of drawings by Michael Hurson, Robert Moskowitz and Myron Stout entitled Confluence. The centerpiece of the show is a 1953 drawing by Stout of a Cape Cod landscape. Stout noted that ”the tangible and sensational world was still the raw material for the universality which he would create for himself.” Both Moskowitz and Hurson were part of a group of artists in the late 1970s that marked a return to figurative style in painting and drawing after Minimalism. The drawings in this show demonstrate the flow of ideas from one generation to the next; it also connects the admiration of artists and the influences that created friendships and artistic discourse. The works demonstrate a unique personal vocabulary developed by each artist to construct images based on observation and memory. The drawings in this show demonstrate the confluence of ideas and histories that contributed to the rise of figurative painting and drawing after years of abstraction.
Myron Stout (1908-1987) came of age as a painter at the height of Abstract Expressionism. Hans Hofmann was his principal mentor. Where Abstract Expressionism was heroic in gesture and large in scale, Stout’s work was small and spare.
Michael Hurson (1941 – 2007) regarded as “an artist’s artist,” he created figurative drawings that took aim at the seriousness of painting in the 1970s. Working on an intimate scale and often taking inspiration from cartoon characters and puppetry, he drew or painted everyday objects and often turned them into animated characters captured at various points of an unrevealed narrative.
Robert Moskowitz (1935- ) is known for his reductive silhouettes of architecture, manmade or natural forms that float on top of a field of spare ground. The background shifts between positive and negative and is sometimes interrupted with spray paint or pastel smudges of finger prints.
Both Hurson and Moskowitz emerged as prominent figures in the New Image Painters, a group of artist that included Neil Jenney, Jennifer Bartlett, Malcolm Morley and others, named after a 1978 Whitney Museum exhibition that marked the strong return of representational painting. The artists are thought to be the precursor of the continued strength of figure painting.