Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Friday opening at La Motta Fine Art: Vital Ground

La Motta Fine Art
11 Whitney Street, Hartford, (860) 680-3596
Vital Ground: Landscapes by Howard Rackliffe & Jonathan Scoville
Jan. 28—Feb. 28, 2009.
Opening reception: Fri., Jan. 30, 6—8 p.m.

Press release

La Motta Fine Art is pleased to present a two-person exhibition entitled Vital Ground, which features the dramatic landscapes of two beloved Connecticut painters, Howard Rackliffe (1917—1987) and Jonathan Scoville (1937—1996). The exhibition opens on Wed., Jan. 28, and continues through Sat., Feb. 28, with an opening reception on Fri., Jan. 30. from 6—8 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.

Howard Rackliffe drew upon the organic influences of nature, creating expressive compositions that recall the early American Modernists, but are infused with a bold and direct approach that is entirely Rackliffe's own. Annual travels to the Maine coast served as fodder for his paintings that so passionately capture the rugged and elemental nature of the Down East landscape. This exhibition will include a selection of paintings by Rackliffe not previously exhibited.

Rackliffe's paintings have been featured in one-person exhibitions at the Todd Gallery, NY; the New Britain Museum of American Art, CT; and the Caldbeck Gallery, ME., and in group exhibitions at the Virginia Museum, Richmond, VA; Jacques Seligmann Gallery, NY; and the Ringling Museum, Sarasota, FL. He was one of eight artists featured in the 8 From Connecticut exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum in 1960, that also included Cleve Gray and Bernard Chaet. His work was the focus of a retrospective exhibition in 1990 at the New Britain Museum of American Art, CT. that traveled to the Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, ME. Rackliffe's works are represented in the collections of the Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA; Columbia University, NY; New Britain Museum of American Art, CT; Portland Museum of Art, ME; the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, MA and the Farnsworth Museum, ME.

Jonathan Scoville's paintings of mountains and sky show the forces of nature at work. More visionary than realistic, his paintings present cloud formations both lyrical and turbulent and mountain forms as observed from his studio in West Cornwall, CT. The exhibition will include a selection of Scoville's dramatic charcoal drawings and etchings in addition to paintings on canvas and panel, all from the artist's estate.

Jonathan Scoville grew up in Manhattan and studied at the Art Student's League in New York City. He settled in Cornwall, CT, living and working in a house he built by hand on ancestral property. Scoville's work has always been highly regarded, and he received fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, as well as other arts organizations. He showed regularly at the Condeso-Lawler Gallery in New York City, and his work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Butler Institute of Art in Youngstown, Ohio, the National Gallery, in Washington, D.C., among many other institutions and private collections.

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