Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Art opening at New Haven Library Saturday

New Haven Free Public Library Art Gallery
133 Elm St., New Haven
Louis Posner Memorial Show: Hitting the High Notes of Color and Form
Oct. 15—Nov. 23, 2007.
Artist Reception: Sat., Oct. 20, 2:30—4:30 p.m.

Press release

Louis Posner (1926—1999) was talented as both a Jazz musician and a painter. His artworks have been described as a contrast in tension and serenity whether through the exploration of form, technique, or through the interaction of color. They reveal a thinking painter continuously exploring the expressions of color, form and size.

The first impression is one of rest and repose that draws the viewer into the painting. Yet the viewer cannot stay there, but is forced out of the quiet to realize the tensions also at work. Continuously, the impression is that of the expected—a lovely seaport scene on a beautiful Greek island, a quiet corner of marshland in a secluded cove, with nudes in repose—yet Posner gets the viewer to see the unexpected in the painting by creating tensions back and forth across the canvas. He works with ideals juxtaposed with reality. The ideal is the bright, the expected and the quiet. The reality is not only that, but an unexpected dynamic.

Music, painting and printing were important to Louis Posner all his life. He came from a family of printers in New York City, so printing was always in his Mood. He studied music from grammar school and concentrated on the saxophone.

Growing up in Greenwich Village, he went to the High School of Music and Arts, and played with symphony orchestras and a variety of bands. But once he graduated, he became a Jazz musician. "I played with Lester Young, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, Charlie Parker and Al Conn, to name a few," he said. As a painter, some of his friends were Jackson Pollack, Larry Rivers, and Frank O'Hara.

Later in life, he played gigs in and around New London, and, during the same time was the supervisor in the print shop at the Eugene O'Neill Memorial Theater Center.

Posner's painting technique uses strong, large shapes. Starting with his early semi-abstract works, there is a connection between the spatial relationships of his large paintings to his miniatures—as when broken down, one sees the similar tension which has been built up in the smaller shapes, using color and line.

Also early on, he painted Max Sennett Bathing Beauties, then the rounded figures of dancers. His later nudes are passive and receptive, yet with a tension evident between the apparent motion in background tapestries, and the quietness of the figure. The viewer's gaze is moved through large color spaces surrounded by vibrating color.

Posner's first professional showing was in Mexico. He exhibited in galleries in England, Wales, Belgium, Greece, and New York City. He later had shows at the Lyman Allyn Museum and Connecticut College in New London, and the Slater Museum in Norwich.

There will be an artist reception on Sat. Oct. 20, from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

TWO Lou Posners, both artists, with two wives named Mary? painting within a few miles of each other in Connecticut? In the same time period? Impossible? But true. We met Louis and his wife back in the mid-1980's, had a delicious chicken dinner at their warm home and "talked shop." We got to see a lot of Louis' paintings (strong, bright, powerful) and hear his history (associations with jazz greats, adventures in Mexico, etc.) and tried to figure out whether we were perhaps related (my family is from Philadelphia, Trenton, NJ, and New York City). We couldn't pin it down exactly but my own GUT feeling was that somewhere, somehow, we WERE related. (We had even painted amazingly similar motifs, e.g., a pair of worn, high-topped orange work boots, etc.). And it was way too coincidental that MY Mary displays collections of rocks and shells around the house THE SAME WAY Louis' Mary did in HER home! When my Mary and I moved back to Indiana from Connecticut, we lost touch with our namesakes in Connecticut. We didn't know that Louis had passed away in 1999. Mary, please accept our sympathies. A terrific musician and artist, a part of the very fertile art and music scenes of the 1950's (and beyond) in America has been lost. I look forward to seeing him in that place where all artists go after their time here. I'm sure he'll be at an easel. With his sax on its stand in a corner. Lou (and Mary) Posner, Tell City, Indiana. Nov. 21, 2007.

6:41 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home