“Fresh Work,” a new show featuring “Ice Scape” photographs by Jerry Reed, abstract and geometrical work by Judy Friday, and “The Birds,” winter paintings by Helen Cantrell, along with other contemporary artists, will be on display at Gallery 19 from February 1 through April 30. Gallery 19, located at 19A Main Street in the heart of historic Essex, Connecticut, is committed to new art, including by artisan weaver Stephanie Morton, potter Clare Cunningham and others who share the gallery’s modernist sensibility.
Essex resident Jerry Reed’s “Ice Scapes” are a work in progress. “Two years ago, in a field next to a farm to market road near my home,” the photographer says, “there were two ruts where I suppose the tractor turned at the end of a row, in these ruts, rain water collected, then froze. Photographing the sheets of ice is a continual process: “I go back each winter, got nothing last year, but this year the luck was with me,” he says. Reed’s series of time-lapse photographs of the sky and sea of Long Island Sound are also on display.
Judy Friday’s new abstracts are a return to her vivid, slashing palette knife work, inspired in part by the paintings of Joan Mitchell, while her geometric paintings are a play on classic quilts. Friday’s latest colorful work is a continuation of her exploration of the boundaries between order and chaos.
“The Birds” by Helen Cantrell is a new series of oil paintings of birds in snow in Cantrell’s expressionist style. “I watch birds out my studio windows, and the fierce struggles of these little creatures to survive are impressive. The stark blacks and whites of New England winters also impose a formal order, like the Japanese screens I admire,” the artist says.
Gallery 19’s winter hours, Thursdays through Sundays from 11 to 5 pm, will continue until March 15; thereafter the gallery will be open Wednesdays as well. For more information call (860 ) 581-8735, or visit gallery19essex.com.