John Hartell: Paintings (1955-1993)
March 25 - April 29, 2017
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 25, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Valley House Gallery is honored to present a selection of paintings from the estate of American artist, John Hartell (1902-1995). We were introduced to Hartell's luminous paintings by a tip from a dinner guest at the home of his daughter, Dallasite Kay Cattarulla and her husband Elliot. John Hartell taught two disciplines at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York: freshman architects and graduate painters. He was a much-loved professor there from 1930 until his retirement in 1967; one of his most illustrious students is the architect Richard Meier. As an artist, Hartell's first solo exhibition was in 1937 at Kleeman Gallery in New York. He exhibited at Kraushaar Galleries in New York for four decades, beginning in 1943. The Hartell Gallery at Cornell University, under the Sibley Dome, is named for him. In describing John Hartell, the artist Michael Boyd writes, "He was engaged in a kind of visual alchemy, where the visible world is transmuted into pure color and light, where objects seem to condense out of light." John Hartell's daughters Kay Cattarulla and Mari Quint will attend the opening reception.
* * *
Mark Messersmith: Pay the Thunder No Mind - Listen to the Birds, and Hate Nobody
March 25 - April 29, 2017
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 25, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, March 25, 5:30pm
Valley House Gallery presents our third solo exhibition for Mark Messersmith, a Professor at Florida State University in Tallahassee. In lushly-colored paintings, Messersmith creates dense narratives packed with animals, birds, plants, and insects that express his concern for the shrinking world they inhabit. New to this exhibition are small paintings of birds. They are a dramatic shift in scale from his monumental paintings which are embellished with carved pediments and predellas that further the narratives and express his affection for Renaissance altarpieces and folk art. Messersmith earned a BFA at Fontbonne College in St. Louis, and an MFA from Indiana University. He was awarded the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation Award in Painting in 2006. Among the many museums that have collected his works are the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, Musée du Haut-de-Cagnes, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Tyler Museum of Art. The exhibition title is adapted from a quote by Eubie Blake.
* * *
David A. Dreyer: Till Things Never Seen Seem Familiar
February 18 - March 18, 2017
David A. Dreyer was born in Dallas in 1958, and earned his BFA and MFA at Southern Methodist University. He has had solo exhibitions at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary in Dallas and The Grace Museum in Abilene. We are pleased to present his sixth exhibition of paintings and sculpture at Valley House Gallery. An exhibition catalogue will be available.
About this body of work, Dreyer states, "The art I make does not tell a direct story, but prompts one to find things truly unseen. In this exhibition, the works develop through intuitive improvisations, actions upon surface, and lines perpetually reflecting and responding to the previous surface condition until each piece manifests the familiar - a rightness of resolution - the gestalt. This echo of familiarity drives my work, as I simultaneously move head-hearted toward and away from where it comes."
* * *
Miles Cleveland Goodwin: The Maze
January 14 - February 11, 2017
Valley House Gallery is pleased to present our second exhibition of paintings and sculpture by Mississippi artist Miles Cleveland Goodwin, along with the publication of a catalogue illustrating his recent work.
Working in his open-air studio, Miles is deeply in touch with his surroundings – both corporeal and spiritual. He incorporates materials provided by the land - dirt, ash, nests, and the refuse of rural life – in his oil and egg tempera paintings, resulting in complex and unexpected surface textures. Likewise, his sculptures evolve through an intuitive process born from his natural inclination to see poetic metaphor in all he observes.
Not unlike the spirit of Southern literature and Delta blues music, there is an autobiographical nature to his storytelling. Miles says, I don’t like to do things I don’t know. He paints to figure out who he is. In Goodwin’s soulful compositions, he narrates the story of his family and the essential nature of animals and land around him. In his work, we feel the temperature and humidity. We sense the ever-present spiritual forces that guide our world. We experience the inherent ambiguities and provocations felt when confronting life as it is. The honest intention and lack of guile behind the paintings resonates within us long after an encounter with his work.
About this body of work, the artist states:
I live in a small town in central Mississippi. I live here because there is a sense of the old world, old ways of doing things—rough hands and bright souls. When I drive to town every morning for three shots of espresso on ice, I see people with cemeteries on the side of their yards, those plastic flowers all around. People who are not racially divided, but together because of a long history of ups and downs. A place where the woods are swallowing homes like snakes eat eggs; they travel down the winding body of the highway roads. It is all so beautiful and true.
Collectors Catherine Such and Douglas Walker, recently wrote an appreciation about Miles’ work:
Miles Cleveland Goodwin looks at an America that is both long past and just within reach of the future. He crafts a unique landscape portrayed through a lens of archetype and myth and peopled with characters familiar or fantastic yet always resonant. Not quite dystopian, but fundamentally introspective and haunting, the work is meticulously crafted with layers both of material and allusion into a narrative that simultaneously draws the viewer into what might be happening but maintains a deep reserve.
Nothing is quite straightforward and narratives are never definitively resolved in Goodwin’s work. Viewers are compelled to speculate about a greater story that lingers tantalizingly just out of reach. Longing, mythos, a gothic formality, and many recognizable but dreamlike elements provide an entry into an ultimately interior experience of his work. The subconscious experience of his art is deeply intimate.
This rests on a bedrock of rare skill and ability, coupled with a distinctly southern artistic sensitivity. Goodwin expands his psychological themes with color – particularly white and crimson – and the depth of surface, texture, brushwork and manipulation of paint and material. Imagery arises through a complex and ever-evolving process of interaction between artist and materials.
The result? An old master painting rescued from a corner of the attic. A scene played out in a landscape emerging from our shared anxiety for the future. Or a prophetic vision transfigured in pigment and feathers and branches.
Deeply American, in its isolated landscapes and beautiful anxieties, the work of Miles Cleveland Goodwin endures.
Miles Cleveland Goodwin was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1980, and raised in the South. He earned his BFA at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon, and eventually returned to Mississippi. Valley House Gallery presented his first exhibition in Texas, Where We Prayed, in 2015.
* * *
>>>> Opening February 11: "Invented Worlds of Valton Tyler" at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Valton Tyler is the subject of a film produced by Edward Gomez that will be released in 2017.
>>>> Through March 13: Carol Cook and Michael O'Keefe's sculpture will be included in the "Regional Juried Ceramic Competition" at the University of Dallas.
>>>> Through March 19: "Flora and Fauna" at the Tyler Museum of Art, including work by Lilian Garcia-Roig, Mark Messersmith, and Jim Stoker.
>>>> Opening March 23: Brian Cobble and Lloyd Brown will be included in "AS IS: rural realism" at The Grace Museum in Abilene.
>>>> Coinciding with David Gibson's retrospective exhibition is the release of two publications designed by award-winning Nazraeli Press, each with an essay by John Rohrbach, Ph.D., Senior Curator of Photographs at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art:
>> "Images Panoramas Sequences" is comprised of three cloth-bound volumes spanning thirty years of work. Nazraeli Press states, "[this monograph] is a long-overdue survey of Gibson's highly-acclaimed photographic output. Working quietly and without regard to passing trends, David H. Gibson has created a body of work that celebrates the ethereal beauty of our natural world." Limited to 500 hand-numbered copies, this set is $250.
>> "Still Light" is a hardcover monograph with 70 plates that are highlights from 30 years of Gibson's photography. Also limited to 500, this volume is $55.
>>>> On August 5, our dear friend and artist Philip John Evett passed away at 93 years of age. Phil was a mainstay of the San Antonio art scene after moving to Texas from England in the 1950's. He taught at the San Antonio Art Institute for three years and then at Trinity University for twenty six years. He retired to his home and studio in the Hill Country in 1988 to work full time on his wood sculpture and ink drawings. Valley House first exhibited Phil's figurative sculptures in 2003 in the exhibition "Working with Wood." His dry British wit, gentle demeanor, and openness meant he befriended most everyone he met. It is rare to see octogenarian artists continue to produce art with great intensity; it is even more unusual to be able to say that the quality of the work is strong, excites, and continues to be relevant. Phil did this into his 90's. Texas has lost a major force in Texas Sculpture. I feel honored to have represented Phil, and called him my friend. One of my regrets as an art dealer is that Valley House was not representing Phil Evett 30 years earlier. Our hearts go out to his wife Joanne and to all of his friends who will miss him. - Kevin Vogel
>>>> All at Valley House mourn the passing of one of Dallas' most avid arts patrons, Betty Blake, who celebrated her 100th birthday earlier this year. Betty and my father, Donald Vogel, opened the first important modern art gallery, the Betty McLean Gallery, in Dallas in 1951, at the newly developed Preston Center. They brought landmark exhibitions to Dallas, alternating internationally-recognized artists with Texas artists. In 1957, Betty, along with other modern art pioneering women in Dallas, including Lupe Murchison and Betty Marcus, worked hard to create and sustain the Dallas Museum of Contemporary Art. It merged with the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts in 1963. Betty Blake was a long-term trustee of the American Federation of the Arts and received their Cultural Leadership Award in 1995. She also served locally on the boards of the Dallas Museum of Art and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. In her last years, Betty regularly visited Valley House on Saturday afternoons to say hello and to see what was new. She was insatiably curious and had a lifelong love of art and artists. We will miss you Betty. - Kevin Vogel
>>>> Be sure to read Rebecca Sherman's magnificent profile on Betty Blake in the October issue of PaperCity magazine.
* * *
For press requests, contact Laura Green at LGreen@valleyhouse.com