It makes sense to think of the seasonality of art as the Woodstock gallery season kicks off this Saturday, when, among a host of openings at the Woodstock Artists’ Association & Museum (WAAM), a new look at the venerable institution’s Permanent Collection goes on view. Titled “Case Studies: Works from the Permanent Collection by George C. Ault, Marion Greenwood, Ezio Martinelli,” the exhibit brings some of WAAM’s seldom-seen works to view and highlights the depth and richness of its collection by focusing on the careers of these very different but emblematic artists whose seasons seem to have come around again, through historic understanding and a new appreciation for their talents.
Ault (1891-1948), recently honored with a National Museum of Art show in our nation’s capital, is considered a major connection point between Tonalism and Modernism, as well as a tragic painter of immense capability. Included in the current show will be several of the seven pieces that WAAM owns of his oeuvre, including his early Sunlight and Mist (1911), which depicts haystacks in the French countryside; the Precisionist work Jane St. Corner, Hudson (1931); and the later Mexican Jug and Zinnias (1939).
Greenwood (1909-1970), represented by a dozen works in this show, followed early success as a teenager with several years working in Mexico alongside the likes of Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, after which she took her eye for the brittleness of social position into the world of portraiture and small-town life. Amongst the pieces on view here will be a charcoal portrait of Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (circa 1930), colorful, expressive studies of ritual dancers in Haiti and a recently acquired lithograph titled Carnival in Kripplebush that depicts a lively gathering in that small hamlet just before World War II.
Lastly, Martinelli (1913-1980) was a master sculptor who is featured herein via a number of drawings that demonstrate his fascination with the abstraction of human form, along with two large oils, Smokey Shapes and Gravelly Run, rarely seen side-by-side. All three artists have work in collections of major American museums, making the opportunity to see and study an assemblage of their masterful creations in our region all the more notable.
WAAM is located at 28 Tinker Street in the heart of Woodstock. For more about this and all the other exhibition and events going on at the Woodstock Artists’ Association and Museum from 4 to 6 p.m. this Saturday, February 11, go to https://www.woodstockart.org or call (845) 679-2940.