Berry Campbell Now Exclusively Representing the Estate of Mary Dill Henry
November 17, 2020 - Berry Campbell
November 17, 2020 - Berry Campbell
November 11, 2020 - Merle English for Newsday
THE TRANSPORT BUSINESS
Frank Wimberley’s military engagement began as a private assigned to the 3384th Quartermaster Truck Company. Said Wimberly, "I never did any fighting. I did a lot of transporting troops and shipping supplies to areas where there was fighting." Because Black men could only serve in segregated units of the military, many were assigned to labor and service units.
Wimberley was happy with his assignment, however. "I liked that job; I liked being in a foreign country," he said. "We were very much liked by the Germans because we were Black; they liked the fact that they were meeting a different kind of American."
He said he suffered some of the hostility directed at Blacks by some whites, "even in the U.S. military," Wimberley remarked.
"The Black soldiers in my unit were always segregated from the whites. White soldiers would show animosity to us."
"You’re always going to find some problem makers, especially in the service," he said, "but I enjoyed my stay over there."
Encounters between Blacks and Germans were mostly social, Wimberley said. "A lot of the guys had German girlfriends," he said. "Everybody was poor because of the war; they would fix dinners for us. They had to go on the farms and steal food."
He described how a shared love of music fostered camaraderie among the Black soldiers. "We would form little groups," said Wimberley, who played the trumpet. "There were others who played other instruments; we would get together and play; it was always jazz."
Learning that Wimberley had an interest in art, German soldiers who were artists themselves "made portraits of us," Wimberley said. "We gave them cigarettes; they’d rather have that than money. We didn’t like the Germans because of Hitler, but some of them became my very good friends," he said.
After 18 months in the service, Wimberley was discharged. "I was so glad to get back home," he said. "I wanted to come home and see my mother in the kitchen."
His latent bent toward art spurred Wimberley to pursue studies in painting, sculpture and pottery at Howard University. From a family of musicians and artists, "I’ve always been some kind of an artist, but I got better," said Wimberley, who is represented by the prestigious Berry Campbell Gallery in Manhattan. Christine Berry, a co-owner of the gallery with Martha Campbell, said his abstract paintings are highly sought-after around the nation.
Some of Wimberley’s works are included in "Color and Absence," a show at the Southampton Arts Center through Dec. 27. He is usually busy, dividing his time between his home in Sag Harbor, his studio in Corona, Queens, and Berry Campbell. Wimberley is married. He and his wife, Juanita, have a son, Walden, a musician.
October 29, 2020
October 20, 2020
Spinning Figure, 1949
Oil on canvas
42 3/4 × 13 7/8 inches
Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Anna R. and Frank M. Hall Charitable Trust
October 17, 2020 - Phil Lederer for SRQ Magazine
"I just hope people see what's there," says Mike Solomon of the portraits comprising his latest exhibition, Scenes from the Pandemic, showing online this November through the Sarasota Art Museum. Drawn in colored pencil, the series captures, in part, the long terrible arc of that period in 2020, beginning as a tribute to black doctors and essential workers but ultimately spiraling into an emotional account of protesters and journalists under assault in a world caught on fire and an artist coming to terms with what he sees. Though isolated from his studio while caring for his mother during the pandemic, he couldn’t ignore the images on TV, the photographs arriving daily on the doorstep or his artist’s instinct gnawing at his inactivity.
“A dissatisfaction with being more remote than I wanted to be in terms of activism,” Solomon says. “I didn’t want to be outside of it looking in.” And in those photographs, he found himself struck by a particular aspect of the social unrest unfolding before him. “There are black doctors helping anyone who walks through the door,” he says. “Yet they take their scrubs off and walk outside and they might get shot. Can you imagine that?” So the renowned abstract artist picked up a colored pencil and tried something he hadn’t done in near 50 years: draw from a photograph. And as he did, he embarked on both an artistic and emotional journey.
Solomon admits to a certain “philosophical prejudice” against drawing from photo references, saying that he never quite understood why an artist would spend their time on such a pursuit when the photograph already exists. “Now I do,” he says. Not only did Solomon find the exercise an artistic challenge, more engaging and difficult than he had previously supposed, but he also found that, in forcing himself to absorb each image in minute detail and re-create it from his own hand, it awakened greater compassion for his subjects.
“I go down into this little world and the empathy emerges,” he says. “It’s a way of digesting it in an empathetic way you wouldn’t normally.” It’s an empathy that Solomon hopes his audience can partake in, if they just take a moment to stop and really see what has happened on their and his collective watch. And if the images in the papers didn’t get the point across, maybe seeing them in a different context will. “As soon as it becomes a ‘work of art,’ people stop a lot longer,” Solomon says. “That’s just the magic of art—it slows the moment down.” SRQRead More >>
October 9, 2020 - Roberta Smith for The New York Times
A Gallery Resurgence in Chelsea
In the face of economic unknowns, the message from the city’s galleries is: we’re not taking this lying down. Roberta Smith on 16 of the neighborhood’s most riveting painting shows.
By Roberta Smith
After several months of forced inactivity because of the pandemic, New York’s art galleries are back, with a vengeance. Since Labor Day, they have collectively mustered one of the better fall seasons of the last several years, with more to come in the weeks ahead. Yes, there have been changes. Unfortunately, some galleries have closed, while others are being worryingly slow to reopen. Yet fewer have gone missing than seemed likely in March or April. Others have sought new leases on life by relocating from Chelsea to TriBeCa, or from SoHo to the Upper East Side, and so forth.
In the face of the economic unknowns, the collective message from galleries sounds something like: we’re not taking this lying down.
The sense of resurgence is especially tangible in Chelsea, where my running list of shows to see has reached 74. A good number form a fractious conversation about painting.
The differing viewpoints about the medium can be dizzying, ricocheting off each other. They range from Pieter Schoolwerth’s demonically choreographed “Shifted Sims” series at Petzel Gallery — where figures and interiors from the Sims video games, printed on canvas, intersect with mannered applications of paint, forming a disturbing netherworld of social and art-making rituals — to Julian Schnabel’s latest forays into Romantic abstraction at Pace. In them, great flourishes of white and blue unfurl across slightly shaped stretchers with a dusty pink tarp serving as canvas. And they are bookended by shows of crisp new Minimalist paintings from Robert Mangold, and Yoshitomo Nara’s unendingly cute, wide-eyed innocents, brought forth with consummate ease in paint and colored pencil.
Mr. Schoolwerth’s fastidious craft finds some echo in Kyle Dunn’s work at P.P.O.W., where the paintings build on the homoerotic realism of Paul Cadmus and the stylized figuration of Tamara de Lempicka — once-overlooked talents of the 1930s. His beautifully carved wood frames ripple around and sometimes interrupt the images.
At Berry Campbell you can see the all-but-forgotten fusion of Minimalist boldness and Color Field staining that Edward Avesidian achieved in the mid-1960s. And Michael Rosenfeld Gallery has brought together a large, stunning group of Benny Andrews’s portraits primarily from the 1970s and ’80s which have not been seen together before. The psychological realness of Mr. Andrews’s Black subjects contrasts strikingly with the more polemical go-for-the jugular approach of a younger generation exemplified by the strong new paintings in Titus Kaphar’s first show at Gagosian, two blocks away.
October 3, 2020 - Franklin Einspruch for Delicious Line
Edward Avedisian: Reverberations
Reviewed by Franklin Einspruch
Too sloppy to be hard-edge but too crisp to be painterly - could we call them medium-edge? - the 1965 paintings of Edward Avedisian infuse Pop irreverence into a mode of painting that Darby Bannard called presentational abstraction, as if the art object "was staring right back at you like it was another person."
The compositional motif throughout the series is a striped ball or two sailing through the eighty-inch-plus color field. I was once an avid juggler and I am all but helpless with glee in front of these paintings. Nevertheless a few examples stand out. The orange and blue ball on the green background (all are untitled) hits an especially good color balance, with both the orange and the green reading as light. The orange and yellow ball on the burgundy background gets great mileage out of the staining effect of the acrylic. The "medium" of "medium-edge" would work as a double entendre, as the spill of paint past the drawn lines creates transparencies of color that turn these simple arrangements into pictures. Are they staring back, or am I?
October 1, 2020 - Sandra E. Garcia for The New York Times Magazine
In the 1930s, a group of trailblazing African-Americans bought plots for themselves in Sag Harbor, establishing a close-knit community that’s spanned multiple generations.
By: Sandra E. Garcia
WHILE VACATIONING ONE summer in the late 1930s, Maude Terry decided to go fishing. On her way to Gardiners Bay in eastern Long Island, she came across a secluded, underdeveloped, marshy, wooded area that faced a beach. Immediately, she felt a sense of tranquillity in the sylvan space, surrounded by tall old oak and walnut trees. Green shrubbery and weeds grew amid the sand at her feet, and her skin turned sticky in the salt air. It was heaven.
At the time, Terry was a Brooklyn schoolteacher who spent most summers with her husband, Frederick Richards, and her daughter, Iris, who were both doctors at Harlem Hospital; her sister Amaza Lee Meredith, the chair of the art department of Virginia State University in Ettrick, Va. (who was also one of the first Black female architects in the United States), would occasionally join them. The sisters had grown up in Lynchburg, Va., and lived most of their lives up and down the East Coast: Come summer, Terry would usually rent a cottage in Eastville, an area on the outskirts of Sag Harbor, the beachfront village that — although it straddles the rich, mostly white enclaves of Southampton and East Hampton — has always remained a bit more subdued, at least compared to Long Island’s other storied warm-weather escapes, which begin at the eastern edge of Queens and stretch more than 100 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean.
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