VIDEO: Spotlight on the Arts: Eric Dever
February 14, 2020 - TheaterBuffs
In this video, Eric Dever is interviewed by Patrick Christiano.Read More >>
February 6, 2020 - D. Dominick Lombardi for Dart International Magazine
The success of an exhibition, or any work of art for that matter, is its ability to engage the viewer. Engagement can be a bit more difficult to achieve when you eliminate any sort of representation, as with the current exhibition at the Hofstra Museum of Art, Uncharted: American Abstraction in the Information Age. The fact that this show truly connects with the viewer – in this instance, partly through the use and influence of technology – illustrates the more thought provoking side of abstract art. Organized by Karen T. Albert, Acting Director and Chief Curator, with essays by Laurie Fendrich and Creighton Michael, Uncharted quickly draws you in through a variety of means that include everything from hi-tech contraptions to mesmerizing optics. When curiosity is piqued and perceptions are expanded, the viewer becomes part of the expression – a key difference between completely spelled out narrative representational art and non-representational abstraction. That unavoidable brain activity that is prompted by something new or visually foreign is very different than the comfort that straight representation brings.
The kinetic sculptures of James Seawright add a strong technological component to the exhibition. Using various sensors, Twins (1992) can be a bit sensitive to the movements in its immediate environment adding to its already palpable creepiness. Gemini (2004) and Lyra (2006) movements and lights are completely preprogrammed. As objects, they give the impression of designs for futuristic theater or movie sets. Despite the fact that all these works are between 14 and 28 years old, they maintain their immediacy and freshness. Like Lynne Harlow’s All Above the Moon, John Goodyear offers another aspect of physical participation for the viewer. By carefully swaying the picket fence-like apparatus in front of his two paintings, the art immediately becomes animated with short bursts of movement. Figurative Abstraction (2015) has an almost hypnotic effect on the viewer when it is activated – something like fabric billowing in the wind. The result with Diving Board (1983) is quite different. It shows a person’s feet continually being propelled by a very springy board, while offering much needed humor to the omnipresence of more elusive technology.Read More >>
February 5, 2020 - Michelle Trauring for 27East
“If you have a minute, can I read you a poem quickly?”
With ample encouragement, artist Eric Dever clears his throat and begins. “Forever – is composed of Nows – / ‘Tis not a different time,” he recites. “Except for Infiniteness – / And Latitude of Home.”
He continues, the last two verses of the celebrated Emily Dickinson poem haunting as ever as they teach a crucial lesson: Every moment that has ever existed was, is or will be a present moment, a “now,” and the infinite is composed of them.
And forever stops for no one. It is with Dickinson’s words in mind that, last year, Dever began a new series of work. Each painting would be inspired by sequential lines of “Forever – Is Composed of Nows –,” the next canvas evolving from the previous.
And not long after he started, Dever cast the idea aside, out of sheer frustration — until recently. “Not too long ago, I realized the way to approach it is not to try to illustrate the poem, but to just select certain paintings and put them together, and that could very much hold the idea,” he said. “For me, I think an artist’s entire oeuvre, if we look at it, it really is a collection of ‘nows,’ and it’s not just ‘nows’ that are in the past. When I engage with my work over time, it’s almost as if that time or that place was in crystal. It’s very clear, the whole thing.”
Dever’s newest body of work, “A Thousand Nows” — on view at The Lyceum Gallery on Suffolk County Community College’s Eastern Campus in Riverhead — is a study in compressed time, the 22 exuberant oils layered with colors that span the artist’s lifetime, from his earliest memories growing up in California.
February 4, 2020 - Cori Huthinson for Whitehot Magazine
Not necessarily spiked, each painting by New York artist James (familiarly Jim) Walsh instead crests like an eggy spire of Pavlova meringue; is viewed head-on as the subtle terrain of a human face. Painted on canvas then mounted, the pure paint impressively lifts off without the assistance of plaster or other molding material. Walsh’s work is distinct from other Modernist abstraction by its textural quality. His life-long professional experience with Golden Paints has rendered him an expert technician and master of patience. The paintings on view at Berry Campbell forego major scale in favor of a very concentrated surface, apprehending the viewer’s eye from an intimate distance. The show’s title "The Elemental," might allude to Robert Rauschenberg’s Elemental Paintings, which gave agency to both the vibrant life and eventual degradation of materials used, or feel back further to Renaissance elemental conception. Questions of alchemy, preservation, handling, and drying time are all brought to light by the reliefs of Walsh.
The compositions themselves range from tufted and pouty to petri dish to epic mixing bowl. There are obvious clusters of like-minded pieces, sharing color or arrangement. For example, BLEND, NATURAL, and MAGENTA MAJOR are unified by a lippy palette and quenelle bulge. CRIN CRIN and Untitled both utilize a radioactive green, smeared and smattered, respectively. On one wall, a pod of miniatures express continuity with crinkly white-on-black contrast, blue wash, and confetti drippage.
Pieces like SAND SOUND align themselves in the lineage of Color Field painter Jules Olitski. SAND SOUND, as well as POSITIVE VENUS, resemble slick sea glass. These pieces recall Olitski’s Plexiglas, 1986 show at KASMIN, particularly Dream Time (1986). Olitski’s hovering color—manifested by the illusion of the depth of glass—is taken up materially by Walsh. SAND SOUND, largely gray and green, achieves a texture that is at once sludge and mist, appearing wet almost.Read More >>
January 28, 2020 - Piri Halasz for From the Mayor's Doorstep
It was standing-room-only at the opening for "James Walsh: The Elemental" at Berry Campbell (through February 8). Nor did this long-awaited show disappoint: it more than lives up to advance expectations and shows this gifted mid-career artist spreading joy along with pigment and molding paste in peak form. Indeed, James Walsh is one of the best.
True, he has not gone off on any wild tangents in this exhibition. He is still creating small to medium-sized paintings on canvas, using multi-hued acrylics mixed with molding paste. And (as far as I know) he still manipulates the molding paste with everything from his hands to a battery of tools.
The molding paste enables him to alter the thickness of his medium from raised curls, twirls, swirls, twists, blobs, and upward or downward strokes or pours of color right down to only barely tinted and scraped areas of canvas -- often all in the same image.
He has become if anything more adept in orchestrating these opposites from thick to thin. And he is experimenting – if still very carefully – with creating larger and smaller pictures.
The last time I reviewed a display of his work (at Berry Campbell on June 22, 2014), the smallest painting was 18" x 14" and the largest was 41" x 27¾ ". In this show, the largest painting is 48" x 36" and the smallest is only 6¼" x 4".
The former is entitled "Opus Eight, Number Twelve (2017). It is unique in its scale, and hangs in a prominent position in the first large space at Berry Campbell. Done in blacks, browns and other autumnal colors, it is very authoritative-looking, and fits nicely into this front space, which I mentally characterized as occupied by the most ambitious paintings in the show.
(However, I have to confess that the smaller "Crin-Crin" (2019), hanging just to the right of "Opus Eight," seemed to me more successful. With its green vertical on the top half of the painting, and horizontal strokes below, I was also mysteriously reminded of "The Piano Lesson" (1912) by Henri Matisse. Aren't art critics irritating?)
January 25, 2020 - Sarasota Herald Tribune
January 18, 2020 - Artdaily
NEW YORK, NY.- Berry Campbell is presenting an exhibition of recent paintings by James Walsh (b. 1954). An abstract painter who has been an active member of the New York art scene since the early 1980s. Following in the Modernist tradition, Walsh relentlessly explores the properties and limits of paint and the results of his inquiry are spectacularly wide ranging. Experimenting with innovative acrylic formulas, Walsh produces large masses of pigment that project outward from the surface of the canvas, creating unusual forms in high relief. In some works, the paint is sculptural and three-dimensional, while in others, it rises from richly treated surfaces. Although Walsh makes specific compositional choices, the spontaneous appearance gives his paintings a feeling of the accidental.Read More >>
January 8, 2020 - Suffolk County Community College
Eric Dever: A Thousand Nows, an exhibit of 22 new oil paintings inspired mostly by the East End of Long Island, will be exhibited at Suffolk County Community College’s Eastern Campus Lyceum Gallery from February 1 through March 11. An artist’s reception will be held on February 5th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Layering veils of exuberant color, Dever creates the illusion of depth while describing atmosphere that falls over views of Montauk Point, Sag Harbor’s Clam Island, and Southampton’s Flying Point Beach. Forms appear weightless and at times dematerialize reversing figure and ground. Similarly, Dever paints his experience of plants that he cultivates in his Water Mill studio garden. Agapanthus, Bird of Paradise, and roses that are past their prime become metaphors for the past, evocative of places and characters from literature.
Dever’s work harkens from experiences deep within his sensory memory of growing up in California. “Los Angeles is subtropical, the sun is more intense and sets over the Pacific, my paint selection, when working with a full palette has remained consistent, especially a love of Cadmium Orange; but the blue hues I am mixing echo the long late spring and summer twilight of the Northeast,” Dever said.
These sensations inform Dever’s work today here on the East End becoming examples of a type of compressed time.