Light of Day: Landscapes & Cityscapes

Richard Britell, Paul Chojnowski, Jeff Fichera, Robert Goldstrom, Eileen Murphy, Patty Neal, Harry Orlyk, Leigh Palmer, Tony Thompson

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 3 from 4-6pm

December 2, 2022 through January 23, 2023

Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to present “Light of Day”, an exhibit that brings together a remarkable selection of Hudson Valley landscape views and scenes inspired by the New York City skyline. Featured artists will include Richard Britell, Paul Chojnowski, Jeff Fichera, Robert Goldstrom, Eileen Murphy, Patty Neal, Harry Orlyk, Leigh Palmer, and Tony Thompson. The exhibit opens Friday, December 2nd and will be on view through January 22nd. Join us for the artists’ reception on Saturday, December 3rd from 4-6pm.
Paul Chojnowski broke new ground early in his career in the 1990s by developing a non-traditional technique to create the illusion of light using a blow torch and little else. His fire drawings made on paper or birch panel are characterized by a rich sepia tone inherent to the process. The mark makings have an effusive glow which keep the abstract leaning compositions grounded in nature under the sublime influence of sunlight. Some drawings are tightly rendered to support their nocturnal narratives, while others isolate the space between the trees to explore yet another dimension.
Tony Thompson, Leigh Palmer, and Harry Orlyk have more than 50 years of experience in their respective painting careers. The combination of masterful technique with sustained contemplation results in paintings that are a delight to behold. Harry Orlyk’s impressionistic surfaces are thick with paint and capture the immediacy of changing light; Leigh Palmer tames layers of encaustic to compose paired down forms of the landscape on an intimate scale, and Thompson’s compositions are a timeless contribution to the genre. For all of them, the light is the main event in their bucolic settings and they make this challenge look simply effortless.
Since her first exhibit with the gallery in 2009, Eileen Murphy’s work has conjured a compelling mood marked by precise brushwork. Enticing still lifes and intimate portraits of interiors were hallmarks of the early work. Today, the landscape surrounding the Hudson River where the artist was born and raised serves as the lifeblood of her work. Her oil landscape paintings on panel are an amalgamation of influence pulled from Frederic Church, literary references, and her own experience. The delicate albeit heady compositions coax you into an atmosphere that is at once familiar yet entirely surreal. Eileen Murphy splits her time between Brooklyn and Columbia County with her dog, Frito.
Robert Goldstrom paints his local surroundings, but it can take years for him to settle into a new subject. The artist moved to Claverack seven years ago and is now just starting to incorporate landscape scenery into his repertoire. Pastoral settings like Morningstar Farms are portrayed in this recent body of work, but the artist seeks to paint more than just a pretty picture, stating “I’m starting to figure out a personal vision of a landscape that has been the subject of so many other artists for over two hundred years”. Picturesque farmland is captured in juxtaposition with transmission and water towers, imposing signs of development that are as much a part of our landscape as sunsets and mountains. Cityscapes of the Brooklyn skyline painted within the same year as the landscapes will also be on view, proving that the artist’s quintessential style of tightly peppered brushwork enlivening softened forms, imbued with Hopper-esque light and shadow, remains unchanged no matter the subject matter.

Patty Neal’s paintings speak to visual, emotional, and mental boundaries. She uses contrasting forms and color to segment her compositions, mirroring how we compartmentalize life experiences and often fail to see the overarching themes of connectedness. Guard rails, bridge suspensions, and even nature finds ways of blocking out part of the dense backdrop of skyscrapers. A careful yet soft brush applies luscious and creamy paint to offer a fluid perspective on a place defined by its structures. Richard Britell is a painter, curator, teacher, and writer. The reach of his creativity and intuition can be hard to pigeonhole. Paintings of architectural details on small panels isolate areas of geometric interest found within greater structures. Within this cropped view, Britell establishes peaceful, albeit rhythmic, patterns of stacked bricks and wall relief embellishments that represent a kind of ordered permanence. The artist studied at Pratt Institute and has shown with the gallery for many years. He lives in Pittsfield, MA.

Jeff Fichera is a quiet observer who demonstrates incredible staying power in his ability to profoundly study, and therefore internalize, his subject. In his first exhibit with the gallery since moving to the Hudson Valley, Fichera will present a series of paintings that are versions of the view from his old studio window in Queens, NY. Four paintings track the same stack of fire escapes climbing a row of brownstones over time and through seasons. Like his painting mentor at Mass Art, George Nick, Fichera uses painting as an investigative tool to explore why things are the way they are. “Don’t render the motif, paint parallel to what you see” is a mantra from his teacher that is a perfect descriptor for how Fichera paints his world. Jeff Fichera received his MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and a BFA in painting from the University of Pennsylvania.

Eileen Murphy

Harry Orlyk

Jeff Fichera

Leigh Palmer

Patty Neal

Paul Chojnowski

Richard Britell

Robert Goldstrom

Tony Thompson