Tangled Up in Blue

Julia Whitney Barnes, Linda Newman Boughton, Donise English, Owen Mann, and James O'Shea

Artists' Reception: Saturday, March 2, 5-7 p.m.

March 1, 2024 through April 21, 2024

Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to present Tangled Up in Blue, a group exhibition with an emphasis on the botanical. It features mixed-media works by Julia Whitney Barnes, Linda Newman Boughton, and Donise English; porcelain sculptures by Owen Mann; and abstract paintings by James O’Shea. The exhibit opens on March 1 and will remain on view through April 21. All are welcome to attend the artists’ reception on March 2 from 5-7 p.m

Using various paint mediums and cyanotype — a printing process that yields a blue image when a chemistry-coated surface is exposed to sunlight — the artist Julia Whitney Barnes cultivates Edenic vignettes. Rooted in the work of women artists and scientists like Anna Atkins, Whitney Barnes’ compositions exalt all plant life “with equal importance, regardless of whether it is a weed, rare species, wildflower, or cultivated flower,” said Whitney Barnes in an interview with Create Magazine. Her work has been widely exhibited, including a site-specific installation, Planting Utopia, at the Shaker Heritage Site and Albany International Airport on view through Fall 2024. Whitney Barnes holds an MFA from Hunter College.

Grand in scale and drenched with detail, Linda Newman Boughton’s blue ballpoint pen drawings exemplify her superb draftsmanship as well as her intuitive understanding of the silent exchanges of energy that occur in the natural world. Working after the tradition of Impressionism, Boughton nestles forested scenes within negative space to emulate human perception; a clear focus is enshrouded in peripheral mark-making that gradually dissolves into the unseen. Boughton studied fashion illustration at Florida State University before transferring to F.I.T. in New York City; thereafter, she painted sets and murals for feature films like “Fight Club” and "Nightmare on Elm Street VII.”

The latest works by painter and sculptor Donise English mark a departure from her geometric abstractions in lieu of botanical studies. Against a gestural background of wintry blues and yellows, English renders a host of blooms — from black-eyed Susans to a weigelas — in encaustic and oil on paper. English is the recipient of numerous awards, such as a 2018 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Painting, and has enjoyed over 80 exhibitions throughout her career. She holds an MFA in painting from Bard College and is a professor emerita of studio art at Marist College.

Looks are deceiving in the case of Owen Mann’s sculptures of flora. While they appear as satin as a real blossom, they are in fact made from hundreds of individually shaped porcelain petals — the product of countless hours of meticulous effort. A self-taught artist, Mann has been using his hands to make objects since age four, when he would sculpt airplanes, animals, soldiers, and sports figures out of modeling clay.

In the context of Tangled Up in Blue, James O’Shea’s non-objective paintings reach beyond the apparatus of sight to suggest the full breadth of sensation afforded by nature. Informed by the Hudson Valley’s flora and fauna, O’Shea’s abstractions translate complex networks of information into spirited lines and blocks of paint. The artist studied at City & Guilds of London Art School, Goldsmith's College, and the University of London.

Donise English

James O'Shea

Path, 2024

Julia Whitney Barnes

Linda Newman Boughton

Owen Mann