In its new space at 32 East 57th Street (the former Pace Gallery location), Findlay Galleries has an exciting schedule of exhibitions for the season. In addition to works by living artists, the fall line-up features exhibitions of work by artists whose estates are represented by Findlay Galleries, including important Abstract Expressionist John Ferren and Lucid Arts painter Jack Wright.
“Jack Wright 2021”
John (Jack) C. Wright was part of a movement of abstract painters that galvanized around Gordon Onslow Ford in the Bay Area in the 1950s. Sometimes referred to as the Lucid Arts movement, these painters sought to express to the viewer aspects of inner worlds—those relating to the subconscious.
In pursuit of this heady goal, Wright’s work took on a pointillistic quality, in which the artist’s very personal mark making—in the form of dots and dashes—swirl and coalesce forming waves, figures, and other elusive imagery. Perhaps evoking an almost remembered dream. The resulting works are at once a macro and a micro study of the immediate and the infinite.
Findlay Galleries has represented the estate of Jack Wright since 2014. Findlay Galleries also represents the estates of fellow Lucid Arts painter Fritz Rauh, Bay Area figurative painter Frank Lobdell, Leonard Edmondson, and exhibits the work of Gordon Onslow Ford.
John Ferren, “From Paris to Springs”
John Ferren was one of the founders of the Abstract Expressionist movement, and in many ways the movement’s own Renaissance man.
Findlay’s October exhibition focuses on the work from the 1950s and 1960s, which was a period of change in the Abstract Expressionist movement, when the avant-garde had all but become the establishment. Ferren understood this better than most of his contemporaries and his position was that the spontaneity of action painting had ironically become academic. His answer to this doldrum was an collection of works that came to be known as the “Vase Paintings,” many of which are in the current exhibition.
The return of the representational in Ferren’s work was controversial at the time, even leading Elaine de Kooning to accuse Ferren of betrayal. Artist and historian Irving Sandler disagreed and considered the work a step forward, describing it as “an attempt to synthesize a classical ideal with a romantic quest. The struggle to maintain equilibrium is compelling.”
Ferren’s paintings of the 1950s and 1960s were true to the foundation of the movement: evoking a mindset rather than a style. In the artist’s words, “it wasn’t a style; it wasn’t a way of working; it was an attitude toward art and the artist and his place in society.”
In addition to the Ferren estate, Findlay Galleries represents the estates of other abstract painters that were either part of, or tangential to, the New York School including: Leonard Nelson, Byron Browne, Ward Jackson, Simeon Braguin, and Robert Richenburg.