In 2001 as one of my first projects was nearing completion, looking for art for the living room I discovered Michael Abrams work at Sears Peyton Gallery. My clients and I were drawn to the mysterious and luminous quality of the works that bridged the gap between Hudson River School painting and new contemporary landscape painting. We were looking for something linear and panoramic and Abrams’ work was the perfect feeling for the room, a large open loft-like space with wrap around windows facing south. The colors in the room were mostly neutrals with silvery gray moire drapery, vintage Italian glass and some walnut to add warmth to the mostly cool palette. Michael’s painting grounded the room and was the perfect contrast to the much more modern elements.
Thursday Michael’s show “A Gathered Calm” opens at Sears Peyton Gallery and the new paintings continue his studies of color, light, water, clouds and sky evoking nostalgic feelings for the past. Michael gave me a statement from the current show “these paintings are envisioned to manifest fresh responses to touchstone experiences with nature. And what makes us nostalgic for the past? Which past are we conjuring up to tug us backward and at the same time push us forward. As if coming out of memory’s storm, awaking out of reverie, we forge fresh ways of seeing what is here now. Before us now, approaching a gathered calm.” Following are images from his beautiful new show.
Growing up in the Hudson River Valley in Rensselaer County, Abrams’ childhood home overlooked the sprawling green landscapes and illuminated skies that now inspire his work. And while nature informs his work he is painting in a way that revisits master landscape paintings but propels the technique into the future. Abrams’ paintings feel otherworldly and evoke memories and familiar sensory experiences but they feel modern and new. The layers of semi transparent and opaque glazes used to create the works gives them a depth that feels distant but has a glowing undersurface to the canvas. After maintaining a studio in New York City for many years, after visiting the Green Mountain region of southern Vermont Abrams decided to make it his home permanently.
Michael Abrams current show “A Gathered Calm” is on view at Sears Peyton Gallery September 12 through October 12, 2013. 210 Eleventh Avenue Suite 802 New York, NY 10001. Tel 212-966-7469.
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