The Crowell Art Gallery, located within the Moore Free Library in Newfane, will be exhibiting the Robert L. Crowell Art Collection throughout the month of February. The gallery, once a 200-year-old barn owned by the library, was transformed into an eclectic art gallery by Crowell and his wife, Muriel in 2000. Bob Crowell was a strong supporter of the arts and shortly before his death in 2001 he traveled southern Vermont in search of works he felt reflected the vast diversity of the artistic culture of the area.
Contemporary pieces by Mallory Lake, Jules Olitski, Emily Mason and Wolf Kahn hang alongside works by Eric Aho, Roger Sandes, James Urbaska, Marcy Hermansader and others. Johnny Swing’s “Penny Chair” and Jim Florschutz wood and stone “Shrine to the Sun Shaman” sculpture are included in the collection and on view during library hours until February 28th.
Eric Aho (b. 1966) is an American painter known for his immersive paintings of the natural world. With color and form that bridges the way we experience nature in totality, Aho’s canvases at every scale, occupy a zone of perception between sober realism and ecstatic abstraction. While Aho works from his own impressions and memories of the landscape, the artist also draws upon major pillars of art history—including De Kooning, Goya, Homer, and Constable—to define his compositions. He’s been called “One of the leading painters of landscape and the environment of his generation.”These are physical works, through which Aho reconnects to the landscape as it reforms on the canvas. The artist explains: “I’m physical with the paint. Always have been. I push it around; I handle it. There remains something necessary and insistent about expressing the muscularity of the paint, that curiously, isn’t about strength or the heroic. It’s more awkward and protean than that, unguarded, even vulnerable. One can’t help but see the fragility of the landscape on close reading of its spaces and forms while wrestling them into place on the canvas. Although this space is invisible, it oddly registers as familiar—imbued with human-like physical qualities. After all, seeing humanizes the landscape. Looking closely humanizes everything. Eric Aho was elected National Academician of the National Academy Museum in 2009. He lives and works in Saxtons River, Vermont.
There will be a reception hosted by the Board of Directors on February 11th, 1pm – 3pm.
Located at 23 West Street in Newfane. Hours Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 1-5pm, Thursday 1-6 pm and Saturday 10-1pm.