On The Avenue

‘The Pastoral Landscape in the Present Tense’ Exhibition Opening

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Yin and Yang. East and West. Masculinity and Femininity. One not only complements the other, but it offers balance, creating conversation—and inspiration—for art.

And it certainly did. Last night’s exhibition opening of ‘The Pastoral Landscape in the Present’ held at Tribeca’s Saloman Arts Gallery, displayed the works of artists Bill Claps and George H. Lewis, who expressed their unique views on this thought through metaphoric landscape paintings.

Curated by Jeffrey Scott and Yanni Kyriazis, the exhibition attracted a room full of intrigued guests. Both seasoned artists, Claps (who studied painting and art history at Harvard College and the Art Student’s League in Florence, Italy), and Lewis (who studied in the U.K. and lectures about art at Harvard College and the Kennedy School), spoke about their inspiration throughout the evening.

Claps was influenced by 18th century Japanese prints. As a lover of the outdoors who has gone camping since childhood, the artist based his work on the landscapes of seven different locations, including Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, and Upstate, New York. “This series is my take on motifs that have been recycled and regenerated. I started with a color photograph and reduced it to black and white, then used a heat process with gold foil to rub it in, creating a negative,”  said Claps. “I printed that on a black background, and as a result, got a positive and a negative. Yin and yang is the idea that runs through it.”

Lewis, who has traveled to over 95 countries, has based his powerful paintings of nature-scapes on two distinct places: the Himalayas in Asia, and the Catskills, in Upstate New York. “I’m a student of politics and philosophy, so for me, art is another way to share something visually we all have in common,” said Lewis, who will be venturing to Shanghai, China, within the next three months to show an upcoming exhibition, also with the same narrative: the relationship between east and west.

‘The Pastoral Landscape in the Present Tense’ will be on view until December 1. All in all, the exhibition provokes a mindful journey and definitely worth a visit.


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