Betty Cuningham Gallery is pleased to announce a group exhibition, titled Core, featuring works by Jake Berthot, Forrest Bess, Alfonso Fratteggiani Bianchi, Suzan Frecon, John Lees, Robert Therrien, Alison Wilding and Christopher Wilmarth, from March 19 through May 2, 2009 at 541 West 25 Street, New York City.
The work for this exhibition was selected with the directive of finding a mysterious, psychological or personal center. “Core” refers to the center, the soul or the heart (as in French “Coeur”). The title, Core, is taken from a particular work in this exhibition by Alison Wilding. The Wilding sculpture measures 156 inches in length: a thin, oval, rubber sheet, interrupted by a hand cut opening next to which is placed a polished brass vessel.
The Christopher Wilmarth, Portrait of a Memory, 1985, is composed of a blown, black glass “head” against a bronze grid. This sculpture is one of three portraits done by the artist in the last years of his life. The painting by John Lees is also a self portrait. Characteristically, Lees labors on a painting for several years. As if digging into his soul, Lees worked on this painting from 1980 – 2008.
Robert Therrien’s deeply physiological piece The Black Cloud, from 1999-2000, is one of a series, composed of three circles (reminiscent of Therrien’s snowman paintings) made of wood and painted black, looming high overhead. Jake Berthot’s early painting Egypt, from 1972, expands a dark field, bracketed by the artist’s green notched frame. And a second Berthot, from 2007, shares the same mysterious and challenging darkness from which a barely visible tree reveals itself. Two paintings by Forrest Bess are typically small, “the size of his head” reflecting his interior visions that he experienced since childhood, echoing a deep self awareness.
Alfonso Fratteggiani Bianchi is represented by three rectangular limestone slabs, hand colored with pigment. Bianchi, the most minimal of the artists included, alludes to a reductive pure interior.
Finally three works on paper by Suzan Frecon, undated, sepia red or antique blue ink on antique Indian ledger paper achieve an intimacy and a monumentality that is only shared in dreams.