Wendt Gallery of Laguna Beach, California is pleased to announce the opening of its newest gallery location in the landmark Fuller Building. The Wendt Gallery’s inaugural exhibition entitled Non-Objective or Not: Dialogues in Modernism, is curated by Steven Lowy and features representational works alongside Non-Objective works by the Modernist artists. Highlights from the exhibition include two Irene Rice Pereira paintings included in The Whitney Museum’s dual show “MacIver/Pereira” in 1953; Orange Cross, a large canvas painted by Solomon Guggenheim’s art advisor, Hilla Rebay, in 1947; and several works by Rebay/Bauer protégé Rolph Scarlett.
Also included in the exhibition are relative newcomers to Mr. Lowy’s curatorial program: Juanita (Rice) Guccione, Xanti Schawinsky and Seymour Fogel. Guccione, the younger sister of I. Rice Pereira, studied with Hans Hoffmann and had an interest in Cubism that evolved into Surrealism and, ultimately, Abstract Surrealism. Bauhaus artist Xanti Schawinsky, who was also a highly regarded graphic designer, experimented throughout his life with methods of conveying paint to paper, from his own dancing feet to a Triumph TR3 automobile whose tires were covered in paint! Schawinsky was also a mentor to Robert Rauschenberg and John Cage. Seymour Fogel, considered to be America’s greatest Modern muralist, explored Social Realism early in the 20th century, Abstract and Expressionist art mid-century, and Transcendental art late in life. Fogel was exhibited at the Whitney Museum eight times during his lifetime and executed a number of murals in the New York Metro area.
The Wendt Gallery survey concludes with a group of contemporary artists who continue to work in a Modernist idiom. Gary Stephan, who has had a distinguished career experimenting with ‘impossible geometry’ and teaching at SVA will exhibit his masterpiece What Objects Dream. Painter Victor Matthews’ work is a blend of influences from graffiti and hip-hop to Brice Marden and Robert Motherwell, while Daniel Villeneuve plays with geometric forms in both two and three-dimensional works. Finally, the abstracted and vibrant multi-media lenticular works of Mary Ann Strandell complete the show with their electric palette, dizzying movement and sensual textures.
Steven Lowy of Portico New York, a champion of Non-Objective Modernist art, will curate the Wendt Gallery inaugural exhibition and will continue as the gallery’s Modernist curator. Mr. Lowy for many years represented the estate of Rudolf Bauer and has curated Modernist shows for such prestigious galleries as Gary Snyder Fine Art, Weinstein Gallery (San Francisco), Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery and David Findley Jr. Fine Art. In addition, Lowy provided material support to Karole Vail and her Guggenheim Museum co-curators for the exhibition Art of Tomorrow: Hilla Rebay and Solomon R. Guggenheim in 2005.