The Center Gallery at Fordham University, Lincoln Center, is pleased to announce “Blue Smoke, Brittle Leaves,” a three-person exhibition with works by Alex Kwartler, George Rush, and Kate Shepherd.
Curated by Bridget Donlon (Fordham ‘06), this exhibition takes its title and aesthetic premise from a passage in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” where narrator Nick Carraway remarks, “So when the blue smoke of brittle leaves was in the air and the wind blew the wet laundry stiff on the line I decided to come back home.”
“Blue Smoke, Brittle Leaves” brings together works in painting and drawing that are conceptually and formally diverse yet share a sensibility that is unquestionably autumnal, evoking emotions such as nostalgia, melancholy, and contemplativeness.
Alex Kwartler’s paintings of barely perceptible, usually abstract forms implore the viewer to search for the optically tangible. These meditative works quietly demand careful consideration. Two paintings by George Rush depict banal domestic interiors with an emotionally charged palette and sensitive representation of atmospheric light. Three drawings and a painting by Kate Shepherd use line and color to create spaces that feel familiar but are obscured through flattened perspective and use of minimal elements. These smaller works inform the artist’s large-scale paintings, which also employ a minimalist vocabulary rendered with a delicate human touch.
Alex Kwartler has shown his work at galleries and institutions including P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Mitchell Innes & Nash, Casey Kaplan, and John Connelly Presents. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
George Rush is represented by Lemberg Gallery in Ferndale, Michigan. A 2004 recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, Rush has shown at galleries including Lemberg, Guild and Greyshkul, Elizabeth Dee, and PPOW. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Kate Shepherd has shown in solo and group exhibitions in Paris, Basel, Madrid, New York, Boston, and San Francisco. Her work is included in many public collections, including the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. She is represented by Galerie Lelong, New York and Paris; Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco; and Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston. She lives and works in New York City.