Les Yeux du Monde
May 16 – July 26, 2020
In response to the worldwide tragedy of the Coronavirus, Les Yeux du Monde presents the online exhibition, Light in Darkness through July 2020. At the beginning of the 20th century artists from Kandinsky to Mondrian were attempting to represent the spiritual and a deeper reality through their art, thus leading art historian and artist Lydia Gasman to define Modernism as a “quest for new forms of the sacred.” Over 100 years later, the artists in this exhibition also subscribe to this goal, albeit in varying ways. Lydia Gasman’s Angel of History, based on an essay by Walter Benjamin about a watercolor by Paul Klee of the same title, announces our theme. Gasman, a Jewish Romanian immigrant with first hand memories of the horrors of World War II, transforms the theme of an angel witnessing the destructive path of history behind it to one of hope, as her weighty citron yellow angel with massive celestial blue and white wing seems to triumph over the dark explosions painted on airplane aluminum behind it. Also featured are gold leaf multi-media paintings on paper and on panel of shimmery golden chub fish and clouds by Dean Dass, and light filled still life paintings of bottles and their infinite reflections by the consummate painter and scholar of Light, David Summers. In Russ Warren’s huge triptych Night Fishing at Moms, several brilliant spiraling lemon yellow orbs illuminate the subterranean aquatic world below the surface. Michelle Gagliano’s Raffaello’s Pallette, intended for a celebration of Raphael’s life in Urbino Italy that was cancelled because of the Pandemic, glows with the pigments and materials used by the Renaissance master along with her own non-toxic colors and shimmery golds. Three artists living and working in New York’s Hudson River Valley are also included. Recently celebrated in Sculpture Magazine, Millicent Young uses luminous white horse hair atop and surrounded by lead and iron, in her cantos 11-13, as a moving meditation about the fragility of our constructed systems and interdependence on this small earth. Kurt Steger, similarly highlights the delicate balance of humanity and our buildings and environment in his sculpture, while Dorothy Robinson paints rich textural abstractions that continuously morph into awe-inspiring natural or architectural scenes, prompting contemplation about the worlds we humans co-create and inhabit throughout our shared history on the planet.