Shadowboxes and Arrangements
Cover for “Tarzan Triumphant”, showing the torn-paper-collage technique.
Collage elements in a surreal landscape.
Collage and montage are common elements in Powers’ works. A number of his book covers featured elements with ragged edges. In many cases these were produced by tearing pieces of paper (sometimes paintings in their own right) and attaching them to the painting. These could be used to depict landscape features, shadowy figures, or simply abstract elements.
He also produced more formal arrangements, combining one or more individual paintings with torn paper, small sculptural elements, pebbles, shells, and other found objects. He would often mount paintings on 1/2″ thick foam board and attach that to a larger background giving a sense of depth.
Untitled triptych of three small paintings.
Perhaps the most interesting and least-known of these arrangements are his shadowboxes which combine paintings and sculptural elements. We are privileged to have a number of these as part of the “Seen and Unseen” exhibition. Many are approximately 30″x40″ and about 4-6 inches deep.
Shadowbox with four small paintings and sculptural elements
Shadowbox with small painting floated over background painting and including sculptural elements
Throughout his life Powers was known for painting on whatever happened to be at hand. In his later years he took to painting on sections of hollow-core interior doors. These were cheap, readily available, and came in convenient widths from 28 to 36 inches. With proper edge trimming, these pieces had depth and presence while remaining relatively lightweight. Many of these works were done in his “surreal landscape” style with torn paper collage elements and stark, angular black and white lines.
Untitled surreal landscape, approx. 60″x36″
Click on one of the links below for updated catalogs for our Richard Powers exhibitions:
Baldwin Hill Art & Framing is proud to represent the American artist and illustrator Richard M. Powers (1921-1996). Known primarily for his commercial illustrations, particularly science fiction book covers, Powers nonetheless had a body of fine art work as well. Many of these works explore the same surrealistic themes that appear in his book covers.
Stylistic similarities in Powers’ book illustration and fine art work
Powers did not set out to become a science fiction illustrator, but it was here that his natural style found a home. He was drawn to the surrealistic styles of Dali and Tanguy, but these were a poor fit for his first commissions to illustrate literature and children’s books. He found his home in science fiction when Ian Ballantine, founder of Ballantine Books, decided that he wanted a more mature look for his science fiction collection. Up until this point most science fiction books were illustrated with bold, realistic renderings of spaceships, monsters, and spacesuited figures. Ballantine realized that tales of the fantastic could well be depicted by abstract images that create a mood, rather than literal pictures that illustrate the story. Powers’ style was a perfect match for this vision.
Left: Powers in a realistic style. Center: Powers’ abstract style. Right: The same book with a cover by Yves Tanguy
Powers distinguished between his two bodies of work with different signatures. His commercial illustrations were signed “Powers” or “rmpowers”, while his fine art work was signed “Gorman Powers” after his mother’s maiden name.
Baldwin Hill Art & Framing is honored to be able to work with the Powers estate to show these lesser-known fine art works to the general public.
"Ten Ten Ten" by David Kahn
Baldwin Hill Art & Framing is proud to host Natick fine art photographer David Kahn for the month of March. For Kahn, taking a photograph is just the beginning of the creative process. He then processes the images using state-of-the-art computer technology to achieve his vision. He calls this approach “painting with photographs”. Like a painter’s palette, Kahn uses photographs as color and design elements as part of a lager works. This art of montage makes it possible to express visual ideas in new and exciting ways.
David’s works will be on display in our gallery through March 31. We will hold a reception in the gallery on March 23 from 5-9PM.
Baldwin Hill Art & Framing will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Irish/English painter Francis Bacon with a reception Thursday, October 29 from 5:00 to 8:00PM. Reproductions of a number of Bacon works will be on display. The event is open to the public.
Francis Bacon (1909-1992) was one of the most important and influential painters of the 20th century. An admirer of Picasso and friend of Lucien Freud, he took abstract expressionism in a new direction, emphasizing the raw physicality of his subjects and the emotional intensity of the artist. His over-sized paintings often depict human and animal subjects in altered and distorted poses. Perhaps his best-known work is Study after Velasquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, which is commonly referred to as “The Screaming Pope”.
Three of the reproductions available are from the estate of Dr. Saul Gurevitz of Brookline and Wellfleet. The late Dr. Gurevitz, a psychoanalyst, particularly enjoyed the nightmarish imagery of the Bacon works in his varied fine arts collection. “We are proud to be able to offer these works to the public”, says gallery owner James Paradis. “The Study for a Bullfight #1, featured prominently in our gallery, never fails to elicit a reaction from viewers”.
Click on the “Our Store” link for a map and directions to our gallery.
Miro: "Vent Parmi Les Roseaux" Plate 3
Baldwin Hill Art & Framing will be holding a reception Thursday, August 13 from 4 to 8PM to showcase new arrivals from the estate of Dr. Saul Gurevitz. Works include lithographs by Joan Miro and Marc Chagall and paintings by Xavier Gonzalez.
Dr. Saul Gurevitz (1920-2001) was a painter, sculptor, and psychoanalyst. He was born in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania). He was a Holocaust survivor, having lost his entire family during World War II. While he was encouraged to take art lessons as a child, his primary interest was in the human mind and the developing field of psychoanalysis. After acquiring a PhD at the University of Zurich, he came to the United States in 1948, began practicing analysis in New York City and also began painting and sculpting. Later he moved to Wellfleet and then Brookline, Massachusetts where he began collecting art. He collected mainly 20th-century abstract art including works by Joan Miro, Marc Chagall, Xavier Gonzalez, Alexander Calder, and Francis Bacon.
Upcoming items from his collection include lithographs by Francis Bacon, Alexander Calder, and Mikhail Chemiakin. Works from this collection will be on display and available for sale through the end of 2009.
Please join us Thursday, July 16 from 5:30PM to 8:00PM for not one but two celebrations!
First, we will be hosting Natick artist Tamu (Tamara Gurevitz) as our guest for this month’s Natick Center Art Walk. Art Walk features over thirty downtown merchants hosting local artists for a fun, festive evening! Tamu will have a variety of her whimsical “Coo Creatures” on display, and will hold a live clayworking demonstration.
Joan Miro: "Vent Parmi les Roseaux"
Second, we will be hosting the formal reception for our Summer Fine Art Sale featuring works from the estate of Dr. Saul Gurevitz of Brookline, MA and Wellfleet, MA. This reception will feature works by Joan Miro, Robert Rauschenberg, Xavier Gonzalez, and Marjorie Lessor. Additional works by Francis Bacon, Mikhail Chemiyakin, and others will be unveiled throughout the summer!
Please join us for both of these festive events!