EDWARD DUGMORE: THE SIXTIES, ESSAY BY LORETTA HOWARD GALLERY DIRECTOR, HOWARD HURST
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THE CATALOGUE ESSAY FOR THE CURRENT EXHIBITION AT THE LORETTA HOWARD GALLERY: EDWARD DUGMORE: THE SIXTIES, DOES JUST THAT. WRITTEN BY GALLERY DIRECTOR, HOWARD HURST, IT INFORMS US ABOUT THE INFLUENCES AT WORK DURING THIS IMPORTANT DECADE OF HIS PICTORIAL CAREER. THE EXHIBITION CONTINUES THROUGH MARCH 25th AT 521 WEST 26th STREET IN CHELSEA.
THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO POST THE ESSAY AND THANK HOWARD HURST FOR HIS CONTRIBUTION.
EDWARD DUGMORE: THE SIXTIES
When Edward Dugmore arrived in Manhattan in the mid 1950s he helped define a generation of Abstract Expressionist painters who’s legacy is now mythic in scale. This was an inward looking period known for its hard drinking, heated debate and cathartic, frenzied painting. Dugmore became a ubiquitous figure at the Cedar Street Tavern and the many downtown artist cooperatives that helped define this scene. By 1960 however, the fabric of this milieu had changed. Dugmore’s close friend Clyfford Still left that year to paint in pastoral isolation on his farm in Westminster, Maryland. Willem de Kooning began spending increasingly more time in the rural hamlet of East Hampton before moving there permanently in 1971. Phillip Guston would abandon pure abstraction and take up permanent residence in the Catskill Mountains.
For Dugmore, this decade would also mark an important turning point in his practice. His paintings of the 1960s mark a shift away from the urbanism and introspection of the 1950s. Instead, they capture a sense of openness and reflection as the artist rediscovered the American landscape, in particular the American West and Coastal Maine. These works avoid literal depiction and instead embody the emotional and spiritual impact of the natural world.
For Dugmore, the Rocky Mountains, which he experienced as a visiting artist to the Aspen School of Art in 1961, became a mystic symbol. His paintings from this period stretch themselves out in stark fields of mottled black and white, shot through with sinuous skeins of brilliant color. The resulting silhouettes feel ancient and geological in nature but resist direct recognition. We feel the bodily impact of vast, humbling space and the unknowable force of the wilderness.
EDWARD DUGMORE: THE SIXTIES, FEBRUARY 23- MARCH 25, AT LORETTA HOWARD GALLERY, 521 West 26th ST, NY
HOWARD HURST, DIRECTOR OF LORETTA HOWARD GALLERY, REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR TO hyperallergic.com
HOWARD OBTAINED HIS MASTERS IN CURATORIAL STUDIES AND MUSEUM SCIENCES FROM SETON HALL UNIVERSITY. WHILE IN GRADUATE SCHOOL, HE WORKED AT THE NEW MUSEUM BEFORE BEGINNING HIS CAREER IN NEW YORK AT THE ALAN STONE GALLERY.
TO ADD TO YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF DUGMORE’S WORK, HERE IS HOWARD HURST’S CATALOGUE ESSAY FOR DUGMORE’S 2014 RETROSPECTIVE AT THE GALLERY. THIS CATALOGUE FOCUSES ON THE TWO MOST IMMEDIATE AND OBVIOUS CONNECTIONS PEOPLE MAKE TO THE WORK OF EDWARD DUGMORE, THAT OF HIS TEACHER THOMAS HART BENTON AND HIS TEACHER AND FRIEND, CLYFFORD STILL.
ANCIENT EVENINGS: A RETROSPECTIVE OF EDWARD DUGMORE, LORETTA HOWARD GALLERY, APRIL 2014