Catalogue Essay: Marella Consolini, Curator, Knoedler Gallery, Project Space
Knoedler Project Space at Knoedler & Company is pleased to announce Sam Glankoff: Paintings on Paper.
In 1981, on the occasion of Glankoff's first solo exhibition, at the Graham Gallery, New York, John Russell wrote in The New York Times: "It is not everyday that an artist of stature makes his debut in New York at the age of 87."
Glankoff (1894–1982) exhibited each year throughout the 1920s with the Whitney Studio Club, then shunned the gallery system and its associated social and business complexities. Choosing to work on his personal art throughout his life, alone in his studios in Woodstock and New York City, he didn't exhibit again until the Graham Gallery show in 1981. Glankoff supported himself with commercial assignments from the 1920s until 1970, when he was able to devote himself full time to art-making, creating an innovative and prolific body of work.
This exhibition is focused on that late period. During the 1970s, Glankoff developed a unique form of transfer painting now described as "print-painting". An "oddball" technique, as he himself called it, it exists somewhere between printmaking and painting. Jeffrey Wechsler, Senior Curator at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum, where a Glankoff retrospective was organized in 1984, said "'Print Painting' is really an invention of Glankoff's. And it's rather remarkable that in the late twentieth century an artist could really come up with an entirely new technique. Certainly it was based on other techniques. But it had specific qualities and characteristics which Glankoff, through his great experience with the medium, realized had to come together in an entirely new form."
Glankoff was a brilliant colorist, and the images in these fresh and timeless paintings are luminous. Edward Madrid Gómez, in a recent catalogue essay on Glankoff wrote, "Like the abstract painters who mined humanity's primordial, psychic depths in the surrealism-influenced period just before American Abstract Expressionism's full-blown explosion in the 1940s, Glankoff dug deep in his effort to understand and to use art to represent what was most enduring and ineffable about the human spirit."
Sam Glankoff: Paintings on Paper opens to the public on Thursday, November 13, 2008, and will remain on view through Saturday, January 10, 2009. The opening reception will be held on November 13th from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition will be accompanied by a limited-edition chapbook, available to the public at no charge. The gallery is open Tuesday thru Friday from 9:30–5:30, and Saturday from 10:00–5:30. For additional information, or images, please contact Marella Consolini, Project Space curator: email@example.com 212 794 0558. www.knoedlergallery.com/projectspace.
The next Project Space exhibition will be: John Gerrard: Animated Scene (Red Pump, Texas), 2008 opening January 22, 2009. For a description of the Project Space, please see below.
In February, 2008, Knoedler & COMPANY launched their newest initiative: the Knoedler Project Space.
The lower gallery, a newly renovated but previously under-utilized space, is being programmed with year-round exhibitions of contemporary artists working in a variety of media. There is a focus on mid-career artists. The program encompasses a range of themes and formats, including both solo and group shows, and there will be collaborations with other curators, galleries and institutions. This initiative is being developed by, and is under the direction of, Marella Consolini, who has worked with contemporary artists in various capacities for over 20 years. A former Knoedler colleague, she has also served as Director of the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, and was most recently Chief of Staff at the Whitney Museum.
The Knoedler Project Space is a unique and creative opportunity for the gallery to contribute even more to the dialogue of contemporary art today. The mission of this project is to support artists with an opportunity to exhibit in the context of Knoedler's broader program. Our hope is that the exposure will benefit them at a time in their career when it can make a significant difference. The characteristics that identify this program are exploration, nimbleness, experimentation—we can take risks because we have no obligation beyond the single exhibition; without long-term commitment to the artist, we can nurture talent on a smaller, but still meaningful, scale.
A significant aside: beginning in 1908, Knoedler (founded in 1846) began exhibiting artists that they did not represent, including a number whose careers were fostered by this exposure, such as Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, Rockwell Kent, George Bellows and Albert Pinkham Ryder. To revive this tradition now, especially at a time in the market when commercialism seems to trump the intrinsic value of art at every turn, defines our role as a gallery: to support the artists.