Since its inception in 2008, the abstract show at Vineyard Haven's
Louisa Gould Gallery has established a solid place in the Island's
summer art scene. While a number of galleries include abstract work, Ms.
Gould believes that hers is the only one that annually devotes an
entire show to abstraction.
This year she has six artists in Landscapes of Color, which opens
August 8, with a reception on Saturday, August 10. They are Val Rossman,
Joan Konkel, Susanne Hill, Roberta Gross, Laura Roosevelt, and Jeanne
New this year to the gallery is Ms. Rossman, who lives in
Philadelphia. She works in pastel and mixed media. In pastels like "It
Was Also Brilliant" and "Held their Own," this artist wields the medium
with a fluidness akin to watercolor. She chooses intense colors for
"Grows in Meaning" and "All Results Integrated," but in another pastel,
"Missing the Gathering Storm," she achieves her lyrical effects through
combinations of defined line and washes of color.
Also working acrylic on aluminum, Ms. Rossman explores more linear
forms, with an eye for cerebrally oriented interactions of strong
colors, as in "Surveying the Crowd," where a deep red almost bounces
against its neighboring blue and asks the eye to look again. Thin, black
strokes dash across the color blocks to unify them. In "I Figured I
Could," the artist piles yellow rectangles of varying hues in an effect
that gives the work multiple dimensions.
Aquinnah summer resident Roberta Gross has participated in the
gallery's abstract shows since their inception, and she helps Ms. Gould
curate the show. This year she is exhibiting a series of pastels, like
"Eye of the Storm," which could pass for stained glass windows.
"She suggested the abstract shows and helps find the artists," Ms.
Gould says. "It can be hard to show abstract work next to
representational art. There is so much representational work on the
Island, but it has a sophisticated audience, one that is interested in
abstraction and collects it."
"I love her work," Ms. Gould says of mixed media artist Joan Kunkel,
who first exhibited with the gallery at last year's abstract show. This
year Ms. Kunkel is displaying several soft sculptures, made of mesh and
acrylic on canvas. A work like "Realm of the Mermaid" conveys both the
movement of water and its shadowy dimensions. This piece contrasts with
the artist's more hard-edged work like "Light and Shadows #5," and it
ably demonstrates her versatility.
The sagar firing of ceramicist Edgartown summer resident Suzanne Hill
expands the show in pleasing directions by employing the concreteness
of sculpture as a background for abstraction. In sagar firing, pottery
is enclosed in a box-like container to protect the work while inside the
kiln. "Azure Muse" incorporates Ms. Hill's signature blues alongside
black and brown on its surface. The lid on this bowl is topped with a
soaring, winged handle.
Digital photographs by West Tisbury's Laura Roosevelt and Vineyard
Haven summer resident Jeanne Campbell round out an exhibit that remains
unified but diversified in satisfying ways. Ms. Roosevelt's "Behind
Bars" evokes a quiet elegance that relies on composition more than
color. Ms. Campbell's "Newly Beautiful" and "Tulip" add the illusion of
three dimensions to images suspended against a black backdrop. The
shapes in these photographs approach representation without losing their
sense of the abstract.
Ms. Gross will give an artist's talk on Thursday, August 22, at 6 pm.