Opening Wednesday, January 28th, Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to present “Cityscapes”, a group show of urban scenes painted in oil and acrylic by Margaret Crenson, Darshan Russell, Arthur Hammer, Robert Goldstrom, Dan Rupe, Joseph Maresca, Bill Sullivan, Patty Neal, Edward Avedisian, and Richard Merkin. The show will also feature unique burned and scorched works on paper by Paul Chojnowski and watercolors by Scott Nelson Foster.

“Cityscapes” is on view through Sunday, March 1st with a reception for the artists on Saturday, January 31st. All are welcome to attend.

Before devoting himself fulltime as an artist in the late 1980’s, Arthur Hammer held a vibrant career in theater. Graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Hammer appeared on Broadway in “Zoot Suit” while fulfilling his second passion, painting, by exhibiting his work in group shows throughout Manhattan. He later opened his own gallery in New York devoted to American Painting of the 1920s, 30s, 40s, and works from the W.P.A. in particular. Hammer’s stylistic approach to painting is attributed to this period, as seen in his city scenes of industrial America broken down into bold formations of graphic color and shape.

Realistic painter, Bill Sullivan, exhibits two contemporary scenes of New York City. The 19th century Luminist painters’ influence can be seen in Sullivan’s bold palette and epic subject matter; yet flat color planes and composition remind us he is a contemporary painter. Sullivan literally followed in the footsteps of Frederic Church, achieving his goal of reinterpreting all of the landscapes that once inspired Church. After his travels, Sullivan relocated to the Hudson Valley to continue painting saturated views of the Catskills.

Local artist Dan Rupe returns, yet this time with a selection of animated street scenes inspired by Hudson, NY and Providence, RI. Simple street activity and community landmarks are translated with vibrant color, boldly accentuated with a canvas first coated in a crimson wash. When asked why he loves painting, Rupe says “I choose to make art brightly with bold strokes, it’s laughing out loud with nothing to hide, I just let it out.” Rupe studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts.

Edward Avedisian was best known for his work made in the 1960’s consisting of boldly composed canvases of complex color and eye-popping Color Field designs. Avedisian replaced abstraction for representational painting after moving to Hudson, NY from Manhattan in the mid-1970’s. While his subject matter shifted, Avedisian retained his affinity for flat shapes and bright color which made up his abstract work. Before moving to upstate New York, Avedisian’s work was shown at the Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney Museum, two shows featured on the cover of Artforum magazine. The artists work is sought after internationally and is part of various esteemed museum collections, including the Guggenheim Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Carrie Haddad represents the estate of Richard Merkin, whose unique depictions of New York will also be featured in the exhibit. His prolific oeuvre includes an incredible documentation of art, theatre, music, literature and society in New York City with stylized subjects made up of legendary American people and images. Merkin’s exuberant color schemes and exciting compositions were featured on numerous covers of New Yorker magazine and also graced the pages of the New York Times Sunday magazine. Merkin taught at the Rhone Island School of Design (RISD) for 42 years and his work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Smithsonian Institution, and the Whitney.

Patty Neal and Robert Goldstrom fascinate us with small views of Brooklyn and Manhattan. By combining elements of city and landscape, Neal plays with reality and explores the concept of visual, mental, and emotional boundaries we create in life. Often working on panels no larger than 9 x 10 inches, her mini depictions of vast views penetrate the boundaries defined by the edge of the canvas. Neal attended Parson’s School of Design and is represented in numerous private and public collections in the U.S. and Europe. Goldstrom’s studies of city skylines are painted at various times of day, offering slight shifts in perspective while chasing sunlight. His panoramic portals mimic the horizontal view of where skyscrapers and bridges meet cloud and sky as seen from the street or a top story window. The Williamsburg Bank Building - an iconic beacon for many Brooklynites and the artist’s own “Mt. Fuji”- can be spotted in many of his paintings. For many years Goldstrom worked as an illustrator, a skill which can be found in his graphic approach to painting. Goldstrom received both the Gold and Silver Metal from the Society of Illustrators. Both artists currently reside in Brooklyn.

Born in Scotland, Margaret Crenson moved to the Hudson Valley in 1980 where she was introduced to a multitude of inspirations for her paintings. Aside from painting personal subjects such as family members and pets, Crenson drew influences from highways, cars, old buildings and rooftops transforms by light and shadow. Oil mixed with wax creates highly textured compositions that assist in communicating changes in atmosphere and form. Crenson studied at both Cooper Union and the Art Students League of New York.

Self-taught regional artist, Darshan Russell, has dedicated years to developing a unique painting style that is all her own. The architecture and inhabitants of Hudson Valley hubs such as Poughkeepsie, Kingston and Hudson are magically transformed on her canvases. Her charming interpretations are not merely observations, but are born of the mind and the perpetual motion of life, attracting audiences within the folk and naïve art collecting circles.

Selections from Joseph Maresca’s Abstractions and Architecture series include internationally recognized iconic buildings transplanted from their familiar surroundings onto canvases of simple color. Their unusual changes in perspective give each structure a surreal quality. Maresca received his MFA from NYU and has been showing with Carrie Haddad for over a decade. Brooklyn based painter Eileen Murphy brings us under the Brooklyn Queens Expressway to the outer edges of Williamsburg – the underbelly of a borough whose neighborhoods once undesirable are now, untouchable. Other paintings open the door to the city dweller’s living space. Details of parquet floors and pre-war moulding transport us inside classical Brooklyn brownstones. Murphy illustrates the beautiful geometry found within the city’s internal structures- structures that are in perpetual use and constant need of repair.

Scott Nelson Foster and Paul Chojnowski choose water and fire as their medium, respectively. Foster’s grey scale watercolors display a quaint depiction of upstate New York towns. Focusing on seemingly abandoned buildings, Foster draws attention to architectural details and a loss of activity to illustrate the passing of time. His iconic imagery reflects changing ideas of the American dream, speaking to a subject matter that is universally disparate. Paul Chojnowski turns to the use of nontraditional media and tools to illustrate nightfall on city streets. The Nocturne series was inspired by his late night walking tours of American cities such as New York, Chicago and Boston. These fire drawings illustrate fleeting moments and sideways glances at illuminated buildings that define a city; a halo of light that staves off darkness.