Interpreting the Brooklyn Landscape: Four Artists
Central Library, Grand Lobby
by Gregory Frux, Arthur Kvarnstrom, Charles Tang & Robert Weiss
From Gregory Frux
I admire the American painters who have documented urban life – Edward Hopper, Reginald Marsh and John Sloan, as well as Charles Burchfield and Rockwell Kent.
Gregory Frux has exhibited his work domestically and internationally. His work was displayed at U.S. embassies in Ethiopia and Madagascar through the Art in Embassies Program. Locally, he held solo exhibitions at venues including LaGuardia Community College in Queens and the Union Club in Manhattan for an American Alpine Club event. He served as an artist-in-residence at locations including Death Valley National Park and Joshua Tree National Park in California and Glacier National Park in Montana. He has run art workshops for cruise ships in the Arctic and Antarctica, as well as for schools and outdoor clubs in the United States. Until 2006, he was curator of 1,300 works of art owned by the New York City Department of Education. He earned a M.F.A. from Brooklyn College and a Bachelor of Architecture from City College.
From Arthur Kvarnstrom:
My paintings are created outdoors and rely on spontaneous impressions. Working with direct perceptions encourages freedom from formula and cultivates painterly values that are expressed in my work including simplicity, boldness, experimentation, invention and a reliance on intuition.
Through the process of observation and painting, choreographed brush strokes and shapes of color are transformed into personal visual shorthand. I keep shapes and colors simple and clear, exploring the relationships and harmonies of color and form. Through the use of paint and the manipulation of color and form, the viewer experiences the world as I see it, in both rural settings and urban imagery.
The paintings in this exhibition were created between 2001 and 2007.
Arthur Kvarnstrom will have a solo exhibition this September at the Dutot Museum in Pennsylvania. He has also had solo exhibitions at Prince Street Gallery in Manhattan, Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn and other venues. He earned a M.F.A. from Kent State University and a B.F.A. from the University of Arizona.
From Charles Tang:
I am a painter of life, my surroundings and my environment. In my figurative paintings, I am interested in portraying the human condition and human emotion. In my landscape art, like J.M.W. Turner, I like to capture the sublime moments of nature, like the majestic evening sky, and add a contrasting human element. I enjoy sharing the forgotten moment we are somehow too busy to appreciate. By capturing an intimate, private moment, I can show the accent of the place, its beauty, the lights, the colors, and my personal view and sense of the place.
Like the artists that precede me, my work is always evolving. It's so hard to get enough time to think about and concentrate on my art, so I am grateful for each moment that I can have.
Charles Tang is a landscape, portrait and wildlife artist. His work has been in group shows in New Jersey at the Ellarslie Mansion, St. Francis Medical Center, Mercer County Community College and the Pingry School. From 1980 to 2000, he was an illustrator of several books, including The Boxcar Children mystery series. He studied lithography under Max Kahn at the University of Chicago, studied under Lenard Anderson at the Art Students League and earned a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute.
From Robert Weiss:
The work on display covers 30-plus years of painting the changing Brooklyn landscape. Each new time period brings a new area of the city that I discover. I am now doing a series of paintings of the waterfront area of Red Hook, whereas I previously concentrated on brownstone Brooklyn.
Hopefully this exhibition expresses my concern that many of the visual elements that made Brooklyn a unique subject are being destroyed in the name of development. For example, my two paintings of the school on Fourth Avenue in winter and spring show a building that is now being torn down.
Of course, the greatest influence on my work is having been born and raised in Brooklyn, and raising my own family here. I am also influenced by artists who have found the urban landscape a source of inspiration, such as Sheeler, Hopper and Estes. Teaching art history to young people has also taught me that the greatest power of art is to help the viewer learn more about themselves by experiencing art.
Robert Weiss taught art for 35 years at schools including Queens College, Kingsborough Community College, the Lennox School and the Berkeley Carroll School. He has received numerous awards, including the 2005 first place award at the National Small Oil Painting Exhibition. He has also shown his work in solo shows including 2003 and 2005 shows at Object Image Gallery in Brooklyn. He earned a M.S. in art education and a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute.
Nocturne Side View
Old Black House, Red Hook
Bay Ridge Evening Sky
Rooftops, Park Slope
Lullwater Bridge, Prospect Park
Downtown Brooklyn from
Clinton Street, Roof
Red Hook Warehouse