February 22, 2016

For Immediate Release

Contact: Susan Nelly -- susan@thevillaamerica.com , 917-414-6621

The Villa America Fine Art presents New York on paper in “Muse”

Large-Scale Watercolors by 5 Artists Opening March 4 at Anderson Contemporary

Anderson Contemporary, in collaboration with The Villa America Fine Art, is pleased to announce the group exhibition “Muse,” opening with a reception Friday, March 4, from 6-8 pm, Comprised of large scale watercolors, “Muse” features a group of five New York painters - Paul Ching-Bor, Elizabeth Allison, Chizuru Morii Kaplan, Kathryn Keller Larkins, Norbert Waysberg -- in a dynamic celebration of New York City as their muse, at Anderson Contemporary, 180 Maiden Lane (South Street entrance). The exhibition is on view through March 31 - Gallery hours are Monday - Friday, 11am -6pm, and on weekends by appointment – 917-575-5972.

From the catalog essay “A Gang of Five” by Gerard Haggerty:

Although making art is often regarded as a solitary activity that is predicated on a search for Self, there exist time-honored precedents for artists banding together as a group. Members of the collective take courage from each other, struggling together, exploring together, and succeeding together. Examples are legion: Die Brucke, Der Blaue Reiter, the Fauves and the Nabis, to name but a few. Nineteenth century Belgium boasted Les Vignt – “The Twenty.” Today, permit me to introduce you to The Gang of Five. 

This gang has no ringleader, though we can trace its inception back to Paul Ching-Bor’s classroom in New York City’s legendary Art Students League, many years ago. But then was then and now is now, and make no mistake about it: we’re not seeing a teacher-student exhibition here, but rather a show of five equal partners who are all committed to common goals, and using diverse means to achieve them. First and foremost on their agenda, this quintet seeks to redefine our expectations for their medium of choice, which is watercolor. 

Detractors unfairly assume watercolor to be a synonym for “wishy-washy,” connoting precious little objects that are routinely maligned as efforts in a minor medium. In the face of such misconceptions, virtuous precedents abound. John James Audubon, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper and Emil Nolde were all at their best in watercolor; and China’s tradition of masterful brush-painting stretches back in time for millennia. Nevertheless, and notwithstanding ample evidence to the contrary, dismissive assumptions persist. 

Groups in general, and this quintet is no exception, posit a question that lingers in the air. Do we detect five discrete individual visions here, or are the members’ works derivative? Study the optical proof and the answer is abundantly clear. Works by The Gang of Five are far from interchangeable. Obviously these artists share certain methods in common, and they often portray similar subjects as well. But when the day is done, many nuanced differences add up to significantly diverse artistic visions. No need to read the labels; five diverse stylistic signatures are there to see. Take your time. The act of scrutinizing these pictures is its own reward. Searching to discern subtle distinctions sharpens the perception of viewers and artists alike. 

Read the complete essay and view the exhibition at www.thevillaamerica.com  

The Villa America Fine Art was founded by Art Dealer and Fine Art Advisor Susan Nelly, specializing in the sale and acquisition of Modern and Contemporary Art. Susan is a founding New York Member of AWAD -- The Association of Women Art Dealers -- and was elected in 2009 to ARTTABLE, The Leadership Organization for Professional Women in the Visual Arts. The Villa America Fine Art also represents a select group of mid-career and emerging artists, curating collaborative exhibitions with prominent galleries and participating in major art fairs. http://www.thevillaamerica.com  susan@thevillaamerica.com

Anderson Contemporary was founded by Ronni Anderson. Branching out from traditional art districts, Anderson is carving a niche in the trending FiDi neighborhood of Manhattan with the opening of her gallery in the expansive commercial lobby space of 180 Maiden Lane.  Anderson’s career began at Sotheby’s auction house, to gallery director to gallery owner and is a founding member of AWAD NYC – The Association of Women Art Dealers. The gallery is proud to represent a diverse group of visionary artists working across media, including painting, photography, mixed media and sculpture. The exhibition program includes solo and group shows as well as select collaborative exhibitions. http://www.andersoncontemporary.com