The art world is a little less bright today as we learn of the unexpected passing of Michael Keane.
For the last three decades, Michael brought joy to those who viewed his artwork. His serene and luminous marine paintings portrayed the warmth of summer days spent sailing on Nantucket Sound. Keane had the remarkable ability to transport a viewer; to gaze at one of Michael’s beautiful and obviously lovingly wrought images is to imagine yourself cruising on the open sea–whether on a striped sail Beetle Cat or a majestic J-Class yacht, it’s the next best thing to actually being out there.
A man of few words with a bit of a no-nonsense exterior, Michael had a heart of gold. Most of you were introduced to him through his gift of painting. I knew him not only as an artist, but as a husband, father, grandfather, fellow sailor, car enthusiast, mentor and friend. I had the opportunity to be in his company as he shared information about his family ancestry, or told wild stories about his teenage years on the south shore of Boston and California; we talked about topics that ranged from politics, carburetors, yacht design, painting plans to marketing. A consummate professional, design and composition were everything to Michael. He took pride in every detail of the finished product, including the large bright gold leaf frame that completed each piece. When I decided in 2005 to open my own gallery, Michael was the second artist (the first was my father) to call me and say he would come on board, giving me the boost in confidence I needed to take that plunge.
Where Michael Keane will be placed in the world of marine masters only time and the unfolding of history will tell, but for me his contribution to the art world, the island of Nantucket, the gallery and to my life will never be forgotten.
Fair Winds and Following Seas Michael.
Quidley & Company is pleased to present a solo exhibition of work by the internationally recognized painter John Swan. The show will run from October 9 – November 26, 2014, with an opening artist’s reception on Thursday, October 9th from 5-8 pm.
Though widely known for his sporting art, Swan’s paintings comprise a range of subjects and genres, from seascapes to portraiture to nudes. Working in both watercolor and oil, his paintings are awash in light, color and a sense of energy that combine in shimmering images.
The artist demonstrates a facility for rendering naturalistic detail that is the result of a life spent immersed in the outdoors, from northern New England to the Bahamas. Swan’s passion for nature is matched by his sensitivity to the human form; his subjects, compelling in their casual depictions on boats, in backyards, or in seaside bars, come to life on the canvas in an expression of personality and vitality.
As described by Tom Davis, in “Reluctant Stardom,” “Swan’s art is fresh, vital and never overstated. He leaves room for the imagination to make its own discoveries. Daring colors and free, agile brushwork are trademarks of his style; a keen eye and astute judgement result in compositions that appear utterly spontaneous and unforced. Viewing them is as if you are standing at the artist’s shoulder, seeing what he sees, feeling what he feels. The experience is immediate and intense.”
Painting and exhibiting for over 20 years in the US, Canada, and the Bahamas, Swan’s work is collected worldwide, and has been reproduced in countless periodicals, journals and books. John Swan’s paintings offer a window into his wonderful world and an escape to outdoor adventure.
Fans of Flick Ford will be interested to know about the latest creation out of the studio of this master of marine life portraiture. After a terrific success with the sale of “Betsy,” the 4 x 10.5’ great white shark watercolor that was exhibited this year at the prestigious art fair Art Palm Beach, Flick is taking on a new challenge this spring. He has been hard at work on a sperm whale of similar proportions, which he expects to complete by the end of the first week in June. Below is an image one of the artist’s preliminary drawings. The first of its kind out of Flick’s studio, the sperm whale will be offered at $34,000.
We are also excited to report that Flick will be on island June 16th through the 19th to do some fishing off Nantucket’s shores. During that week, he will be doing an in-gallery painting demonstration during which he will complete work on his next piece, a bluefish watercolor. Mark your calendar to see Flick in action, and we’ll keep you posted on the details!
Scott Fraser’s Three Way Vanitas. Oil on Board. 35 x 49″ 2008
These days it seems that the boundary between art and technology is getting more and more blurred. Quidley & Company gallery artist Scott Fraser discovered just how interrelated the two have become when he was contacted back in 2008 by David G. Stork, chief scientist of Ricoh Innovations and adjunct professor at Stanford University. Scott told us that Stork had read an article related to a show Scott helped organize that year, called The Object Project. The Object Project, a group show that travelled to five museums over two years, featured the work of fifteen artists, each with their own unique style, technique, and approach to a project that involved painting the same five objects.
Applied Reflections, by Scott Fraser. Oil on Board. 27 x 37″ 2014
Scott’s contribution to the show was a painting entitled Three Way Vanitas, which featured the same mirror he later used in his painting Applied Reflections. Professor Stork was quite taken with the perspective challenges Fraser faced while executing Three Way Vanitas. Stork, whose specialty is optics and art, has done a great deal of research on how the Old Masters worked out their perspective, with a special focus on images reflected in mirrors. A particular piece he has analyzed closely is the Flemish painter Jan van Eyck’s iconic Arnolfini Portrait, with its use of a mirror to reflect the space and its unusual geometric orthogonal perspective.
Jan van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434
Professor Stork shared with Fraser that his studies were in large part a rebuttal to The Secret Knowledge, a book by David Hockney which investigates Old Master painting techniques. Professor Stork, whose studies focus primarily on such artists as Caravaggio, Da Vinci and Holbein, disputed some of Hockney’s assumptions, and asked whether Fraser would be willing to serve as a modern-day guinea pig for his research. Fraser confessed to us that the idea of Stork’s team deconstructing Three Way Vanitas caused him a bit of trepidation; since he works from life, never from photos, the artist knew a close examination by Stork and his research team might expose his perspective flaws. Fraser explains that his hand and eye move all over the place when he works, and that he often relies on instinct rather than scientific formula.
In the spirit of curiosity, and in support of scientific inquiry in general and Stork’s explorations in particular, Fraser ultimately rose to the challenge. The results were fascinating, if at times difficult for the average art lover to grasp. Read the paper, “Three-dimensional reconstruction from multiple reﬂected views within a realist painting: An application to Scott Fraser’s Three way vanitas,” here:
Fraser explains, “Yes, my faults were revealed, but the painting was accurate enough for Professor Stork to run a 3D computer recreation of the work showing its various dimensional anomalies. I found it all very interesting, if well outside of my realm of understanding. One revealing image his team produced shows how far out of sync my reflected objects were in relation to each other, in particular, a glass of water whose reflected level is distinctly higher than that in the original glass. The glass is significant, since for me it signifies the evaporation of time. It’s interesting that the water level is so obvious in the scientific data. These discrepancies were conscious decisions I made from an artist’s point of view, in order to portray the spacial effects I was pursuing. Doubtless Stork would find similar inconsistencies in Applied Reflections, and yet it is one of the reasons I keep returning to this mirror and the challenges of light and perspective it offers.”
The article by Professor Stork et al. is a fascinating example of the application of computer technology to the problems of fictive space in art history. But it raises questions at the same time: what makes a work of art beautiful? Can technological advances create a “better” painting? We think not. We celebrate the aesthetic, technical and conceptual choices of fine artists, and we know that what makes a painting great is the degree to which it pleases our eye, the extent to which we love it. We hope Scott Fraser’s “brush with science” hasn’t distracted him from that truth, and we look forward, as always, to more spectacular work out of his studio!
It’s always a thrill to receive a new painting from Tim Thompson, the renowned marine artist whose historic scenes are unparalleled for their accuracy, drama and atmospheric quality. The latest out of Thompson’s studio is entitled “Glorious First of June, 1794” and is a tour-de-force.
The painting is a depiction of the first and largest fleet action of the naval conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the First French Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars. The British Channel Fleet under Admiral Lord Howe attempted to prevent the passage of a vital French grain convoy from the United States, which was protected by the French Atlantic Fleet, commanded by Rear-Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse. The two forces clashed in the Atlantic Ocean, some 400 nautical miles (741 km) west of the French island of Ushant on June 1, 1794.
The action was the culmination of a campaign that had criss-crossed the Bay of Biscay. During the battle, Howe’s ships inflicted a severe tactical defeat on the French fleet. However, and despite losing seven of his ships of the line, Villaret had bought enough time for the French grain convoy to reach safety unimpeded by Howe’s fleet, getting through to the starving people of France and securing a strategic success. Both sides ultimately claimed victory, and the outcome of the battle was seized upon by the press of both nations as a demonstration of the prowess and bravery of their respective navies.
Featured ships: Le Venguer, sinking at the right; Le Entreprenante, further to leeward; HM Cutter Rattler, foreground; HMS Culloden, L’Achille, and HMS Brunswick, centre; HMS Valiant at the left of Rattler; Le Patriote. The British fleet to windward engaged at distance.
The painting illustrates the ships engaged in the height of battle, churning in the white water with their sails full of wind and multiple flags of both nation’s flying proudly as crew fight courageously amidst the smoke and flames. The scene shows the Le Venguer falling away to leeward in a sinking state, and calling for assistance, after her duel with HMS Brunswick.
Rescuers aboard the Culloden, Rattler, and Alfred, seeing the great peril of Venguer’s situation, launched as many of their boats as could swim, and rushed in to save over 400 of the French ship’s crew. The boats of the Alfred took off 213 crew, and those of the Culloden and the cutter (the zeal and activity of whose commander, Lieutenant John Winne, did him great credit) nearly as many more. Consequently, when the ship went down a few minutes after the last boat had pushed off from her, there were no visible remaining crew who would be counted as casualties.
Among the survivors of Vengeur’s crew were Captain Renaudin and his son, a boy of twelve years of age. The two were accidentally taken off by different ships’ boats; and each, until they met again at Portsmouth, imagined the other had perished. The meeting was very affecting to all who witnessed it and of course to the father and son reunited.
David Shevlino is a Delaware-based artist currently making waves on both coasts with his striking narrative paintings featuring figures thoughtfully placed in evocative landscapes. With his signature exuberant brushwork and painterly style, the artist blurs the boundaries between the traditional representation of the figure and the abstraction of it. David’s newly published book of recent work is now available.
Now available! http://davidshevlino.com/reproductions.html
A look inside:
The Price Center cordially invites you join us at the Quidley Gallery for a wine reception in support of our commitment to people with intellectual disabilities. Our reception will show the works of renowned contemporary artist, William Quigley.
Referred to as a “cultural catalyst,” William Quigley has been making a splash on both coasts. His work has been collected by a long list of celebrities and important contemporary art taste-makers since his first exhibition in 1985 (alongside work by Andy Warhol). Because Quigley shows primarily in New York and LA, this latest exhibit represents a unique opportunity for Quidley & Company to present his work to a Boston audience.
Quigley’s creativity and prolific output is closely matched by his generosity–his philanthropy seems to know no bounds. He co-created “Boards for Breast Cancer,” annually supports “Wounded Warriors,” and is hosting an opening this month in partnership with The Price Center, a Boston-based organization that supports teens and adults with developmental disabilities.
Founded in 1977, The Price Center provides community-based services for adults and teens with developmental disabilities. The Center offers a wide range of services while also collaborating with other community resources to help strengthen the impact of our work.
The Price Center supports people with developmental disabilities by encouraging personal growth and participation in the community through social, living and work experiences that foster independence and respect individual preference and diversity. We accomplish our mission through the implementation of day habilitation, residential, vocational, and family support services in the greater Boston area.