KENNETH STUBBS – Provincetown Watercolors 1934-1963

7 September – 6 October, 2007

ACME Fine Art’s autumn season will open with a retrospective exhibition of watercolors by the noted 20th century modern artist Kenneth Stubbs. The exhibition will be comprised of a fine group of eight rare watercolors that were painted during the artist’s summer sojourns to Cape Cod between 1934 and 1965.

Kenneth Stubbs was a gifted artist and teacher who had an unwavering allegiance to modernism. In the early 1930s he studied in Provincetown with E. Ambose Webster, who is considered by many to be Provincetown’s first important modernist. Webster’s Summer Art School was the first of numerous art schools on Cape Cod to emphasize a modern point of view. Stubbs was one of Webster’s most important students, and Webster became to Stubbs a mentor, an inspiration, and a colleague. Like his mentor, Stubbs was dedicated to the dissemination of modern ideas through his artwork and teaching. He taught for many years at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington D.C., and the Corcoran also became an important venue for the exhibition of his work.

In recent years the Cape Cod Museum of Art and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum have mounted retrospective exhibitions of paintings and drawings by Kenneth Stubbs. ACME Fine Art has represented the artist’s estate since 2002, and in 2003 an exhibition of landscapes titled Shorescapes, was the gallery’s first solo exhibition of Stubbs’ work. It was one of the gallery’s most successful shows to date, drawing an enormously positive response from fans of more traditional forms of expression and from dyed in the wool modernists alike.

Stubbs had a fundamentally clear and consistent artistic vision; yet, he –unlike many artists of his generation- was able to grow artistically without ever needing to negate or reject what had gone before. The watercolors that comprise the basis for this exhibition were selected to demonstrate the remarkable arc of Stubbs’ growth as an artist, and to reflect the artist’s changing points of view towards the Cape Cod scenery that was so frequently his inspiration. Many of these watercolors have not been exhibited since they were painted; yet, each retains a freshness and clarity of vision that gives the entire group a timelessly contemporary appeal.

ACME Fine Art’s retrospective exhibition of watercolors by Kenneth Stubbs will open with a reception at the gallery from 6 to 8 o’clock on Friday evening 7 September 2007. The exhibition will run through 6 October 2007. ACME Fine Art is located at 38 Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Gallery hours are 11:00 to 5:30 Tuesday through Saturday.

LESTER JOHNSON – Figurative Oil Paintings from the 1960s

7 September – 6 October, 2007

ACME Fine Art’s Fall season will open on Friday, 7 September 2007 with an exhibition of oil paintings by the noted figurative expressionist artist Lester Johnson. A reception at the gallery from six to eight that evening will kick off the exhibition.

Lester Johnson is one of the relative handful of avant-garde artists who abandoned non-figurative painting in the 1950s in order to harness the power of the human figure as a primary vehicle for artistic self-expression. Today Johnson is recognized as one of the most important and influential painters of his generation. Since his first solo exhibition at New York’s Artists Gallery in 1951, Johnson’s work has been featured in more than 100 solo exhibitions, and included in important group exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to name just a few. Lester Johnson’s work is in the permanent public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University. (Complete lists of permanent Collections and Exhibitions, and a chronology is available on-line at acmefineart.com.)

ACME Fine Art’s first solo exhibition of Lester Johnson’s work will feature fifteen oil paintings from what was a pivotal decade for Johnson: the 1960s. During the 1960s the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York, and the H.C.E. and the Sun galleries in Provincetown were frequent venues for Johnson’s contemporary work. It was also during this decade that Johnson’s paintings were selected for inclusion in seminal exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. His canvases from this period are bold and vigorously expressive regardless of scale, and they demonstrate a poetic virtuosity that has become Lester Johnson’s hallmark.

Much has been written about Lester Johnson and his work from the 1960s. The quotations selected for this piece were chosen for their eloquence and insight into the artist and his work, and they are intended to both illuminate the paintings, and to shed light on Lester Johnson’s place in American art history. Speaking about his own work from this period Johnson said the following: “There is no balance in my paintings because balance seems to me to be static. Life, which I try to reflect in my paintings, is dynamic…. To me my paintings are action paintings -paintings that move across the canvas, paintings that do not get stuck, but flow like time.” To which the noted critic and art historian Dore Ashton added: “And so they did.”

LESTER JOHNSON: Oil Paintings from the 1960s will be on view at ACME Fine Art, Boston through 6 October 2007. ACME Fine Art is located at 38 Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Gallery hours are 11:00 to 5:30 Tuesday through Saturday.

LESTER JOHNSON – Figurative Oil Paintings from the 1960s

7 September – 6 October, 2007

ACME Fine Art’s Fall season will open on Friday, 7 September 2007 with an exhibition of oil paintings by the noted figurative expressionist artist Lester Johnson. A reception at the gallery from six to eight that evening will kick off the exhibition.

Lester Johnson is one of the relative handful of avant-garde artists who abandoned non-figurative painting in the 1950s in order to harness the power of the human figure as a primary vehicle for artistic self-expression. Today Johnson is recognized as one of the most important and influential painters of his generation. Since his first solo exhibition at New York’s Artists Gallery in 1951, Johnson’s work has been featured in more than 100 solo exhibitions, and included in important group exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to name just a few. Lester Johnson’s work is in the permanent public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University. (Complete lists of permanent Collections and Exhibitions, and a chronology is available on-line at acmefineart.com.)

ACME Fine Art’s first solo exhibition of Lester Johnson’s work will feature fifteen oil paintings from what was a pivotal decade for Johnson: the 1960s. During the 1960s the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York, and the H.C.E. and the Sun galleries in Provincetown were frequent venues for Johnson’s contemporary work. It was also during this decade that Johnson’s paintings were selected for inclusion in seminal exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. His canvases from this period are bold and vigorously expressive regardless of scale, and they demonstrate a poetic virtuosity that has become Lester Johnson’s hallmark.

Much has been written about Lester Johnson and his work from the 1960s. The quotations selected for this piece were chosen for their eloquence and insight into the artist and his work, and they are intended to both illuminate the paintings, and to shed light on Lester Johnson’s place in American art history. Speaking about his own work from this period Johnson said the following: “There is no balance in my paintings because balance seems to me to be static. Life, which I try to reflect in my paintings, is dynamic…. To me my paintings are action paintings -paintings that move across the canvas, paintings that do not get stuck, but flow like time.” To which the noted critic and art historian Dore Ashton added: “And so they did.”

LESTER JOHNSON: Oil Paintings from the 1960s will be on view at ACME Fine Art, Boston through 6 October 2007. ACME Fine Art is located at 38 Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Gallery hours are 11:00 to 5:30 Tuesday through Saturday.