17 October – 15 November 2008

ACME Fine Art’s second solo exhibition of the work of Michael Loew is comprised of a group of fine watercolors and drawings created while the artist was in residence on his beloved Monhegan Island in Maine. Loew began spending the summer months on Monhegan in 1949 and continued doing so for almost thirty years. During the early years he enjoyed sketching the island landscape in watercolors that were painted en plein air. ACME Fine Art’s exhibition will feature a fine group of such watercolors that were painted between 1949 and 1954 as well as a group of drawings from the same period.

While the influences of teachers such as Vaclav Vytlacil and Hans Hofmann can be appreciated in this early work, Michael Loew’s adaptation of modern ideas on formal structure and color yielded something completely fresh and original. The early watercolors bear witness to the artist’s fundamental interest in and adaptation of a reductive theory that always had its basis in nature. Throughout his career Loew’s point of departure was often the landscape and light of coastal Maine.

In her essay Nature Into Abstraction that was published in conjunction with Loew’s 1997 retrospective exhibition at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland Maine, curator Susan Larsen aptly describes Loew’s early geometric work as a “fusion of landscape and radical abstraction.” These watercolors visually demonstrate the fusion described by Dr. Larsen, and they capture the precise conception of an evolutionary process for the artist that ultimately led to the creation of his highly synthesized, seminal neo-plastic “Open Space” paintings of the 1970s and early 1980s.

The exhibition Michael Loew, En Plein Air will be on view at ACME Fine Art from 17 October through 15 November 2008.