FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE BERRY CAMPBELL GALLERY PRESENTS STANLEY BOXER: THE RIBBON PAINTINGS (1971-1976)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, November 5, 2021 – Berry Campbell Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of paintings by Stanley Boxer (1926-2000). This special exhibition will focus on Stanley Boxer’s Ribbon paintings made between 1971 and 1976.
STANLEY BOXER: THE RIBBON PAINTINGS
The Berry Campbell Gallery is pleased to announce the special exhibition “Stanley Boxer: The Ribbon Paintings (1971-1976)” from November 18 to December 23, 2021. Berry Campbell will present a curated selection of paintings from 1971 to 1976. From 1971 to 1972, the ribbons of these paintings are often suspended, flowing with lyrical elegance. In 1973 Boxer began applying a heavy coat of paint, so the ribbons began to vibrate and fray under their heavy impasto. These Ribbons Paintings are notable for their dichotomous feelings of lyricism and brutality, feelings that would coalesce in the late 1970s and characterize much of her later career. Stanley Boxer: The Ribbon Paintings (1971-1976) will open with a reception on Thursday, November 18, 2021 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibition continues until December 23, 2021. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment.
For Stanley Boxer (1926-2000), artistic creation was a way of life. Throughout his career he has struggled with the natural propensities of media and materials and the physical and historical limitations imposed by art forms. He was equally inventive in painting, sculpture and drawing, striving in each of them to express directly. Boxer’s work contains elements of abstract expressionist emotion and post-painting detachment without belonging to either camp. Friend of the boxer, the art writer Carl Belz associates his approach with that of the writer Gustave Flaubert who believes that “an author in his book must be like God in the universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere”. “Amazed and overwhelmed” by Boxer’s art, Belz commented in a commemorative article that creating art for Boxer amounted to nothing less “than the creation of a world, such a vast and complex construct, such a challenging and rewarding, as orderly and chaotic, as public and private, as lived experience.
The present exhibition at Berry Campbell features the Ribbon paintings created by Boxer in the first half of the 1970s. These works illustrate his sense that the unlimited freedom unleashed by creativity was a burden on the “modern” artist, that artists were held to accept while preventing its misuse by being self-defying, limiting openness. In 1969 and 1970 he created works in which he interlaced wide flat strips of primed fabric glued to his canvases with dyed blocks of color in the canvas itself. In 1971, a shift occurred in Boxer’s art replacing collages that looked like paintings with pure paintings with collage-like aspects. He continued a landscape sensibility but with a new sense of introspection derived from two months in the late 1970s when, due to illness, he was confined to Veteran’s Hospital in New York, and his universe shrank. His only view of the world was from his window facing the East River. As a result, his works take on a new topographical and lyrical aspect. In them, the earlier doodles turned into ribbon-like bows and bands which he incorporated into designs with little tonal variation, while providing contrasting hues.
In the 1972 works, Boxer began to incorporate the canvas into his images, but using exposed areas as color rather than background, maintaining the figure/ground unity. At the same time, the ribbons sometimes became more frayed and calligraphic, as in rainy nights1973, where the spiky elements seem to emanate from within the canvas, and Solar braid, 1973, in which the ribbon shape is more volatile and less secure in its directional movement. Boxer’s surfaces became more tactile, gestural, and layered in 1974, as he abandoned flat, single colors for shifting, volatile color fields. One critic linked the spectralizing nature of his surfaces to the work of Bonnard. Karen Wilkin observed in 1982 how “the flamboyant tones of thick color” in these works “seemed both spontaneous and willful. Each ‘ribbon’ seemed to have taken on its own shape, as if a particular color had meandered across the canvas, but at the same time we were very aware that this streak of color was the result of a series of repeated and thoughtful gestures. which was used to spread the pigment on the canvas.
In 1975, the ribbons burst and began to merge with the surface tactility around them. Wilkin described Boxer’s works as “both lyrical and brutal, aggressively physical and ineffably elusive…They also depend on laboriously stroked thick oil paint and disembodied blushes of color whose substance fades as what you are looking at”. This description is appropriate for Roseflokedairabout1975, in which the slightly inflected hues are invaded by aggressive undertones of harder tones that cut across the surface.
In 1976, the ribbons became fully imbued with patterns all over the surface. As Wilkin observed: “It is as if the continuous expanse of thick pigment that surrounded the tongues of color in the ribbon pictures had swallowed them up and tinted them.” Boxer’s Ribbon paintings are the story of an artist engaged in a living and passionate mediation between the existential limitlessness and human discipline. His process between 1971 and 1976 finally allows him to loosen the latter, releasing brutality, but without giving in to it. Throughout his career, he will continue to confront inner and outer directional forces with great integrity.
— Lisa. N. Peters, Ph.D.
ABOUT THE GALLERY
Christine Berry and Martha Campbell have many parallels in their backgrounds and interests. Both studied art history in college, began their careers in the museum world and then worked together in a major gallery in midtown Manhattan. More importantly, however, Berry and Campbell share a curatorial vision.
Both art dealers have emphasized research and networking with artists and scholars. They decide to work together and open the Berry Campbell Gallery in 2013 in the heart of the artistic district of Chelsea in New York, at 530 West 24th Street on the ground floor. In 2015, the gallery expanded, doubling in size with an additional 2,000 square feet of exhibition space.
Highlighting a selection of post-war and contemporary artists, the gallery fills an important gap in the art world, revealing a depth in American modernism that is only just beginning to be understood, encompassing the many artists who have been left behind because of their race, gender or geography. -beyond legendary figures like Pollock and de Kooning. Since its inception, the gallery has played a particularly important role in giving women artists long overdue consideration, an effort that museums are only now beginning to undertake, as in the 2016 traveling exhibition, Women of Abstract Expressionism, organized by Professor Gwen of the University of Denver. F. Chanzit. This exhibition featured works by Perle Fine and Judith Godwin, both represented by Berry Campbell, as well as those by Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner and Joan Mitchell. In 2019, Berry Campbell’s exhibition Yvonne Thomas: Windows and Variations (Paintings 1963 – 1965) was reviewed by Roberta Smith for The New York Times, in which Smith wrote that Thomas, “…kept the hand , adding a new franchise of touch, and the results give it a place in the still emerging saga of post-war American abstraction.”
Besides Perle Fine, Judith Godwin and Yvonne Thomas, artists whose work is represented by the gallery include Edward Avedisian, Walter Darby Bannard, Stanley Boxer, Frederick J. Brown, Lilian Thomas Burwell, Nanette Carter, Dan Christensen, Eric Dever, Lynne Mapp Drexler, John Goodyear, Ken Greenleaf, Raymond Hendler, Mary Dill Henry, Ida Kohlmeyer, Jill Nathanson, John Opper, Elizabeth Osborne, Stephen Pace, Charlotte Park, William Perehudoff, Ann Purcell, Mike Solomon, Syd Solomon, Albert Stadler, Susan Vecsey, James Walsh, Joyce Weinstein, Frank Wimberley, Larry Zox and Edward Zutrau. The gallery has helped promote the careers of several of these artists in museum exhibitions, including that of Bannard at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami (2018-19); Syd Solomon, in a traveling museum exhibit that culminates at the John and Mable Ringling Museum in Sarasota and has been extended through 2021; Stephen Pace at the McCutchan Art Center/Pace Galleries at the University of Southern Indiana (2018) and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (2019); Vecsey and Mike Solomon at the Greenville County Museum of Art, South Carolina (2017 and 2019 respectively); and Eric Dever at Suffolk Community College, Riverhead, New York (2020). In an April 3, 2020 New York Times review of Berry Campbell’s exhibition of Ida Kohlmeyer’s Cloistered paintings, Roberta Smith said, “These paintings stunningly encapsulate a time when minimalism gave way or was complicated by something more emotionally stimulating and implicitly feminine and feminist. They could hang in any museum.
Collaboration is an important aspect of the gallery. With the expanded inquiries and understandings that have resulted from their ongoing discussions of the art world canon, dealers feel a continued sense of excitement in artists’ discoveries and the research yet to be done.
Berry Campbell is located in the heart of the Chelsea Art District at 530 West 24th Street, Ground Floor, New York, NY 10011. For more information contact us at 212.924.2178, [email protected] or www.berrycampbell.com .