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JAMES GAHAGAN

Four Seasons In Vermont

October 7, 2005 through November 4, 2005


OPENING RECEPTION

Saturday, October 15th 6:30 - 9:00 PM






James Gahagan (1927-1999)

Photo credit: Dan Budnik




"James Gahagan created a delicate yet forceful balance of color to activate space and generate poetry. Even in his most formal works, there has rarely appeared a more romantic abstractionist - in a romance with Nature herself. He engaged the particular flavor of a season or the refraction of shifting light across a field, or the verticality of the forest, in a dialogue of colors. Ever concerned with achieving the exact mood of a time of day or a particular kind of weather, he would stand at the window for hours watching the day paint the hills across the lake. He then sought and composed a resonating set of color intervals to give that precise feeling to the eye. While hunting, fishing, walking, he continued to admire and absorb the interactions of nature. In his Vermont landscapes, subtle gradations of verdant foliage expand, shot with harmonics. The brighter, colder light of New Zealand intrigued him, inspiring sketches and paintings to define the exact nature of this novel color light from nature down under: deeper darks sing into the bright skies.

Gahagan's extraordinary scales of color push the limits of ordinary formulas. He bridged diverse ranges, or tested the contradictions between a tonal (black, gray, white) scale and the full color spectrum, or integrated entirely separate scales into a melodic accord. Myriad approaches to structure and composition developed his adept control of the means to create pictorial space.

Gahagan was able to articulate visual concepts in relation to the work itself, a discipline he developed during his years as Associate Director of the Hofmann School. A "third generation" abstract expressionist, Gahagan gathered with the key denizens of the Cedar Bar (de Kooning, Kline, Richard Stankiewicz) in galleries and studios, or collectively decamped to cowboy films on 42nd Street during the day when the tickets were cheap. His aesthetic certitude helped strengthen the resolve of many of his peers, and later on his students at Pratt, Columbia, Goddard College, workshops in New Zealand or the Vermont Studio Center, and his own school in Woodbury, Vermont."


- Patricia de Gogorza, wife of James Gahagan, sculptor and print maker. Tina Dickey, painter, Editor of the Hans Hofmann Catalogue Raisonne, and author with Helmut Friedel of Hans Hofmann (Lenbachhaus, 1997; Hudson Hills Press, 1998).





Autumn Maples II (1992)
James Gahagan
oil on canvas
52 x 48









Autumnal, 1981
James Gahagan
oil on linen
52 x 48 inches









Sun Burst, 1982
James Gahagan
oil on linen
52 x 48 inches









Sundown, 1982
James Gahagan
oil on linen
48 x 52 inches









Winter Solstice, 1987
James Gahagan
oil on linen
46 x 52 inches









Winter Thunder, 1979
James Gahagan
oil on linen
52 x 48 inches









Counter Point, 1989
James Gahagan
oil on linen
30 x 22 inches









Spring Wind, 1996
James Gahagan
oil on linen
48 x 52 inches









April Milk Moon, 1984
James Gahagan
oil on linen
52 x 48 inches









Summer Delphinium, 1998
James Gahagan
oil on linen
44 x 47 inches









Barn at 4.30 AM, 1990
James Gahagan
oil on linen
48 x 50 inches









Evening Passage, 1989
James Gahagan
oil on linen
50.5 x 48 inches









Storm On The River, 1985
James Gahagan
oil on linen
48 x 44 inches









Sky Doors, 1972
James Gahagan
oil on linen
52 x 48 inches









Noon Reflections, 1987
James Gahagan
oil on linen
46.5 x 52 inches









Solstice Trilogy, 1990
James Gahagan
oil on linen
44 x 100 inches









September Garden, 1989
James Gahagan
acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 inches









Green Thrust, 1965
James Gahagan
oil on canvas
20 x 25 inches









Spring Rainbow, 1966
James Gahagan
oil on canvas
25 x 20 inches









October Sky, 1989
James Gahagan
acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 inches










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