Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Dedication and Purpose: 65 Artists Over 65

Lisa Hoke
Zip it, 2018; packaging, felt, wire, fabric, glue; 156 x 84 x 10 inches
Detail below

Forget that business about 65 being the new 50. It’s not (some recalcitrant body part will surely confirm that), but neither is it the 65 of our parents, who were constrained by the expectations of age, gender, culture, and ethnicity. As Boomers we broadened those parameters, and as artists we revel in the range of possibilities. We have no intention of retiring. We may have left the day job, but our studio life is as active as it has always been, perhaps more so. The fire still burns, notes Len Bellinger, "for those of us who have been at this for 40+ years and can still stand in front of a canvas with the same enthusiasm and awe." 

The 65 artists over 65 whose work is featured in this post bring 
decades of experience to their practice, along with impressive 
exhibition histories and an ardor for artmaking which, if anything, 
has increased over time. Yes, we’re dealing with ageism in one 
form or another, sometimes overlaid with those equally stultifying
evergreens, sexism and racism, but that bad news is for another post. 
Here we celebrate the variety of creative expression fueled by  
dedication and purpose. I've opened with large and ambitious 
work to dispel any idea that growing older means scaling back.
The youngest artist in this post just squeaked in at a recent 65, while 
at the upper register there are working artists in their 80s, the oldest 
at 87. I'll leave it to you to try to figure out who is who.

Jacket from the Silk Road, carved and painted wood with aluminum leaf, 120 x 108 x 18 inches

Drift, 2019, tar paper and hand-dyed paper, 214 x 144 inches x 1 inch; installation at Flinn Gallery, Greenwich, Connecticut

Elizabeth Riley
Structure from Light, 2019, video stills inkjet-printed on paper, 105 x 136 x 9 inches

Planetary, 2019, oil and acrylic on wood, 94 x 41.75 x  5 inches
Detail above, full view below

Quiver #18, 2019, acrylic and collage on canvas, 48 x 42 inches

Safe Space, 2019, oil on panel, 50 x 72 inches

Zig Zag Series, From Violet to Yellow Over Red, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches

P&D #104, 2019, flashe and colored pencil on paper, 22 x 22 inches

Blues for Popova, 2018, oil on panel, 26 x 24 inches

Venus Rising, 2019, acrylic paint and pastes on linen, 50 x 44 inches

Nomad I, 2019, oil and acrylic on linen, 72 x 60 inches

Pulse Field, 2019, encaustic on panel, 30 x 60 inches

Rebound, 2019, encaustic on panel, 20 x 20 inches

November Blue, 2019, acrylic on panel, 12 x 12 inches

Hit Parade, 2019, mixed media on panel, 36 x 36 inches

 Study Blue, 2019, colored pencil on paper, 13 x 15 inches

Only a Shadow Remained, 2019, monotype with graphite and wax on panel, 14 x 14 inches

Artist Statement, 2019, acrylic on PVC, 16 x 12 inches

William Conger
Victor, 2019, oil on linen, 40 x 30 inches

Lift, 2019; ash and maple veneers on birch plywood, acrylic paint; 26 x 9 x 14 inches

High Chair, 2019, assembled wood, 20.5 x 14 x 2.5 inches

Intersections, 2019, oil stick on panel, 36 x 24 inches

Lightwave, 2018, pigment prints on fabric with encaustic,  15 x 22 x 5 inches

Installation view of Silk Road paintings at ODETTA, New York City, 2019, 
each encaustic on panel, 18 x 18 inches

Installation view of solo at Ryan James Fine Arts, Seattle; left: Pyramid Steppes, 25 x 59; right: Square Not a Square, 35 x 35 inches; both 2019, encaustic on panel

Close in Value, 2018; wood, clay, paint; 4.75 x 6.25 x 3.25 inches

All of Us, 2017-19; limestone, granite, marble, sandstone; 94 x 3 x 42 inches
Commissioned by NJ Transit for Jersey Avenue Light Rail station, Jersey City

Ticaboo, 2019, encaustic and mixed media,  30 x 50 inches

Timothy McDowell
 Bygone, 2019, oil on panel, 31 x 34 inches

Untitled, mixed media on styrofoam, 14 x 14 inches

Blackbook, 2019, ink on polyester film, 12 x 18 inches

Tantra III, 2018,acrylic on canvas, 8 x 16 inches

Poetry of the Square, 2017, metalpoint (silver, copper, gold) on black-gessoed panel, 24 x 24 x 2 inches

Migration, 2019, acrylic on birch with basswood framework, 30 x 30 x 8 inches

Chunk Chain A5, 2019, oil on Mylar, 14 x 14 inches

Delicate Crossroad, 2019; image transfer, pastel, encaustic on panel, 12 x 12 inches

Connie Saddlemire
Prayer, 2019, assembled solarplate monoprint, 21 x 21 inches

Untitled, 2019, encaustic over plaster, 20 x 15 x 5 inches

Yvette Cohen
Rock Stack Series II #4, 2019; acrylic, graphite, and wooden dowels on shaped canvas; 26.5 x 29 inches

Fugue, 2019, oil on panel, 40 x 30 inches

Overlays, 2019, oil and cold wax on panel, 48 x 36 inches

ttm.marga,  2016-2019; oil, acrylic, staples, glue, and fabric on canvas mounted on wood; 81 x 63 inches

Window II, 2019, oil and mixed media on panel, 24 x 18 inches

First Thaw, 2019, acrylic and mixed media on panel, 16 x 12

Behind Closed Eyes 20, 2019, oil on panel, 42 x 28 inches

Yellow Triangles, 2019, oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

G, 2018, oil on canvas, 14 x 7 inches

Garden of Eden, 2019, oil on linen, 48 x 36 inches

Far Flung, 2019, oil on linen, 38 x 54 inches

Stephanie Brody-Lederman
Dancing Girl with Big Crown, 2019; acrylic, oil, graphite on Arches; 21 x 10 inches

Untitled, 2019, acrylic and black stone on paper, 50 x 38 inches

Pearl Tree (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow), 2019; mixed media wall sculpture with plant material, pearl necklaces, waxed cord, and encaustic; 47 x 42.5 x 9 inches

Colorado 1, 2019; oil, cold wax, found objects; 12 x 12 inches

Dothead 1, 2019,  glazed ceramics, 9 x 4 x 5 inches

Unravelling, 2019, mixed media, 84 inches high

Songs from a Tree, 2018, pencil and watercolor on paper, 12 x 13 inches

Installation view of New Land series, 2015-2017, gouache and mixed media on paper, each 8.5 x 12 inches. The series, which considers the challenges of dislocation and immigration, was shown at the Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster, New Jersey, 2019. Some 288 pictures were gridded on six walls. 
Closeup of one work below: Something Strange Happened in the New Land

Demonology, 2018, oil on linen, 30 x 24 inches

Petey Brown
Jumper Series, 2019, oil on paper, 12 x 15

Essential Survivor, 2019, tapestry and mixed media, 36 x 48 inches

Adrift, solo exhibition at Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco, 2017

Jeri Eisenberg
Seeking Solace, No. 1, 2019, pigment ink on kozo with encaustic, 36 x 34 inches

Time and Light and Sounds, 2019; oil, wax, charcoal, graphite on canvas, 77 x 141 inches

Rain in the City, after Hopper, 2019, photo-montage archival pigment print, 22 x 30 inches

Janis, inflatable sewn and painted nylon with internal LED lighting, 120 x 60 inches; here staged in front of the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona, one of a series of unauthorized placements by the artist; 2019


The Title, 2019, mixed media, 25 x 45 inches

You may have noticed a variation in the size of the images. While it's impossible to depict scale without a context, I tried to distinguish between "small" and "larger" by showing works 12 inches or under in a slightly smaller format. But don't be fooled; those smaller works can hold their own quite tenaciously.

You may be wondering how these artists were selected out of the (tens of) thousands of working artists over 65. I posted a call on Facebook, which means it was seen only by my friends on that social media platform. I limited the call in this way so as not to be inundated with submissions. I derive great satisfaction from maintaining this blogand particularly by featuring my contemporaries who have worked so hard for so many yearsbut I needed to keep the submissions at a manageable number (about 150), well aware that I would be unable to include some very good work by some very good friends.

Once the deadline passed I began the difficult process of selection. Of course it was subjective—if you follow this blog, you know I’m partial to the color and geometry of abstractionbut I made every effort to be aesthetically inclusive. As I began to curate the selections I decided to go with the flow, which is to say allowing a painting, work on paper, sculpture, or photograph to assume its place in the queue based on its visual or conceptual relationship to the works before and after it. Crafting the flow is my favorite part of the process; it's also the most difficult, because it's the point at which work that had survived all the preliminary cuts may get eliminated. Apologies in advance to the many wonderful artists whose work you won't see here. 

For those artists whose work is shown, click onto their names for a link to their websites.

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For more on artists with history and experience

. An Aggregate of Forces: 60 Women Artists Over 60
Armory Week 2017
Frida Kahlo