Collective show opening at Longyear Saturday at Margaretville Commons
Opening this week is a new collective show by the Longyear member artists, featuring a collection of paintings on rust-printed rice paper by Gerda van Leeuwen. The artists’ reception will take place at Longyear Gallery on Saturday, July 26, from 4 to 7 p.m.
Well known locally for her prints, monotypes and paintings, van Leeuwen was born in The Netherlands and moved to New York in 1985. Her background is in printmaking, especially intaglio, which involves metal or copper plates and acid.
Over the past few years she has developed her signature printing technique using templates van Leeuwen herself creates from wire and then folds into a sheet of wet rice paper. More water, pigments and liquid inks are added; and in time, unique rust-colored multiple imprints appear.
After the printing process the printed sheet is glued to canvas and van Leeuwen works with paint to further develop the image. Sometimes she uses the same template for a series of prints, each slightly different. “This,” she says, “makes an interesting pattern, and I have even used these printed papers for large wall coverings by applying them directly to the surface with wallpaper paste.”
Van Leeuwen is currently working on a series of rust-printed papers combined with etchings.
The series of paintings for van Leeuwen’s current show are inspired by birds nests she discovered in Bali, Indonesia. These nests immediately attracted her, and van Leeuwen began drawing them to investigate their intricate lines and delicate forms. “I was fascinated by the tireless work these small birds expended to build their homes, attract a partner and start a family,” she explains. “They were masterpieces, and each one was different. They are very graphic and architectural.”
Gerda van Leeuwen’s Bali Nest Series will be on display at the Longyear through August 18, accompanied by works of Robert Axelrod, Leslie Brill, Gayle Burbank, Marcia Clark, Janice DeMarino, Ann Lee Fuller, John Hopkins, Phyllis Horowitz, Helane Levine-Keating, David Leveson, Margaret Leveson, Patrice Lorenz, Frank Manzo, Helane K. Manzo, Christopher Moore, Lucy Nurkse, Tom Rapin, Marilyn Silver, Sharon Suess, Nat Thomas, Alix H. Travis, Ros Welchman, Susan Whittenburg and Ellen Wong.
Longyear Gallery, Upstairs at The Commons, 785 Main Street, Margaretville, 845 586-3270, www.longyeargallery.org. Summer gallery hours: Thursday thru Monday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment.