Tad Day and THE STREET PAINTERS

"Feelism" AT THE CORK GALLERY -- LINCOLN CENTER -- AVERY FISHER HALL


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Tad Day Artist
Tad Day, Artist and Street Painter
1945-2005

Tad Day was born in Minnesota. In 1967 moved to New York city and where he studied at the Art Students League of New York, with Marshall Glasier and Andrew Lukach. He had a long association with the artist Martin Pajek. More information on Tad Day can be obtained from the Publication: The Street Painters - Feelism.

Heise and DeNota
Myron Heise and Ronald De Nota, Artists and Street Painters


Tad Day Drawing - Self Portrait


THE STREET PAINTERS
at the Cork Gallery at Lincoln Center NYC


Street Artists and Painters

Tad Day

Richard Ahntholz

Ronald DeNota

Jesse Benton Evans

Myron Heise

Ken McIndoe

Andy Pizzo

Richard Rask

Guests

Leo Reeves

Jacques Moiroud

Ivan Nunez

Tray Bouscaren

Vincent D'Alessio

 

written by Elgin Tarlow


The Artists in this show with few exceptions paint directly from life on location. Most paint out on the street, thus the name "The Street Painters". Many of these painters also share a commonality of texture. An "all over" heavy impasto is prevalent among several of the artist's works so that at first glance one might confuse these artists with one another. These thicker works are so jammed with texture, chroma and subject matter that they actually assault the viewer. Because of these aggressive attributes one might label these works "Assaultism" or more politely "Emotional Maximalism" or just plain neo-expressionism if that term had not already been used to cover other (more cartoony) areas of contemporary art.

It is interesting to note that in this brand of Maximal expression one can't really move anywhere in the space of the picture because its so full. With Minimalism, which seems to be the old enemy of The Street Painters, one can move in the arena of the picture plane quite easily but unfortunately there is no place to go and usually less to see. First time viewers of the Street Painters works accustomed to more minimalist art, will truly hone their perceptual skills. Often, overreaction by one "ism" against another "ism" brings civilization one step ahead. However, in this process something is often lost, or at best hidden or understated. I can only leave it to the viewer to decide whether this concept is valid or not. My own feeling about it is that a lot of air, or if you will, "aerial perspective," has been sacrificed in the creation of many of these works.

The true gems in this show, and there are many, do lie on the maximalist side of painting (more is more than "less is more" more or less). But these more successful works align themselves toward the middle range of texture and color and less toward the assaultive. These gems contain a great deal of power through subtlety and also joy and great beauty. There is seemingly a naive quality coupled with sophistication based on experience that transforms the viewer. These works place us behind the eyes of the artist when he was wowed by the awe of a miraculous visual delight. The way the show is hung also mirrors a maximalist approach. The pictures are all jammed together so that hardly any wall space is to be seen. For many spectators this is yet another assault, another imposition, but how like a New York street this imposition is!

The original "ism" the street painters coined for themselves was "feelism". Feelism is about painting with passionate authenticity while taking a stand against the hollow pretensions of modern life i.e. (the establishment). On the other hand, to criticize an aggressive society with an assault can hardly change anything . . . can it? Yes, it can! The enthusiasm created by this group of artists transcends any negativity that any theory could possibly perpetrate. The process of creation is more important then the impetus. On close examination, the individual strengths of each of these artists shines through in a remarkable way. Truly the parts of this show are greater than the whole. Each of the artists has at least one very good painting and most have more then one.

The Artists

Tad Day

Art, Artist, is the most prolific and well-known of the Street Painters of New York. Tad Day is the Founder of The Street Painters. He has painted his view of the world from all parts of the world. Although based in New York city, for the past half-century, he has always considered and extraordinarily appreciated World Class Art at its most formidable. 


Tad Day Drawing
Self Portrait

Richard Ahntholz

Richard Ahntholz. has painted a picture of a church in France. Its obvious that the church has been painted very quickly. This enhances its visual spontaneity. Sort of like quickly signing one's name. There is plenty of nuance and luminosity in this thinly painted picture. One of the few higher key ones in the show. The landscape or should I say beachscape seems to arise from the same aesthetic. A touch of Matise or late Monet is evident.


Ronald De Nota

De Nota's View from Little West 12th Street of a sunset through an arched steel structure is one of the most magnificent paintings in the show. Here we have a gem of a picture. The use of color is masterful. The composition is good. The application of the paint is quite thick but not everywhere. It is thick only in necessary places. It does not detract from the intensity of spirit or the intensity of expression which is one of joyous celebration. This is the trademark of DeNota's paintings. Here we see a fresh almost child-like delicacy paired with great experiential spontaneity.


Jesse Benton Evans

In an unusual landscape we see a rainbow transforming. A flowingness with earth (sea like) connected to a sky mixing with it. The picture is light and airy. It fly's us away from New York to a place of reverent mystically, a linking of heaven and earth.  


Myron Heise

Mr. Heise has given to the world a wonderous picture which masters scale composition and drawing along with a lonely sense of time. Myron, is one of the few here who uses impasto only in specific places for specific emphasis rather than for an overall effect. He does have an overallness though, or should I say unity, in that he applies the paint broadly in large single colored areas with a minimum modulation of color temperature. His painting of the elevated structure with the van parked in front is successful in this regard . Much of his work also has a haunting quality. His homeless men on a bench captures this essence, But the painting of the news stand where Amadeo Diallo once worked also deserves mention.


Ken McIndoe

Ken has three knockout pictures Sidewalk cover, Civil War, and 99 cent Store on 14th St. Thickly textured, compositionally excellent, intelligently distorted. Slightly reminiscent of Soutine, these works are museum quality. 


Andy Pizzo

An orange church painted by Mr. Pizzo has an overall unity of surface, spontaneous brush work and intelligently used color. The texture here is not overstated but "just right " , that is, just right for this picture which is one of magical flowing color power. This picture is another veritable gem of this exhibition. Andy's mastery of experiential spontaneity in this work is phenomenal. Pictures like this are truly heroic in contemporary American art. What is wrong with museums today that they don't snap up works like this. Perhaps their failure is the real form of censorship!


Richard Rask

Here we have Hans Hoffman like use of yellow with a possible German expressionist connection . The paint surface is less thick then most in the show but the effect has s scraped look about it, as if the work were stroked by a palette knife. Mr. Rask has an excellent compositional sense, a little more space to breath, and a limited and almost understated attention to subject matter. The picture most striking is untitled but has a Gazebo in it.


The Guests

Vincent D'Alessio

Here Vincent has painted a Blackening church down near Wall St. Though this picture is of the city, the buildings in it are of the earth. The church seems to rise up as a dark powerful image in spite of the other surrounding unholy structures. The paint is spontaneously applied. The distortions in the image suggest movement which add to the expression. This picture is a quiet persistent presence of energy. Another Gem!


Leo Reeves

At first glance Leos work seems to be all Laser prints of portraits and still life's. On closer examination one can see that some of these are worked on top of. Since Leo was present at the show when I began writing this review I was able to ask him about his process. He often starts with a small oil painting (perhaps one he has labored over and struggled with for years) then enlarges it in laser format and then works on the print with both water and turpentine soluble crayons and then he often lasers it again and repeats this process. His images, though more traditional then most others in the show share an intensity of color. In his actual paintings (before the laser process) he uses maroget medium and demonstrates great technical knowledge and ability in this realm. There are gems of color and composition here too.


Jacques Moiroud

Jacques's Portraits have a Haunting Macabre expressionist quality to them. Here we have a color sense of intensity that rivals all others in the show. His use of white, especially in #4 is very effective. This picture is a winner.


Ivan Nunez

Ivan's Cityscapes have an aerial view quality to the them that reminds one to stand back and take a larger look rather than to zoom in on every little part. The work reminds one a little of Huntertwasser. There seems to exist a space between abstraction and expressionism where Mr. Nunez has found a niche to explore. The work has a quiet power that one can enjoy day after day, that is if one were fortunate enough to own one of these pictures.


Tray Bouscaren

What Tray has painted can only be called a store windowscape. In the picture of the Icon Store in SOHO there is a mystical magical surface that tickles the brain. A sensitive almost Giacometti quality pervades this realm. There is a quiet before the storm kind of power that touches a chord.

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