Mary Montes Solo Exhibition "de Kooning and Friends"

May 6 to 22, 2017

Closing Reception: Friday, May 19, 2017 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Sag Harbor Whaling Museum and Historical Museum, 200 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963

 

Artist Mary Montes' solo exhibition titled "de Kooning and Friends" is a passionate display of her abstract expressionistic figures of the New York School during the mid-late 20th century. An ever-present inspiration to many of today's contemporary painters, these icons of the New York art scene that were instrumental in securing the American aesthetics’ bold and energetic vibe, such as Willem de KooningAndy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Constantino Nivola and Robert Rauschenberg are portrayed in her recent work fittingly shown at The Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum.

"de Kooning and Friends" has a Closing Reception on Friday, May 19, 2017, from 6 to 8 p.m. to honor of the exhibition's final weekend. Two new paintings related to the exhibition theme will be created for the occassion.

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"Cool Blues" by Mary Montes. Charcoal and Pastel on Paper, 24 x 18 inches. Courtesy of Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.

"Cool Blues" by Mary Montes. Charcoal and Pastel on Paper, 24 x 18 inches. Courtesy of Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.

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"Bicycle" [de Kooning on his Bicycle] by Mary Montes. Charcoal, Pastel and Oil on Paper, 18 x 24 inches. Courtesy of Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.

"Bicycle" [de Kooning on his Bicycle] by Mary Montes. Charcoal, Pastel and Oil on Paper, 18 x 24 inches. Courtesy of Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.

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In addition to the focus on Willem de Kooning in the exhibition, Montes presents paintings focused on the women of this circle of artists, some of which were artists themselves. They include Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning and Ruth Kligman. Other subjects of the show include art dealers, such as Leo Castelli, nd friends of the New York school painters who spent time living and working in Long Island's East End.

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"Krausner" [Lee Krasner] by Mary Montes. Charcoal, Pastel and Oil on Paper, 38 x 26 inches. Courtesy of Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.

"Krasner" [Lee Krasner] by Mary Montes. Charcoal, Pastel and Oil on Paper, 38 x 26 inches. Courtesy of Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.

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Mary Montes' work has been exhibited in the Lowe Art Museum, College of Arts and Science at Miami University, Andy Gato Galleries, Museum of Contemporary Art (North Miami), and private art shows in Miami Beach as well as Spectrum Art Fair during Art Basel week. Montes is currently represented by Quogue Gallery in Quogue, NY, as well as Michael Findlay Gallery. Her work will be exhibited in a group show curated by Peter Marcelle in June 2017.

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"Castelli and Rauschenberg in Car" by Mary Montes. Charcoal, Pastel and Watercolor on Paper, 24 x 36 inches. Courtesy of Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.

"Castelli and Rauschenberg in Car" by Mary Montes. Charcoal, Pastel and Watercolor on Paper, 24 x 36 inches. Courtesy of Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.

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MARY MONTES

American artist Mary Montes grew up in Ringwood, New Jersey. She is an emerging abstract expressionist painter with an original style that fuses representation with abstraction. While studying art in Miami she developed a painterly style that accentuates her mastery in drawing with a lively application of line and color. The result is an aesthetic distinctively her own. As a women painter, her sensitivity to the figure is melded with an emotive portrayal of her subject matter.

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"General Store" [Jackson Pollock, Grocer, and Costantino Nivola at Springs General Store] by Mary Montes. Charcoal, Pastel and Oil on Paper. Courtesy of Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.

"General Store" [Jackson Pollock, Grocer, and Costantino Nivola at Springs General Store] by Mary Montes. Charcoal, Pastel and Oil on Paper. Courtesy of Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.

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Born in the 60's, and surrounded by the simple, pristine setting of woods and mountains in the Northeast was a major influence on her development. During these years she would often be found gathering wild flowers and berries, inspiring her passion and sensitivity for beauty and the arts. Consequently, her first representational paintings were of natural settings. After settling in Florida in the 80’s Montes’ interest in local flora roused a series of watercolor botanicals that she painted from observation and exhibited as her first show at the Tropical Audubon Society. During this period she began studying figure drawing and painting at Barry University under the tutelage of Angi Curreri.

In 2006 she had the opportunity to continue her training at the University of Miami with master, Brian Curtis. Although focused on classical drawing and painting, she soon began dabbling in more abstracted works, clearly influenced by the likes of Willem de Kooning, Egon Schiele and Robert Rauschenberg whom she came to know briefly in his later years. During the past two decades, her skills in Figure drawing have continued to unfold, informing her work, often derived from observation.

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Montauk by Mary Montes

"Montauk" by Mary Montes. Charcoal, Pastel and Watercolor on Paper. Courtesy of Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.

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Montes' current work is primarily oil and pastel. Her paintings capture the immediacy of color, while preserving a thoughtful drawing quality. Montes' work has been exhibited at the Quogue Gallery, Guild Hall, the Lowe Art Museum, College of Arts and Science at University of Miami, Andy Gato Galleries, Museum of Contemporary Art (North Miami), and private art shows in Miami Beach. She recently exhibited at the Spectrum Art Fair during Art Basel/Miami. Other recent shows include a current Solo Exhibition at Michael Findlay Gallery running through May 1, 2017 and a traveling group show the Quogue Gallery exhibited in Charleston in March 2017.

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"Smirk," [de Kooning]" by Mary Montes. Charcoal, pastel and oil on paper, 50 x 30 inches. Courtesy Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.

"Smirk," [de Kooning]" by Mary Montes. Charcoal, pastel and oil on paper, 50 x 30 inches. Courtesy Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.

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Mary Montes is represented by Quogue Gallery in the Hamptons and formerly Jill Backman Fine Art Advisory in Naples, FL. She currently resides in Coral Gables, Florida and spends a few months each year in East Hampton, NY. In the works are upcoming shows in New York and Chicago.

"Mary Montes: de Kooning & Friends" is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor M. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and is administered by The Huntington Arts Council Inc. www.sagharborwhalingmuseum.org.

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BASIC FACTS: "Mary Montes: de Kooning & Friends" is exhibited at the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum from May 6 to 22, 2017.  A Closing Reception will be held on Friday, May 19, 2017 from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition features abstracted works of Willem de Kooning and the Ab-Ex circle of friends who often lived in the East End or frequented its shores to paint. A percentage of proceeds benefit the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.

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