By any measure, Stan Brodsky is having a banner extended year. Two Long Island museums, one Long Island university gallery, and one New York City gallery have each held solo shows or call-outs for the long-time Long Island abstract painter in the past year. Yet another Long Island museum exhibited his work as part of a group show.
Gallery North continues the Brodsky focus with a solo show of 20 artworks. "The Work of Stan Brodsky" opens tomorrow and continues through April 11. An Opening Reception takes place on March 14 from 5 to 7 p.m.
This steady stream of attention seems to say that good things can happen when a prolific artist retires from teaching. At 89 years old, it's possible that Brodsky wants to start smelling the roses. Or, he may have decided to really roll up his sleeves and see what can happen next.
In either scenario, Brodsky's retirement seems to have touched off the first concentrated opportunity for the public to witness the whirlwind of works made by prolific Huntington-based artist, known for an expressive use of color and a love of process that dances in joy from his paintings.
Brodsky taught for 31 years at C.W. Post campus of Long Island University in Brookville, NY after receiving his doctorate in art education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He has an MFA in painting from Iowa University. In addition, Brodsky taught at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills on Long Island.
Brodsky is known for encouraging his students to experiment with color, light and explore their own muse, according to Gallery North.
Brodsky leads by example. His art makes use of intense color layered to create interest that captures the essence of the inspiration that gave rise to the abstract painting.
Brodsky's muse leads him to find inspiration in nature, travel and in abstract expressionism. One of his talents is the ability to channel the color, mood and atmosphere from various landscapes around the world to capture the essence of place in an abstract painting, stated Lisa Chalif, curator of the Heckscher Art Museum, on the occasion of his second retrospective at the Huntington museum.
"By the early 1980s, Brodsky’s approach involved an exploration of flattened pictorial space built up from layers of pigment that create an overall surface pattern of light and shade, the whole animated by energetic ribbons of color that dance across the canvas as a record of the artist’s spontaneous gesture, attesting to his engagement with the process of painting itself," wrote Chalif.
The extended year of Stan Brodsky started subtly with a single painting included in the group exhibition "50/50: Celebrating Fifty Years at the Hofstra University Museum" held from Feb. 5 to March 28, 2013. The show highlighted works from their collection. The Hofstra University Museum also included works by Luis Cruz Azaceta, Henri Cartier-Bresson, April Gornick, Howardena Pindell, Robert Rauschenberg, W. Eugene Smith, Stanley Twardowicz and others.
Attention on Brodsky become more concentrated in "AB-EX / RE-CON: Abstract Expressionism Reconsidered" at the Nassau County Museum of Art, held from March 9 to June 16, 2013. Brodsky's paintings were the subject of a special installation and curator's talk. He was one of three contemporary artists highlighted in the group show.
The group show presented AB-EX artists were leaders of the movement and those who may be lesser known. Historic artists included in the show included Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko and others.
The spotlight then shone brightly on Brodsky with a retrospective that followed at the Heckscher Art Museum in Huntington, N.Y., held from Aug. 17 to Dec. 1, 2013. Brodsky was also honored at a gala for his lifetime contribution to art on Long Island by the museum. The 2013 retrospective was his second at the Heckscher. His first retrospective was held there in 1991.
Brodsky's 15-months of attention continued with a show featuring his work and a trio of artists he inspired, held at Long Island University's C.W.Post's Hutching Gallery. "Stan Brodsky: Homage to a Master" was held from Feb. 6 to 27, 2014. The three accomplished artists studied with Brodsky at C.W. Post's graduate program or at the Art League of Long Island. The artists were Frank Olt, Christian White and Richard Vaux.
Gallery North may be the final stop in Brodsky's whirlwind extended year of art exhibitions. The non-profit gallery is devoted to presenting Long Island artists and artwork that challenges the expected.
"The Work of Stan Brodsky" presents 20 works made up of oil paintings on linen, canvas or paper, monotypes, casein and acrylic paintings on paper.
Of course, not every artist who retires receives the kind of attention Brodsky has. The reasons his art resonates (and is being celebrated) can be summarized in two words: color and process.
Brodsky is known for his sensitivity to color and its application to create works that hum with mood, evoke a sense of place and radiate with an infused joy of painting and its process, according to Chalif.
"For Brodsky, color provides the means to assimilate both the emotional and visual aspects of his experience," Chalif wrote about his work when exhibited at the Heckscher. "Through color and process, Brodsky conveys the essence of his sensibility."
Brodsky agreed and stated in the same exhibition release: "With color, the most elemental and vital component of my work, I am able to come nearest to expressing the spirit of my vision. Because its properties have the most basic visual appeal it has been for me the ingredient that possesses the intrinsic and magical powers to express what is most evocative and emotionally charged."
Brodsky's work is held in public and private collections throughout the United States. He has exhibited steadily from 1957 through 2014. Brodsky is represented by June Kelly Gallery in Soho in New York City.
BASIC FACTS: "The Work of Stan Brodsky" will be held from March 14 to April 11, 2014 at Gallery North, 90 North County Road, Setauket, NY 11733. www.gallerynorth.org. Information on Stan Brodsky can be found at www.stanbrodsky.com.
HAMPTONS INSIDER: Stan Brodsky has exhibited frequently in the Hamptons. Gallery shows include RVS Gallery (Southampton), Gallery Merz (Sag Harbor), Elaine Benson Gallery (Bridgehampton) and others.
Brodsky's work has also been exhibited at the Parrish Art Museum (1978, 1998) and Guild Hall Museum (1981). His work is part of collections held by both museums.
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