Featured in this exhibition are 18 works on canvas by acclaimed artist Jack Bolen. These works chronicle the artists three-decade long fascination with rock formations. Bolen’s most recent series, Sedona, will be seen here on view for the first time.

nyu-kimmel-windows-acadia-to-sedona-works-by-jack-bolen-on-display-through-may-23-2016
ACADIA to SEDONA: Works by Jack Bolen

Bolen’s new Sedona series of paintings are on public view for the first time

New York University’s Kimmel Galleries is pleased to present Acadia to Sedona: Works by Jack Bolen on display through May 23, 2016, with a reception to be held in the Kimmel Center for University Life, 60 Washington Square South, room 802, from 6-8pm on May 10, 2016. [Subways A,C,E,B,D,M to West 4th Street; 6 to Astor Place; R to 8th Street.].

Featured in this exhibition are 18 works on canvas by acclaimed artist Jack Bolen. These works chronicle the artist's three-decade long fascination with rock formations.  Bolen’s most recent series, Sedona, will be seen here on view for the first time.

Inspired by the stunning natural rock formations of America’s great Acadia National Park in Maine, Jack Bolen began painting the Acadia series in the early 1990s.

“My primary concern is to bring to the canvas this sense of emotional intensity which springs from direct observation of the motif; to rediscover through the painting process at a given time and place that which has occurred in another time and place,” remarks Bolen. “Ideally the present merges with the past, and the future becomes possible.”

For Bolen, this involves not only a degree of faithfulness to the remembered image by intentionally working directly from projected slides, but also a continual transformation of that image through deliberate spatial distortion, and especially through drastic departure from the original color. Simultaneously, the original illusionistic image is diffused toward the edges of the format, thus causing these apparently solid, three-dimensional shapes to float somewhere behind, on, or in front of the color field at the periphery of the painting itself.

“The superimposed bands, stripes' or squares of color, which sometimes echo or repeat geometric elements occurring naturally within the biomorphic image, serve as a structural memory bracket, linking past to present on the surface of the canvas,” said Bolen.

“Bolen’s work brings to life the terrain of Acadia through these distinct meticulous representations of stone, brought to near abstraction through color and detail,” said Pamela Jean Tinnen, curator for the Kimmel Galleries.  “Bolen intensifies the hues that he employs, transforming the still nature of the subject while eliciting psychological and mysterious effects in the viewer.”

This exhibition seeks to provide a retrospective of Jack Bolen’s engagement with ancient geology. Seen here at Kimmel Galleries are some of the earliest Acadia works, moving chronically towards the completion of the series in the late aughts.

The second half of the exhibit unveils Bolen’s newest works: Sedona, a series which maintains subject, while moving its location to the southwestern United States.

Bolen began the Sedona series in 2011 and has since completed six works, all on view for the first time in this exhibition. A natural transition from the Acadia paintings, the Sedona series continues Bolen’s engagement with the mysterious and psychological complexity inherent to these monumental rock formations.

“These six paintings indicate the awakening of a new chapter for Bolen, likely to intrigue the artist within for years to come, building on the strength and power of Acadia,” commented Tinnen.

Prior to Arcadia and Sedona, Bolen’s work first concerned itself with the phenomena of stone during his prolonged study of the Pharaonic temples and tombs in Egypt, born of extended travel in that region from 1981-82. Although these earlier paintings aren’t featured in from Acadia to Sedona, they mark the start of a 35-year captivation for the artist with the materialization of geological forms through the medium of oil on canvas.

Edged in layers of emotional intensity, the Acadia and Sedona paintings demonstrate Bolen’s arresting ability to, as the artist has stated, “rediscover through the painting process at a given time and place that which has occurred in another time and place.”

About the Kimmel Galleries: Established in 2003, Kimmel Galleries are dedicated to providing visually dynamic and thought provoking exhibitions. They are free and open to the public. For more information on tours, the artists or price inquiries, please contact the Curator, Pamela Jean Tinnen, at 212 298 4950, or pamela.jean.tinnen@nyu.edu.

Past exhibitions include: Patterns of Interest: photography by Stephen Mallon; HOUSE: HOME; Field Season: records, wandering perspectives, side notes, a selection of photographs from Abydos, by Greg Maka, Amanda Kirkpatrick and Gus Gusciora; Preconceived Notions; and Perspectives: A photography exhibit about traveling and living in our world; DITTO: WORKS IN BLUE, Shira Toren, among others.

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