| Nancy Hoffman Gallery|
|Apple Tree in Fog|
When the Setting is the Gem
In Scott Prior's "realist" landscapes, man and nature meet in the garden.
By JEFFREY CYPHERS WRIGHT
If Prior's technique is subtle, his talent is not. These gemlike landscapes are imbued with a delicacy of detail that is remarkable. Yet, where this painter goes beyond realism to challenge our perception, he creates pastoral landscapes from varying points of view that no camera could duplicate. Thus, he takes a timeless genre, and voila, makes it new.
A sprawling community garden in Northampton, Massachusetts, offers Prior a subject that expresses his views about nature."The beauty I try to depict is created by Nature and man, working together. The tableau that best epitomizes these ideas is the garden." In "Community Garden at Sunrise," red roses float over insistent rhythms of green. The exquisite accuracy, strangely establishes an aura of mystery. Prior enhances this "unreal" feeling by incorporating the shifting light and slight mist of dawn. He uses this trope in several paintings, adding a softening haze or sfumato to his otherwise inscrutable precision. Furthermore, the extreme horizontal dimension of this scene (32 x 74 inches) teases the viewer into shifting points of view, rather than allowing a single focus.
|Paintings by: Scott Prior.|
| May 1 - June 8, 2004|
Gallery: Nancy Hoffman Gallery
429 W. Broadway
New York NY
Phone: (212) 966-6676
On the right side of "Community Garden at Sunrise," an empty chair looks out over the expansive scene. On the left, a stone bench creates a silent dialogue. The absence of humans in most of Prior's paintings, addresses our vulnerability. In the distance, ghostly forms of green rise against a peach sky. They are actually runner beans climbing tripods, but they also call to mind ancient ruins reclaimed by nature.
| Nancy Hoffman Gallery|| |
|Chair in the Garden|| |
In "Community Garden Path" a red footpath cuts through an encroaching panoply of acid green. The high key, contrasting colors are electrifying. The deft brushwork is super fine. The overall effect is bold and beckoning. Within this simple representation of a vertical red line splitting a green field, Prior has infused his lush realism with minimalist immediacy. And behind the crispest of presentations, is powerful symbolism. In the paintings' pathways wrested through nature, there are remnants of human footprints, says Prior. "We usually don't know where the path is taking us but I like to think it is leading us to a spiritual understanding through nature."
|MAY 16, 2004|
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