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Rebecca SALTER
William WILLIS

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Howard Scott Gallery

Twenty-fifth Anniversary Exhibition
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“They said it wouldn’t last”
September 9 - Oct 16, 2010

(Thursday)   9   September    to  (Saturday)    16    October   2010

Opening reception:  Thursday, 9 September, six to eight p.m.

Participating artists:  Ford Crull,   Vincent Hamel,   Toon Kuijpers,  
Donald McLaughlin, Robin Rose,   Rebecca Salter,   Werner Schmidt,  
Ken Sofer,   Fred Stonehouse, Robert Thiele,   William Willis

Howard Scott Gallery is proud to announce the opening of the gallery's 25th Anniversary Exhibition: "They said it wouldn't last" on Thursday, 9 September 2010, and extending through Saturday, 16 October.  Eleven artists will participate in this exhibition, each represented by work not seen previously in public.    

Reaching a twenty-fifth anniversary as a gallerist entirely focused on, and dedicated to, the work of both mid-career artists and those just beginning to have public exposure is perhaps analogous to scaling Mount Everest and is certainly cause for celebration.      

When Howard Scott prepared to open his first art gallery in the fall of 1983 in the East Village, while that neighborhood was in full bloom as an alternative location (to SoHo) for galleries showing younger artists' work, he was greatly surprised when more than one member of New York's visual arts community said of him that there was little chance his gallery could survive  -  because this was a profession in which Afro-Americans in New York at that time were not involved, and how could he hope to develop a supportive and sufficiently large clientele.

Happily  -  for the dozens of artists whose work he has championed over the past quarter-century and for the many admirers whose personal art collections he has helped achieve breadth and focus, not to mention for his own self-esteem  -  he ignored those dire predictions and forged ahead, opening a street level space on East 9th Street, near Tompkins Park.    

Although Mr Scott has exhibited the work of a few sculptors over the years, his principal enthusiasm in contemporary visual arts has been the realm of painting, and his lengthy concentration on this ages-old pursuit has contributed importantly to his establishing and maintaining a palpable sensibility for his gallery, and it has required both optimism and an admirable level of discipline on his part to keep that sensibility germane and invigorating.  

The eleven artists whose work will compose the 25th Anniversary exhibition were chosen from a larger number of artists whose work he had presented in solo exhibition format at M-13 Gallery (named after the closest city bus line!) and continued to represent during the thirteen years the gallery occupied a classic, high ceilinged, SoHo loft space at 72 Greene Street.  

To celebrate the longevity of his gallery, he decided not to include work by the several splendid artists he did not begin representing until after opening the present space in Chelsea in May 2000.    

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As a young man living in New York, Mr Scott was introduced to Robert Brady a painter and art collector, a native of Fort Dodge, Iowa.  Over the years, Brady became both a great friend and a mentor to Mr Scott.  At the time of their meeting, Mr Brady was living in the beautiful, Mexican city of Cuernavaca.  One of the special experiences during travels in Europe which they shared was Mr Scott's meeting Mr Brady's close friend, Peggy Guggenheim, in her home in Venice on a number of occasions and studying her legendary collection.  These visits made a vivid impression on him  -  regarding both the acquaintance with individual works and the opportunity to experience the realities of one's assembling and maintaining a collection of that scale and degree of fineness.  Through Mr Brady, he also met a number of Mexico's most celebrated artists, including Rufino Tamayo.  (After Mr Brady's death in 1986, a foundation he had established began administering his house/museum as a public facility.)  

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With a few exceptions, the work of the artists represented by Howard Scott Gallery shares certain characteristics, which  -  in aggregate  - are instrumental in shaping the sensibility of the gallery itself.  The work of many of these artists can be accurately described as being "reductive".  I use that term, rather than minimal, to distinguish their work and their individual histories from those of such precursors as Robert Ryman and Sol LeWitt.  In the work of certain artists, including the Amsterdam-based painter, Vincent Hamel, the arena of an individual painting is often undivided compositionally, and such works can be said to have an "all-over" painted surface.  In other artists' work, importantly including the Washington, D.C.-based painter, Robin Rose, and Francisco Castro Leñero in Mexico City, a grid is frequently employed as the compositional structure  -  combined in Rose's work with a near-monochrome palette and in Castro Leñero's with a limited palette.

There is the occasional exception to Mr Scott's preference for the reductively abstract over the expressionistic and for the Apollonian as contrasted with the Dionysian. Coming immediately to mind in this regard is the singular artist, Fred Stonehouse, a native and lifelong resident of Milwaukee.  His remarkable vocabulary as an artist involves the human figure (and/or fragments thereof) and "the human condition", the narrative, the sacred and the profane, language as image and as  conveyor of meaning…!  

Looking back on his years as a gallerist, Mr Scott takes pride in the staying  power of the gallery, but  - most of all -draws energy from a great sense of pride in the perseverance and determination to evolve and grow as creative persons which mark so many artists in whom he has placed his faith.  He is proud that the London-based painter, Rebecca Salter, for whom he has mounted five solo exhibitions beginning in 1997, will be honored with her first one-person exhibition in an American museum in February of next year at Yale Center for British Art.   …and he wants to continue to build on his commitment to Latin American artists:  he was the first gallerist in North America to present a solo exhibition by the Argentinian artist, Guillermo Kuitca;  and the first gallery in New York to present a solo exhibition by one of Mexico's finest living artists, Francisco Castro Leñero.    

Mr Scott will be both pleased and honored if you join him and the participating artists for the opening of this 25th Anniversary exhibition   -   again, taking place on Thursday, the ninth of September  (six to eight).                          
M-13 Gallery, East Village   1985

529 West 20th Street, 7th Floor | New York, NY 10011 | T: +1 646.486.7004 | info@howardscottgallery.com | Tuesday - Saturday, 11-6pm