ARC Exhibition at Salmagundi Club thru 10/2/18

The Art Renewal Center‘s annual competition for contemporary realistic art attracts some of the best artists from around the world. The paintings and sculptures are stunning for their technique and/or their subjects, which range from realistic to romantic to naturalistic. Through Tuesday October 2, 2018, an exhibition of award-winning paintings from the ARC competition is on view in two large rooms the Salmagundi Club (47 Fifth Avenue, just south of 12th St. – pics at the end of the post). According to the Salmagundi’s site, the exhibition hours are Monday-Friday 1-6, Saturday & Sunday 1-5. This exhibition travels to Sotheby’s, Los Angeles (12/4/18-12/13/18) and on to the MEAM Museum in Barcelona, Spain (2/8/19-3/31/19).

The ARC exhibition allows photography, so I’m delighted that I can share some of my favorite works with you … but if you can visit the exhibition yourself, do that instead. SERIOUSLY.

Note: I went through the exhibition the first time just looking at the art, then went through and read labels (which include the artists’ comments) for the works I liked most. To sort-of reproduce the experience for you, I’ve included photos of the labels for the works at the end of the post. Search the artist’s name and you’ll find the relevant label.

All paintings are copyright by the respective artists.

Katsu Nakajima, Woman in the Forest, 2017

This one’s my favorite, for the inquiring expression on her face as she faces something mysterious.

Katsu Nakajima, Woman in the Forest, 2017

Nick Alm, _____ [see below!], 2017

I was fascinated by this on the first time around the gallery: those expressions, those colors … Then I read the label, and was startled that someone could create such drama based on such a mundane situation!

Nick Alm, Elevator, 2017.

Sadie Valeri, Art Nouveau Embrace, 2017

I’m not usually the biggest fan of still lifes, but I adore the textures and colors in this one.

Sadie Valeri, Art Nouveau Embrace, 2017.

Alessandro Tomassetti, The Queen Is Dead, 2017

This guy’s bone structure and that steely glint in his eyes … wow. Unfortunately my pic’s a bit blurry. That grand piano in the Salmagundi Club parlor needs to be shifted a bit so this painting’s more accessible.

Alessandro Tomassetti, The Queen Is Dead, 2017

John Lally, Red Hood, 2015

When I first saw this I loved the style, but was ambivalent about the subject – I think I was misreading the shadows of her hair on her forehead as frown lines. In this case, reading the label tilted me in favor: an ode to solitude!

John Lally, Red Hood, 2015

Joseph McGurl, Twlight Comes to a Western Town, 2016

This small painting caught my eye the first time around: I love twilight scenes and luminist-style works. On the second go-round I read the label, and discovered it’s a painting of Ouray, the Colorado town that Ayn Rand used as the basis for Galt’s Gulch in Atlas Shrugged. Oh, my, I’d love to own this!

Joseph McGurl, Twilight Comes to a Western Town, 2016

Joseph McGurl, Light, Sea, Earth and Sky, 2017

My photo doesn’t do this one justice. Turns out it’s by the same artist as the one above!

Joseph McGurl, Light, Sea, Earth and Sky, 2017

Technical wonders

Even if there’s no work that speaks to me so much that I’d want to own it, I’m always invigorated by exhibitions such as this one. It’s so relaxing to be reminded that there are still artists who are this well trained and innovative. If I were a painter, I’d be blocking out time just to observe the technique. Here are three of my favorites for technique.

Vanessa Lemen, Harmony with the Ebb and Flow, 2017

That glow: how is this accomplished?!?

Vanessa Lemen, Harmony with the Ebb and Flow, 2017

Julie Bell, Speak Softly, 2017

The textures of the tigers’ fur in this over-life-size painting is remarkable.

Julie Bell, Speak Softly, 2017

Aurelio Rodriguez Lopez, Painting Old Chinese Pottery, 2017

Amazing trompe l’oeil (“fool the eye”).  Zoom in, and try to block out the glare from the glass and the shadows: you’re looking at the right vs. left sides.

Aurelio Rodriguez Lopez, Painting Old Chinese Pottery, 2017

Salmagundi Club main-floor exhibition rooms

The Salmagundi’s home is one of those grand old brownstones on lower Fifth Avenue.

Salmagundi Club parlor, 9/28/18

Salmagundi Club main exhibition hall, 9/28/18

Labels

Katsu Nakajima, Woman in the Forest, 2017

Katsu-Nakajima, Woman in the Forest, 2017 – label at ARC exhibition.

Nick Alm, Elevator, 2017

Nick Alm, Elevator, 2017.

Sadie Valeri, Art Nouveau Embrace, 2017

Sadie Valeri, Art Nouveau Embrace, 2017.

Alessandro Tomassetti, The Queen Is Dead, 2017

Alessandro Tomassetti, The Queen Is Dead, 2017

John Lally, Red Hood, 2015

John Lally, Red Hood, 2015

Joseph McGurl, Twilight Comes to a Western Town, 2016

Joseph McGurl, Twilight Comes to a Western Town, 2016

Joseph McGurl, Light, Sea, Earth and Sky, 2017

Thanks to Klaus Nordby for providing the photo of the label.

Joseph McGurl, Light, Sea, Earth and Sky, 2017

Vanessa Lemen, Harmony with the Ebb and Flow, 2017

Vanessa Lemen, Harmony with the Ebb and Flow, 2017

Julie Bell, Speak Softly, 2017

Julie Bell, Speak Softly, 2017

Aurelio Rodriguez Lopez, Painting Old Chinese Pottery, 2017

Aurelio Rodriguez Lopez, Painting Old Chinese Pottery, 2017

More

  • The Salmagundi Club caters to artists and those interested in the arts. They often have exhibitions that I enjoy; currently on view, aside from the ARC show, are an exhibition of flower paintings and a series of drawings, both on the lower level. Here’s one of the drawings. (Have I mentioned that I’m a sucker for a good sepia drawing?)

Robbie Wraith, Artist George Murphy, 1978

  • My post on the 2016 ARC exhibition at the Salmagundi Club is here.
  • Want wonderful art delivered weekly to your inbox? Check out my free Sunday Recommendations list and my Patreon page (free or by subscription): details here.

About Dianne L. Durante

I constantly seek out art that's inspiring, thought-provoking, skillfully executed, and/or beautiful so I can share it (in jargon-free language) with others who need and enjoy such art, but don't have time to search for it themselves. As an independent scholar, writer, and lecturer, I focus on art history and history, with forays into food, history, politics, and publishing. My most recent projects are three volumes on Alexander Hamilton, From Portraits to Puddles, Central Park: The Early Years, Innovators in Sculpture (a survey of 5,000 years of art in 2 hours), and videoguide apps by Guides Who Know. Click on the Books & Essays tab for a list of all books. For upcoming projects, see my Patreon page.

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