Tag Archives: Tayloe Piggott Gallery

Landscapes As Muse

Susan Vecsey Untitled (Yellow) Oil. 36x44"

Susan Vecsey Untitled (Yellow) Oil. 36×44″


“Susan Vecsey: A Selection of Paintings” opens at the Tayloe Piggott Gallery on August 20th. An opening reception will be held that evening, 6-8:00pm, and the show remains on display through October 10th, 2015.

American artist Susan Vecsey was born in 1971 (so young!) and during her (to we “boomers”) short time on earth she’s developed a gorgeous liquid painting style. In this show, only one painting I can recall contains hard color field delineations. A person could gaze at Vecsey’s work a long, peaceful while.

These works are the sort we used to see at Piggott’s Gallery on a regular basis, in its former life as the J.H. Muse Gallery. We’re back in the land of exciting color, color, color! Hooray!

Helen Frankenthaler immediately comes to mind. It turns out she’s on Vecsey’s mind, too.

Susan Vecsey "Study for Morning Light at Northwest Harbor, East Hampton. 2012" Oil on Paper, 11.5 x14.5"

Susan Vecsey “Study for Morning Light at Northwest Harbor, East Hampton. 2012″ Oil on Paper, 11.5 x 14.5”


“The reflection of the 1960s New York art movement of Color Field painting is very present in her work. In particular, the work of Helen Frankenthaler is a major influence and inspiration,” writes Piggott. “Color Field painters apply color in large one dimensional swaths across a large canvas, or ‘field’…. (Her) work takes a cue from “Lyrical Abstraction”, which situates abstraction in a landscape context. The allusion of landscape—hills, fields, horizon lines, seas and skies is suggested in the abstract form of her work.”

Susan Vecsey, Untitled (Pink) 2013, Oil on linen

Susan Vecsey, Untitled (Pink) 2013, Oil on linen


The works feel “large scale”~~however, Vescey’s paintings vary in size.

Richly pigmented, Vescey’s paintings emerge one at a time, “single file.” Interesting linen textures are allowed to emerge. And although her paintings are a compilation of small selections of color, Vecsey makes extreme effort to reach the intensity of color she wants.

Enchanting. We are thirsty for this level of work, and like a mirage it will disappear. Walk towards it. www.tayloepiggottgallery.com

Susan Vecsey, Untitled (Orange / Pink) 2014, Oil on linen

Susan Vecsey, Untitled (Orange / Pink) 2014, Oil on linen


A very different kind of landscape show is on exhibit, beginning this week at Trio Fine Art. Please visit my author’s page, https://funthingstodoinjacksonhole.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/bill-sawczuks-big-country/  to read about Bill Sawczuk’s new show, “The Way I See It.”  

Shadows: Castle & Hicks at Tayloe Piggott; Daly News

James Castle, CAS11-0171 Untitled (black form), n.d. Found paper, soot, color of unknown origin, string, 6 1/4 x 8 3/8 in.

James Castle, Untitled (black form), n.d. Found paper, soot, color of unknown origin, string, 6 1/4 x 8 3/8 in.

In the new double show at Jackson’s Tayloe Piggott Gallery, there’s a complementary and slightly chilling collection of works by James Castle and Nicola Hicks. Castle was a profoundly deaf, self-taught artist. His mother was a midwife and his father ran the Garden Valley, Idaho post office.

James Castle, CAS09-0324 Untitled (flamingo) n.d., Found paper, soot, color of unknown origin, string. James Castle, CAS09-0324 Untitled (flamingo), n.d. Found paper, soot, color of unknown origin, string, 28 3/4 x 10 in.

James Castle, Untitled (flamingo)
n.d., Found paper, soot, color of unknown origin, string. Found paper, soot, color of unknown origin, string, 28 3/4 x 10 in.

Always poor, often on subsistence, Castle came to know a little sign language and developed a love for lettering. He “…is known for the skill of his draftsmanship,…subject matter and for his use of found and homemade materials. His recurrent and diverse themes tell an intimate story of a life lived in rural Idaho during the 20th century.”

Looking at Castle’s work I experience guilt as if I’ve broken into a child’s secret diary. It’s slightly agonizing, albeit fascinating, to study a Castle work; they’re heartrending. Eternally enigmatic, but with glimpses of a compromised soul’s joy in creating art. Displaying a man-child’s heart, Castle’s works seem stuffed in tiny boxes. Imagine, too, the drawings of an unborn child tucked in a dark, warm space, sensing fuzzy edges of the outside world.


Nicola Hicks’ electric, recumbent bear prompted an email to friends much more familiar with bears’ private behavior. “Would a bear lie in this position on its own accord,” I asked. “Or would it only roll over on its back, belly exposed, if it was coerced by humans?”

Nicola Hicks, Untitled (Bear laying down), 2010 Charcoal and chalk on brown paper, 66 x 82 in.

Nicola Hicks, Untitled (Bear laying down), 2010 Charcoal and chalk on brown paper, 66 x 82 in.

Bears do lie around tummy up. “They’re like dogs,” one of my experts explained. “They can be spotted rolling around in dense forest glens or by a body of water, cooling off.”

Nicola Hicks, Owl, ed. 1/1, 2014. Monoprint, 29 3/4 x 22 1/8 in. (75.6 x 56.2 cm)

Nicola Hicks, Owl, ed. 1/1, 2014. Monoprint, 29 3/4 x 22 1/8 in. (75.6 x 56.2 cm)

All this goes along with what seems to be Hicks’ core artist statement: Creatures of the earth are “…animalistic in form and body, yet uncannily human.” She’s on the anthropomorphism train.

Hicks’ show includes plaster casts (ultimately brass sculptures) of animals—seemingly locked in suffocating, snare-like dried mud pierced by sharp objects—and works on paper. It’s tempting to grab a sledgehammer and free these entombed creatures. Something new, an exercise in “different.” Hicks’ chalk, charcoal and monoprints depict wild and domestic animals, extended and sinewy. A portrait of a big sleeping dog has real heft. You feel the weight of the animal’s massive head.

The bear wins!

The exhibition remains on display through August 16th, 2015. www.tayloepiggottgallery.com


Katy Ann Fox, "On the Way to Breakfast." 12x12" Oil on Panel

Katy Ann Fox, “On the Way to Breakfast.” 12×12″ Oil on Panel

Together or Separate: New Works by Eleanor Anderson and Katy Ann Fox, opens at the Daly Gallery-Daly Project on Thursday, July 9, with a reception from 5-7:00pm. Anderson’s bright, whimsical ceramics and Fox’s airy, well-composed canvases are on view through July 24th.

We strive to be open Tuesday through Saturday, 1o AM to 6 PM. Or by appointment, 307-699-7933,” notes the gallery. http://www.dalyartistrep.com


And don’t forget: Catch up with more Jackson Hole art scene goings-on by logging on to https://funthingstodoinjacksonhole.wordpress.com. This week: “Plein Air for the Park!”  

Erin C. O'Connor. On Evening's Edge. Oil on Linen.

Erin C. O’Connor. On Evening’s Edge. Oil on Linen.

“Arts for All” Appeal; Artistic Celebration of Boredom; Voces Latinas


“I asked the earth. I asked the sea and the deeps, among the living animals, the things that creep. I asked the winds that blow. I asked the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars, and to all things that stand at the doors of my flesh…My question was the gaze I turned to them. Their answer was their beauty.” ~ St. Augustine


Public Art is thriving here in Jackson Hole. Installations spring up all over town. But what about non-public arts initiatives?  To an extent all art is public; people can go see it or hear it.  True public art is free for us to enjoy—by definition a public service. But other art projects and exhibitions, theatrical plays, music experiences, children’s art projects and even arts curriculum rely in part — sometimes fully—on turnstile dollars and funding. Art access is not always free, and arts groups need money to make projects happen: to create costumes, rent space, purchase materials, advertise, provide refreshments, update websites, create curriculum, pay talent, staff and travel costs….the list goes on.

The Jackson Hole Cultural Council’s “Arts for All” program has received limited funding dollars from the Town and County. How the amount is arrived at is unclear. I assume the amount would be part of a budget request from the Town and County, available in pubic records. Given the number of non-profit arts groups and individuals requesting grants, it stands to reason that amounts the Cultural Council receives from a limited fund would leave arts organizations a bit hog-tied.

WSAnyone requesting grant money from any source must be aware grants are evaluated in multiple ways. Usually there are clear rules about submission processes. Hence, all requests should be submitted only when they are as polished and thorough as possible. We do have an astounding number of arts organizations for a town our size. The message of how much the Town of Jackson’s arts scene means to its profile is clearer each year.

The Cultural Council of Jackson Hole plans to go before Town and County officials on Tuesday, May 14, at 9:40 am, to defend this year’s “Arts for All” funding application.  Whatever amount the Council is requesting (I don’t have that number) your voice (here is mine!) matters. Attend the meeting that day and help the Council get their message across. The meeting takes place at County Commissioner Chambers on Simpson Street. For information contact Alissa Davies at culturalcounciljh@gmail.com.    

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Glittering Art World; Wolf Kahn

Pinedale is a Wyoming town working hard to infuse art into its veins; the movement is growing. A blooming flower, its seeds are sewn by local artists, Sue Sommers among them.

Her mural, seen here, is one of two completed in the past two years as part of Pinedale’s public art program. Sommers’ large-scale, whirling, arcing and bright painting, “Our Glittering World,”  will remain at its current site for two years.

Pinedale’s public art initiative, IN|SITE EX|SITE, hosts an artists reception on Friday, February 8th, 6:30-8:30 pm at the Sublette County Library. Artists contributing work to Pinedale’s community, also to be honored, include Bronwyn Minton, JB Bond, Kirsten and Palmer Klarén, and Sommers.

I asked Sommers about the world she was considering as she created her mural.

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Flora, Magic Moose Story, Newtown

Jackson, it’s nice to be back~~let’s see if we can beckon a January thaw, eh?  Yikes, I’m sleeping in my hat!  Here’s a warm-up first post for 2013.

Haven’t had the chance to stop by FLORA, a show of selected prints, paintings and sculpture at the Tayloe Piggott Gallery?   The show remains up through February 2, 2013 and is curated by Piggott.

“All five artists pair the vernacular of flora with primary colors; the exhibition strives to envelope visitors in a profound experience of bold natural forms,” says the gallery.

They had me at “primary colors.”

Featured art includes Donald Beecher’s large bronze sculpture and a selection of prints; three large silkscreen prints by Ross Bleckner, an artist acclaimed for his meditations on time and mortality; a duo of Donald Sultan prints; a Piggott favorite Squeak Carnwath has contributed mixed media works—collage and painting. Finally, the gallery debuts Andrew Millner, “an artist who ‘collects’ trees and plants by digitally drawing their contours, in infinite detail, from multiple perspectives, over long periods of time.”  www.tayloepiggottgallery.com

Here’s a dynamite story told to me about the focus of this week’s National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Mix’d Media event, Carl Rungius’ 1907 poster created for a Sportsmen’s Show held that year in New York City:

“When the museum opened in 1987 as the Wildlife of the American West Art Museum, the inaugural poster featured an image of a Brunswick moose painted by Carl Rungius. The image was taken not from a painting in the collection, but from an antique poster created for the 1907 Sportsmen’s Show put on by New York’s Forest, Fish, and Game Society. At the time no one knew where the original oil painting was.

Fast forward 25 years to last April. The museum received an email asking if it might be interested in a moose painting that had been found in an attic on Prince Edward Island. The painting was no other than the moose featured on the New York Sportsmen’s Show poster – and the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s inaugural poster!  105 years after Rungius painted it, and 25 years after the museum’s opening the original oil was purchased in June for the museum’s collection through a grant from the Robert S. and Grayce B. Kerr Foundation.”

Love it when art history comes together! Kismet! And more magic courtesy of the Kerr family.

This month’s Mix’d Media takes place Thursday, January 10th, 6-9:00 pm.  $5 cover, and lots of gaming and sportsman related activities planned…plus some tempting cocktails by Vom Fass. 

I was only 15 miles away from the Sandy Hook School the day so many of its children and teachers were gunned down. I am gratified to see that most of the initial, inappropriate commentary and speculation on that tragedy has died down. A locally based support fund has raised $6 million to date. If you would like to honor Newtown’s sacrifice and bravery, here’s some information on where you can send your support: Contact Info—Thanks to the Litchfield County Register Citizen:

Patrick Kinney E. Patricia Llodra
Phone: (203) 792-5330, X 248 Phone (203) 270-4201
85 West Street , Danbury CT 3 Primrose Street, Newtown CT

A toll-free number has been established by the Newtown Volunteer Task Force, an organization established by Newtown residents. The toll-free number – 855-364-6600 – has been set up to make it easier for people to call with offers of help to the community of Newtown. The phone line will be staffed by local Newtown volunteers and supported by United Way of Connecticut’s 2-1-1 Infoline.

pkinney@gbpr.com pat.llodra@newtown-ct.gov