Severin Haines Featuring Furniture by DUNN
Opening Reception Saturday, July 6, 5-7pm
This exhibition pairs the stunning landscapes of established and revered painter Severin Haines with the clean timeless furniture design of one of Rhode Island’s most promising young design voices.
Severin “Sig” Haines paints captivating landscapes of New England and his native Norway. While he works representationally, he also draws technique from abstraction. Haines’ work studies color and gesture in the context of representation and form. Haines looks closely at the work of the early – mid 20th century painters, including Vuillard, Seurat, and Matisse, who employ the techniques of “pure painting” to representational work. He also draws inspiration from the abstract expressionist action painters Jackson Pollock. Like Pollock, Haines pays careful attention to the richness and depth achievable through color manipulation. Haines also relies on the action and gesture of his brushwork to imbue his compositions with energy and emotion.
This exhibition has encouraged Sig to explore working in large scale with a focus on New England. He will exhibit recent paintings, most of which have never been shown, and some of which will still be drying on opening night!
DUNN is the socially and environmentally conscious furniture and lighting design company created by Asher Dunn. The company focuses on distinctively designed, meticulously crafted and sustainably sourced products. All the proceeds from DUNN support Dunn’s second company, Keeseh Woodshop, a community woodworking studio offering instruction and equipment with the intention of preserving and advancing the craft of woodworking.
The work included by DUNN converses effortlessly with Haines’ paintings, both of which explore an early to mid-20th century aesthetic, but with a contemporary language. DUNN furniture also pays tribute to the local landscape, with responsibly sourced materials, locally inspired products (each piece shares a title with a Rhode Island town) and design influenced by nature.
In his introduction to a large volume on the great American color painter Milton Avery, Hilton Kramer spoke of Avery's work, especially as related to his late landscapes, as "pure painting". The concept is usually associated with abstraction rather than a representational form of painting. Avery’s art finds its’ greatest expression in the observation of nature while utilizing color as its’ plastic element. This is a tradition that originates with the great French painters of the late nineteenth century Monet and Cezanne, and comes to fruition in the early to mid-twentieth century with such painters as Van Gogh, Seurat, Bonnard, Matisse and my personal favorite Vuillard. I find Kramer's statement characterizing this form of painting as “pure painting” very exciting indeed. As an artist I feel not only a kinship with Kramer’s thinking, I feel reassured that my having spent over four decades pursuing color in the development of landscape painting may have been worthwhile.
In my recent paintings I have incorporated another visual tool used by these great French painters and others in America such as Fairfield Porter, Wolf Kahn and Avery. This is a conscious choice to give greater attention to rendering with color the unique character of "negative space" or if you will, the space between objects. Giving the "negative space" a role comparable to positive form has, I believe, resulted in a greater graphic impact in my work than it has had in the past.
With this exhibition in this grand space I have been given a wonderful opportunity to work on a large scale. I do believe it to be an opportunity. Few galleries can boast the kind of space we have the luxury of exhibiting in here at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery. I love to paint large. I love the potential power of scale. However, with it come serious challenges that must be met if the work is to be successful. It is my hope these latest large scale paintings succeed and carry a visual strength that make them worthy of the space they have been granted.
DUNN is an American furniture and lighting design firm committed to the creation of well-designed and meticulously crafted products. The firm created timeless pieces influenced by nature and the aesthetic of Mid-20th Century Modernism with a contemporary twist.
DUNN was established in 2010 by designer Asher Dunn. Proceeds from DUNN support Keeseh Woodshop (www.keeseh.com), a community workshop founded by Mr. Dunn that teaches and keeps alive the craft of woodworking. Mr. Dunn is also the co-founder of Anchor Providence (www.anchorprovidence.com), an arts and business incubator helping others get their start.
Asher Dunn began his design company just one year after finishing his undergraduate degree (RISD BFA Industrial Design ’08.) He has received numerous honors including 'Best New Designer' at the 2010 International Contemporary Furniture Fair and New England Home's '5 under 40' accomplished in design and architecture.
Dedeeshattuckgallery@gmail.com | 508. 636. 4177 | 1 Partners' Lane, Westport, MA 02790 | W - Sat, 10 - 5, Sun 12 - 5