June 28-August 9, 2014
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 28, 6-8:30PM
“Distinctions Between Color and Light:
New Works by Craig Mooney and Henry Isaacs”
West Branch Gallery Exhibits New Works by Craig Mooney and Welcomes Maine Painter, Henry Isaacs
Beginning in the 19th century, New England has been both an inspiration and haven for generations of artists and, over time, has become inextricable from American visual culture. This legacy of New England’s regional identity and the influence of Romantic landscape painter J.M.W. Turner is immediately recognizable in Craig Mooney’s winding Vermont valleys and Henry Isaacs’ coastal scenes of Maine. Despite their iconic subjects, neither artist can be classified as a traditionalist. Mooney’s work is imbued with abstract qualities, while Isaacs’ paintings deliver an Impressionist punch.
Recently featured in the May/June issue of Design New England, Craig Mooney will exhibit the dramatic landscapes for which he is best known throughout New England, as well as figurative works and cityscapes which have gained popularity among his patrons. Working out of his studio at the West Branch Gallery, the power of Mooney’s heavy hand makes his dreamlike visions linger longer than the dream itself, capturing the viewers’ imagination again and again.“ As one of the gallery’s original artists, Craig’s work has been carried at West Branch for the past 13 years and what I have observed of his paintings is a consistent quality of mystique and intrigue,” says Tari Swenson, Partner at West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park.
And it is through Mooney that West Branch Gallery was introduced to Henry Isaacs’ effusive color. Nuanced brushwork and a complex color palette lead the eye from the bold strokes and strong colors of the foreground to the softer tones and touches of the water and sky. Art critic and historian Daniel Kany has described Isaacs’ work as “the painterly joy of Matisse with the value and surface integrity of Cezanne.”
Inspired by their surroundings, Mooney and Isaacs are among the more recognizable artists of New England. Their ability to capture ephemeral moments by manipulating color and light produce distinct visual sensations. Mooney’s ethereal paintings appear even more so when viewed next to Isaacs’ dynamic landscapes.