trouble-by-jason-cytacki.jpgNancy Bush and James Fox:  Two Perspectives, Crossing Paths and Enduring Legend, Fragile myth: Cowboy Paintings by Jason Cytacki Exhibition Dates:  June 8, 2012 - October 14, 2012 Corning, N.Y. - Two extraordinary summer exhibitions are planned to greet thousands of local and out-of-town guests through the warm summer months at the Rockwell Museum of Western Art.   Opening June 8 and running through October 14, two exhibitions will represent ‘a-first' in exceptional ways. The Nancy Bush and James Fox collaboration marks the first time two living artists, a painter and a photographer, have planned a joint exhibition for a major gallery and for museum presentation. And the cowboy paintings by Jason Cytacki will be on view for the first time ever in a major museum exhibition. Lucky for visitors to Rockwell Museum of Western Art, this summer marks an unprecedented exhibition schedule offering a contemporary new look of the Great American West by three prolific artists. About Nancy Bush and James Fox: Two Perspectives, Crossing Paths There have been many parings of painting and photography in the past but they usually feature several painters and several photographers from a specific period in history. Some shows have featured works of one painter and of one photographer but were created from each artist past work and often after one or both artists were dead. James and Nancy's collaboration is contemporary and intentional. They began planning the show in the fall of 2009 and worked throughout all of 2010 to find the best locations to capture the essence of the land. Nancy Bush and James Fox feel a dual connection to nature. Using two very different mediums, oil painting and photography, both Bush and Fox capture the very distinct mood of a place in their artistic journey entitled Two Perspectives, Crossing Paths. The concept of this show centers on perspective - two states, four seasons, a shared location, and two different points of view. How does one place affect two different people? Nancy and James hope to illustrate just that. Locals in both Texas and New Mexico, they have chosen several of their favorite landscapes throughout these states and use their own artistic medium to convey the light, mood and atmosphere of that particular place. The end result of this dynamic collaboration, which juxtaposes two artistic interpretations through contrasting perspectives, is a series of hauntingly beautiful interpretive works. (-  Adopted from http://www.insightgallery.com/ and http://www.jamesfox.com/). Our "journey" is a modern day genesis merging two art forms expressing similar philosophies and beauty in the landscape.           
  • - James Fox and Nancy Bush
This collaboration marks the first time a painter and a photographer have planned a joint show for a major gallery and for museum presentation. There have been many parings of painting and photography in the past but they usually feature several painters and several photographers from a specific period in history. Some shows have featured works of one painter and of one photographer but were created from each artist past work and often after one or both artists were dead. James and Nancy's collaboration is contemporary and intentional. They began planning the show in the fall of 2009 and worked throughout all of 2010 to find the best locations to capture the essence of the land. Crossing Paths is a yearlong journey of two artists through four seasons and two states: Texas and New Mexico. The locations were varied in geography and geology. The Sangre de Christo mountain range in northeastern New Mexico with beautiful valleys and small villages, the Texas hill country with its rolling lush hills and flowing creeks and rivers, and the Aransas Wildlife Refuge along with coastal fishing villages were the places scouted for images and inspiration. Crossing Paths is a yearlong journey we took through four seasons and two states: Texas and New Mexico. The locations we focused on were varied in geography and geology. The Sangre de Christo mountain range in northeastern New Mexico with beautiful valleys and small villages, the Texas hill country with its rolling lush hills and flowing creeks and rivers, and the Aransas Wildlife Refuge along with coastal fishing villages were the places we scouted for images and inspiration.

 

The similarities evolve from an art movement started in the late nineteenth century and embraced by painters and photographers alike. The movement was called Tonalism. The artists of this movement were not concerned with literal detailed descriptions, but with a "less is more" attitude. They developed more of a subdued harmonious, monochromatic, subtle color range advocating low light and atmospheric conditions to convey their vision. Descriptive terms such as poetic, spiritual, moody, intimate, luminist, elegant, quietist and emotional were often used to describe Tonalist images. These works evoke an emotional response from the viewers who are allowed to participate in the subdued use of details and veils of atmosphere. Tonalism was not a mere representation of nature but more of a participation of soul and spirit along with technical expertise. The desire of a Tonalist artist is to create an effect of poetic inspiration, a mood transcended from a brief moment in time cleverly revealed through light and atmospheric conditions. To savor the wonders of the stilled moments of perfection and poetry and allow for the possibility that pictures can convey truth beyond ready powers of articulation. When expressed with spirit and soul, then art like music needs no translation other than through sight and sound. There were many painters and photographers who embraced Tonalism. The Pictorialist photographers such as Alfred Steglitz and Edward Steichen, who also was a Tonalist painter, imbued much of their work with the Tonalist ideals. George Inness, James McNeil Whistler and Henry Ward Ranger are a few of the painters who sought the Tonalist approach in their art. Tonalism is the basis of our work; however our journey includes a few spontaneous brighter hued pieces as well as the mystery and serendipity of finding a baby's shoe at a long abandoned house. We have embraced the past to pursue the present and inspire the future. Participate with us in the journey and enjoy the view.  - Nancy Bush and James Fox About Enduring Legend, Fragile Myth: Cowboy Paintings by Jason Cytacki The cowboy is among the most enduring of American myths. While the classic image of the cowboy, from the distinctive hat and chaps to the iconic spurs and pistol, derives from actual cowboys who were employed in long haul cattle drives from Texas to Northern cities in the late 1800s, our early twenty-first century image of the cowboy has been profoundly shaped by popular culture. On screen, the cowboy, right or wrong, rides into town full of purpose, and rides off into the sunset confident and self assured. John Wayne and a host of other dime novel, film, and television cowboys have helped to cement the legendary, near mythic status of the American cowboy. Today, the cowboy is instantly recognized worldwide as a unique symbol of American independence and determination.   Yet there has always been something tragic, even fragile, about the macho persona of the cowboy. In Westerns on television and in films, the cowboy is always an outsider, someone who comes to town to solve a problem or settle a dispute, yet nevertheless someone who never really fits within the structures and confines of civilization. He does not settle down or marry; instead he rides off to the next town or the next battle. Often misunderstood and sometime tormented by personal demons, he is chased by lawmen, Indians, and vigilantes alike. He is a man with no home, a man who is forever at one border or another. The cowboy is a larger-than-life figure, too large to fit into a civilized world. Jason Cytacki's cowboy paintings tap into the mythic as well as the tragic, fragile nature of the iconic American cowboy. Cytacki's large-scale paintings, like history paintings of old, confirm the importance of the cowboy in American culture, yet also manage to subtly subvert that mythic status, too. Instead of placing the cowboy "out West," Cytacki's large paintings place the cowboy in uncomfortable suburban melodramas. These vignettes gently remind us that the cowboy was, and always will be, a figure living on the margins of society. Yet the rich visual irony of these diorama-scapes, constructed as they are of children's toys in a suburban studio, links the cowboy, too, to the realm of childhood imagination, Saturday morning cartoons and reruns of Bonanza. In Cytacki's smaller cowboy paintings, the artist recreates famous Hollywood cowboys from publicity stills. Through loose, expressionistic brushwork, Cytacki turns these celebrity images into brooding, introspective portraits filled with doubt, remorse, and vulnerability. Like Andy Warhol, Cytacki reinterprets an American pop icon. In the process, he makes us see the cowboy as an imperfect symbol for an imperfect time.     Exhibition Related Programming
  • Member Opening Reception -
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 Member Exhibition Opening Reception Enduring Legend, Fragile Myth: Cowboy Paintings by Jason Cytacki and Two Perspectives, Crossing Paths: Nancy Bush/Jim Fox 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Members Free Reservations Required. Please call 607.974.2333 or email andrukatk@rockwellmuseum.org Image credit: Jason Cytacki, Trouble, 2009, ink on paper, 24 inches x 18 inches.  Photo used by permission of the artists. All rights reserved.

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Contact: Beth Manwaring (607) 974-4254 manwaringb@rockwellmuseum.org http://www.rockwellmuseum.org/Exhibitions.html