Between Memory and Dream
Two distinguished artists who live and work on eastern Long Island, Ralph Carpentier and Elwood Howell, are featured in Between Memory and Dream.
Ralph Carpentier is well known for his idyllic yet precisely rendered scenes, usually in oil on canvas, of Long Island fields and shores. His paintings often have a romantic edge to them, one that in the Nabi exhibit verges at times on the eerie, as in his views of a graveyard on a misty morning, blackbirds in a field, or a campfire on a moonlit peninsula, beyond a deep blue harbor and below an even deeper blue sky. Their subject is the east end of Long Island—with its characteristic farmhouses, potato fields, beaches, and deep skies—as it once was, should be, or might be in a dream.
Ralph Carpentier, Beach Party, oil on canvas, 40x50, 2004
Elwood Howell is another painter living in East Hampton whose work transcends the modish notion of the “Hamptons.” His landscapes, in acrylic on canvas or paper, are visions of nature purified. There is a hushed stillness in these meadows and shores, which, except for an occasional distant cottage or fence, bear scarcely any trace of human activity.
Where Mr. Carpentier tends to proceed from images of an actual place, which he rearranges according to a poetic vision, Mr. Howell begins each painting as if it were abstract, and only at the final stage of creation discovers elements of landscape amid the layers of color. These watery horizons and blossoming fields are not real places—yet they appear strangely, intensely familiar.
Elwood Howell, Cedar Bay, acrylic on canvas, 34x54, 2005
Mr. Howell’s work was last seen here in the opening show of the Nabi’s new Chelsea space, in January, 2004, and was often featured at our previous venue in Sag Harbor. Between Memory and Dream is Mr. Carpentier’s first event with us. Both artists have exhibited widely at other galleries and museums on Long Island, in Manhattan, and elsewhere, and are of interest to a number of prominent collectors.
Please click on the following links for more images by these artists: