New York Gallery, Lichtundfire with ‘Counterpoints to the Narrative’

Elizabeth Stevens
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Martin Weinstein, “Kenoten, October Evenings,” 2016, acrylic on multiple acrylic sheets, 27 x 20 3/4″.

Counterpoints to the Narrative is on view until the end of this month at Lichtundfire.  It provides a thoughtful exploration of contemporary mediums, color theory, and depth of field, featuring three artists who engage unique materials to bring an idiosyncrasy of observation in traditional approaches to balance and color.  The exhibition is a revelation on more than one level from its curator Dominick Lombardi; and Lichtundfire, a gallery I have come to admire as sage to the world of objective theory through its exploration of new approaches in the rapport of material to expression.

Martin Weinstein landscapes (above left) are saturated with colors evoking Monet’s Giverny. He has retooled his images with a complex approach involving successive layers of acrylic sheets, each individually painted with a different subject or color, then superimposed to achieve a volumetric distillation of luminosity and romantic atmosphere.

Sparky Campanella is a photographer with an interesting approach to balance and texture – his backgrounds pivot affinitively off chosen subjects and have a painterly feel, drawing the viewer’s eye to something we may have passed by on an average afternoon.  Sparky’s seventieth-of-a-second captures give us a better understanding of what we’re missing (right: Sparky Campanella, Jawbone Canyon Looking West 2004, Pigment Print Photo, 40 x 50″, Edition No. 1/5).  What might feel like a lush sky warm as morning coffee is actually a pipeline, appearing to be trompe l’oeil by a painter who bears down on his color, and thank god for that.

Drawing us into the back of the gallery’s space is a large expressive mixed-media collage by Mark Sharp, who’s work continues up the east wall.  The balance Lombardi has curated to demonstrate Sharp’s use of patterned and hand-dyed cloth manipulated by painting compels the viewer to see the show more thoughtfully as a whole, according the essence and presence of each artist’s work a singular kind of spotlight.

Left: Mark Sharp, Untitled 2230, 2016, Mixed Media on Canvas 28 x 24″.

Ken Johnson said, “Progressively-minded critics these days tend to evaluate art and design for their abilities to promote new ideas and behaviors, usually in favor of politically liberal aims. Mere beauty has come to be seen as a conservative — if not morally decadent — value.” In the end, this is a beautiful exhibition, and I will admit, “I love and value beautiful”.


By Elizabeth Stevens, Contributing Writer

Counterpoints to the Narrative, through June 30, 2017

LICHTUNDFIRE – 175 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

Curated by D. Dominick Lombardi

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