Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Swope Art Museum Exhibition Part 1


Left: Philip Koch's Morning at the Route 6, Eastham House,
oil on canvas, 30 x 60 inches, 2016. Right: Edward Hopper.
Route 6, Eastham, oil on canvas, 1941. 

The above photo was taken last weekend in one of the three galleries Swope Art Museum has devoted to their new show of my paintings done during my residencies in Edward Hopper's Truro, MA studio. Hopper was the big influence on me when I was a young artist. Naturally it is a deep honor to have my work hanging next to that of the man who was my greatest teacher.  






The Friday evening opening for the show was probably the largest turnout I've ever had for one of my exhibitions. Swope Museum did a wonderful job installing and lighting the work. 





There must have been ten people, none of them known to me, who came up to me the during the reception to say they saw the common thread that runs through Hopper's art and my own, but that they liked how my paintings had a different handling and feeling to them. It was a very sweet experience for me. 



Swope Museum's Director Susan Baley with 
Hopper's Route 6, Eastham

Swope has a stellar collection of American realist paintings from the first half of the 20th century. Most prominent of them is  Hopper's Route 6, Eastham. All three of the works I made working from the same house and barn Hopper chose are together in the exhibition. 

I knew from the start I wanted to depict the house and barn in a different mood than Hopper's interpretation. Where he chose a late afternoon light for his oil, I purposely arrived early in the morning to see the structures in bright morning sun.




Philip Koch, Morning at the Route 6, Eastham
House, vine charcoal, 7 x 14 inches, 2016

Below are four small vine charcoal drawings that I made first to help me sift through the possibilities. I found it was the upper story of the buildings that felt most expressive so I chose to concentrate my attention there. The drawing above is the final result and it is included in the exhibit.






From that charcoal drawing I made this small oil on panel as a first step in discovering the color chords for my final large canvas.


Philip Koch, Morning at the Route 6, Eastham
House, oil on panel, 12 x 24 inches, 2016.

Here I am with the final canvas.



I will be showing more of the paintings in the exhibition in an upcoming blog post in several days. Here's a view of some of the work in the Museum's Haslem Gallery, one of the other two large spaces where the work is installed.





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