Its 45th Anniversary!
An Exhibition of Prints, Photographs & Paintings
by Alma Vincent
The Terrain Gallery, the first gallery based on a philosophic way of seeing reality itself, including art — Aesthetic Realism — opened in New York City in 1955, with artist Dorothy Koppelman as Director. In its first announcement, the Terrain published the now historic 15 questions, "Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?," by the great American poet and critic Eli Siegel, founder of Aesthetic Realism. In continuous exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as notable discussions on the art of the world, the criterion for beauty presented in these questions has been shown to be true about art of every style, time, and place. The Terrain Gallery changed how art was seen and talked about. For example, "Definition Is Wonder" of 1961, showed work by 36 of America's most respected printmakers. In the catalogue were two poems by Eli Siegel, including "The Print and the Opposites" with these lines:
|Artists and curators, including Elizabeth Erlanger, Winslow Ames, Robert
Conover, Letterio Calapai, Chaim Koppelman, A. Hyatt Mayor, Gladys Mock,
Doris Seidler, all commented in the exhibition catalogue on the relation
of The Siegel Theory of Opposites to the art of the print.
It is tremendously important that the Terrain Gallery exists after 45
years, and is flourishing, in spite of the fact that the art press, while
praising the early exhibitions and acknowledging the high level of work,
showed its anger at having to learn something new from Eli Siegel and Aesthetic
Realism about the nature of art, and what makes a work successful or not.
A press boycott of Aesthetic Realism and the Terrain Gallery is at last
showing signs of ending.Now, in the Spring of 2000, to celebrate this important
anniversary, the Terrain Gallery is mounting an exhibition of work by over
forty printmakers, photographers, and painters, representing the hundreds
of artists who have shown there in these four and a half decades.
There were annual Big & Small miniature exhibitions from 1972-1982; shows on themes such as Couples: Closeness and Clash in Art and Life (1983); and other innovative exhibitions such as Architecture: Matter & Space (1984); and The Value of Objects (1999).
The opening reception will be on Saturday, April 29th, from 2-5 pm at the Terrain Gallery, now part of the not-for-profit Aesthetic Realism Foundation, 141 Greene Street in Manhattan's SoHo District. The exhibition runs through August; Summer hours are Saturdays 1-3:30 pm and by appointment (212) 777-4490.
The ongoing celebration includes art talks every Saturday afternoon at 2:30 pm, free to the public, which are part of the series now in its 16th year titled: The Aesthetic Realism of Eli Siegel Shows How Art Answers the Questions of Your Life! For more information, visit www.AestheticRealism.org.
John Von Wicht Color Lithograph
Courtesy of the Artist