Reprinted from ....

Vol. 23 No.2 Spring 2000
Meredith, NH 03253

The Terrain Gallery Celebrates
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: 

Is technique forceful, nonetheless restrained? 
Does line insist while it is mute? 
Are there the leaves of surface in a print 
      which have the meaning of a root? 

Chaim Koppelman                                                Etching
Voyage West
Courtesy of the Artist
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. 

Included are prints by Harold Altman, Richard Artschwager, Robert Blackburn, Tim Daly, Allan D'Arcangelo, Michael Fauerbach, Susan Gardner, Alex Katz, Michael Knigin, Chaim Koppelman, Harold Krisel, Nicholas Krushenick, Roy Lichtenstein, Gerson Leiber, Vincent Longo, Bill Murphy, George Nama, Thomas O'Donohue, Arnold Perey, Linda Plotkin, Clayton Pond, Mark Rogers, Clare Romano, John Ross, John Von Wicht, and Larry Zox; photographs by David Bernstein, Len Bernstein, Lou Bernstein, Amy Dienes, Louis Dienes, Nat Herz, Hans Namuth, and Nancy Starrels. 

Also on exhibit are posters and announcements many containing artists' statements, and poems and essays on art by Eli Siegel, from shows such as Abstract & Concrete (1956), and All Art Is For Life and Against the War in Vietnam (1966). Surface to Begin With: Silkscreen Prints (1967) was one of the first exhibitions to show this now popular print form. 


Nancy Starrels              Photograph
Block Party
Courtesy of the Artist
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

John Von Wicht                               Color Lithograph
Chinese Garden
Courtesy of the Artist

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    New York, NY 10012

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    A not-for-profit educational foundation