LENOX, MA: In the rich tradition of iconoclastic, self-taught artists, two of the most exciting current practitioners are David Eddy and Larry Zingale, who both live and work in the Berkshires. Their art is often called “Primitive” linking them to Paleolithic cave painters or to the more recent genius of self-taught artists like Henri Rousseau.

In the footsteps of Rousseau, Paul Klee on through Milton Avery, we find that Eddy and Zingale succeed in combining naïve realism and a studied guilelessness. And because their art came to the fore independently of formal training, they are given the distinction of being “Modern Primitives”.

These are painters who thrive on the continuing tension between the rigorous, often restrictive standards of the art establishment and those who come to create art with seeming spontaneity and inspiration. They live outside what Charles Russell calls “the consensus of the art world.

Church Street Art Gallery celebrates this truth with an exhibit featuring David Eddy and Larry Zingale, whose work may contrast, but whose inspiration follows this rich tradition.

They both came to art in unlikely ways. For Eddy, before he was a hard-working painter with art dealers anxious for more work, he was a hard-working roofing contractor who loved spending rainy days with crayons and chalk. The New York Times referred to his naïve sophistication as “reminiscent of Paul Klee.” His semi-abstract figurative compositions are created with passion, exuding raw energy and his paintings have an encaustic quality to them. “My painting is a gift”, says Eddy, “a result of circumstances I could never have predicted or dreamed.” Recently Eddy’s work has been exhibited at the Julie Heller Gallery in Provincetown, MA, the Jan Baum Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, the Modern Primitive Gallery […]