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 in Atlanta, GA and now at the Church Street Art Gallery in Lenox, MA.
In Larry Zingale’s case, art followed love. In Copenhagen, his visa expiring, and unwilling to leave his Danish girlfriend, Zingale enrolled in art school. After a few classes he felt restricted and decided to teach himself to paint instead. Today, Zingale is considered “one of the outstanding self-taught artists of the twentieth century” by the definitive book, “American Folk Art in The Twentieth Century”. His work is defined and illustrative, polished and colorful and full of fanciful imagery. You can find his work in the Museum of International Folk Art, Sante Fe, The Nelson Rockefeller Collection, the Fenimore House Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., and in well-known private collections.
As Michael and Denise Ulick, co-owners of Church Street Art Gallery put it: “It’s important to understand that ‘self-taught’ artists, such as Eddy and Zingale, can be highly sophisticated and skilled. The critical element in the best of self-taught art comes from a deep place in the soul – it is instinctive rather than intellectual.” [continued on next page]
CHURCH STREET ART GALLERY – PRESS RELEASE – JULY 6, 2007 – PAGE 2
The exhibit opens Friday, August 3rd at 11AM with an opening reception that day from 5-7PM and is on view 11AM to 5PM daily through Thursday, August 30th.
The Church Street Art Gallery is owned by Michael and Denise Ulick, and has been exhibiting Self-Taught, Outsider and Folk Art in the Berkshires since 2003.