The DART Board: 09.29.2021

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday September 29, 2021


Erna Rosenstein. Once Upon a Time opens Thursday, September 30 at Hauser & Wirth

It’s beginning to look as if Surrealism is edging out Abstract Expressionism as the lingua franca of the NYC art scene. An exhibition of the Polish artist, Erna Rosenstein (1913-2004 )—the first monographic exhibition of her work outside of Poland—opens this week. One of the key figures of the Polish avant-garde, Rosenstein’s wartime survival, commitment to Surrealism, and lifelong adherence to leftist ideologies course through an array of paintings, drawings, and assemblage sculptures, as well as poems, diaristic writings, and deceptively whimsical children’s stories. Above: Untitled, nd

Steeped in an extraordinary history and responding to the Nazi occupation of Poland, personal traumas suffered in the Holocaust, the postwar sociopolitical upheaval of her native country, and passionate engagement in the intellectual circles of her times, Erna Rosenstein’s work defies simple classification. Her six-decades long career was fueled by the formation of prewar artistic, intellectual, and political affiliations, and is expressed through her continued oscillation between autobiographical figuration and biomorphic abstraction. Grappling with themes of memory, trauma, longing, and loss, she used paint, ink, and found materials to suggest a world tinged with allegory, enchantment, and fairy tale. 

Erna Rosenstein | Once Upon a Time opens Thursday, September 30 at Hauser & Wirth, 32 East 69thStreet, NY, NY Info Read a feature about Rosenstein’s drawings in the current issue of Ursula

Hauser & Wirth Publishers created a substantial publication offering new scholarship and research into Rosenstein’s work, featuring new essays by curator Alison Gingeras, and Dorota Jarecka, a leading Rosenstein scholar and Director of Galeria Studio in Warsaw. Info

Editor's note: Stay tuned for Surrealism Beyond Borders, opening October 11 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the meantime, Leonora in the Morning Light, a novelization of the surrealist's life by Michaela Carter, is available where books are sold.


Phaedra’s Women: Studies and Drawings for Two Late Paintings by Rosmarie Beck

Painted by Beck when she was in her mid-70s, the “Phaedra” cycle was the last of her great mythological cycles, drawn from her reading of the ancient Greek play Hippolytus by Euripides. Prior to Phaedra, Beck had worked from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the myth of Orpheus, Sophocles’ Antigone, and several narratives drawn from Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

The tragedy of Phaedra, based on the play Hippolytus by Euripides, is the means by which Beck frames her series’ primary figures - Phaedra’s Nurse and the Attendants - who were considered of secondary importance by Euripides. These latter working women - perhaps in a nod to Las Meninas by her venerated master, Velazquez - busily adorn the walls around their queen with large bolts of cloth, as if to mark out the space as female territory. The image of a woman handling cloth with professional skill inevitably leads us back to Beck herself, a woman who demonstrates assured mastery of the wrought canvas. 

Preview the exhibition online here To schedule a private viewing, please contact Doria Hughes, Collection Manager, at or 617-416-8518. 



Catherine Lepp | Swimmers 2007-2021 extended until October 7 at Mark Borghi Gallery

Catherine Lepp's  Swimmers  series arises from years of observing her children in the water: diving, coasting, surfing-and wiping out. These works reflect the freedom of bodies utterly outside the context of day-to-day living, away from hard surfaces, unyielding boundaries and the habitual axis imposed by gravity.  Below: Beach, 2021

The perspective of the work shifts along with the changing nature of the subject: Sometimes the figures are seen from above, sometimes from below. Lepp's paintings slowly suggest that the artist, and perhaps by extension the viewer, is both spectator and participant-sharing the same fluid space, the vibrations and current communications taking place beneath the waters' surface.

Alternately tumbling, turning and held aloft within the melee of aquatic forces, Lepp's swimmers are a beautifully awkward confusion of heads, knees, and knowingly rendered soles of feet. The swimmers' dynamism is brought forth through staggered brushstrokes capturing at once reflected light and volume, barely maintaining their solidity amidst a playful chaos. —Christina Kee

Catherine Lepp | Swimmers 2007-2021 continues through October 7 at Mark Borghi Gallery, 34 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY Info




Closing reception | Viridian Artists 31st International Juried Competition Thursday, September 30, 6-8 pm

Juried by Susan Harris, who writes: Powerful, forthcoming, vulnerable, penetrating and searching are words that come to mind characterizing the works of art I’ve been privileged to view and select for Viridian Artists 31st International Juried Exhibition. Looking at 1100 digital, visual submissions by 258 artists was an endeavor I undertook with respect and rigor. (Hurricane Henri played its part in ensuring I had no other distractions.) Overwhelmed at first, I trusted in the images to speak out--and express their truths they did. A vast array of media, processes, strategies, perspectives, Above: Laura Rutherford Renner :“Waiting for a Connection 

Viridian Artists 31st International Juried Competition closing reception Thursday, September 30, 6-8 pm at Viridian Artists, 547 West 27th Street, NY, NY Info

Facing the Camera II | through November 24 at Hans P. Kraus, Jr. Fine Photography

Portraits by William Henry Fox Talbot, Rev. Calvert Richard Jones, Julia Margaret Cameron, Hill & Adamson, J. B. Greene, O. G. Rejlander, Bertha Wehnert-Beckmann, Edward Steichen, and Adam Fuss, among others. Left: Oscar Gustave Rejlander, It Won’t Rain, 1862

Facing the Camera II through November 24 at Hans P. Kraus, Jr. Fine Photography962 Park Avenue at 82nd Street, NY, NY Info




Kris Graves | Testaments continues at the Berman Museum through October 30 

In "Testaments," artist Kris Graves invokes a diverse vocabulary of portraiture to bear witness to contemporary Black experience. The richly hued brilliance of the 80 portraits—made between 2014-19—that comprise "The Testament Project"­ underscores the power of self-representation, when portraiture becomes a consciously collaborative act. Here, the artist cedes to his subjects —all family, friends, and acquaintances—control over vividly colored lighting that illuminates and seemingly radiates from their faces. Each individual’s choices reflect the expressive capacities of color, in all of its nuances, to reveal uniqueness. The resulting grid evokes the awe and reverence of stained glass. The group of portraits is anchored in the context of Black Lives Matter through the inclusion of George Floyd Projection, Richmond, VA 2020, above.

Kris Graves | Testaments continues at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College through October 30; 601 E. Main Street
Collegeville, PA Info



Friday, October 1 at noon | Peter Doig and Sheena Wagstaff 
Leonard A. Lauder Chairman, Modern and Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in conversation, in association with @yalebritishart Right: Image courtesy Yale Center for British Art

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1959, Peter Doig lives and works in London and Trinidad. His abstract figurative and landscape compositions draw on his experiences or art historical references, and he often finds inspiration in photographs, films, album covers, and artists he admires such as Paul Gauguin, Edward Hopper, and Edvard Munch. 

Doig served as a trustee of the Tate (1995–2000), in 2008 was awarded the Wolfgang Hahn Prize of the Society for Modern Art, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, and in 2017 won the Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon Award. He has had solo shows throughout Europe and the United States, including a midcareer survey organized by Tate Britain in 2008 and an exhibition in 2013 at the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh. His work is in museums and collections throughout the world.