Wainscott, NY – Tripoli Gallery is pleased to announce its representation of Sally Egbert and excited to present our first solo exhibition of her work, Sky Years. Opening with a reception for the artist on Saturday, July 2nd from 6 – 8pm, the exhibition will remain on view till August 1st at Tripoli Gallery In Wainscott.
Sally Egbert’s intimate and imagined landscapes might be interpreted as a reflection of the precarious state of nature in the twenty-first century. The artist’s distinct pictorial language encompasses collage and mixed medium. Conjuring landscapes from Italy, the Caribbean and the East End, Egbert says, “I like paintings that have a feeling of infinity, without a horizon. Openness is important to me, so there’s no beginning or ending.” Random papers from her studio, cut up canvas shapes, or studio rags “with beautiful markings” find their way into her canvases, embroidering the paintings with poetic depths of form and varied materials. Sky Years is her own recording of time and existence, acknowledging the nuances of the sky keeping track of its years.
Lush backgrounds embody a floating feeling, otherworldly washes of indigo, violet, or jolts of yellow. Her use of blue has the calming effect of Giotto’s skies or the peaceful blue garb of a Raphael Madonna. An intensified jewel tone palette is sometimes vivid, sometimes diaphanously layered, colors flowing into each other with the seamless and subtle mastery of Morris Louis. The freely flowing brushwork is the result of oils painted atop layered acrylic background and reads like the mobility of watercolor.
Smaller works, “begun during the pandemic and finished later” feature invented flowers in bloom. The artist has said her paintings are taken from nature, but these self created blossoms are precariously petalled. A collaged full moon anchors a dark clouded sky, flashes of crimson, navy and a sky blue slashing the clouded heavens. The self invented cosmology captures celestial mystery.
An intuitive painter, the artist has always lived by the water. Egbert’s simplified forms, and horizontal bands of color are a contemporary incarnation of American modernism, oscillating between abstraction and representation. Calligraphic mark making of flower stems and arabesques of pure color recall the non-objective and figurative interchange of the works of John Marin or Arthur Dove. Painting directly on the floor, Egbert says, “I work on four pieces at a time, so the works tumble into each other.” Whether the beautiful works on paper or the exquisitely evocative canvases, Egbert’s work inspires a conversation, one that encompasses emotion and a heightened sense of awareness.
– Ilka Scobie
Sally Egbert (b. 1958, Bay Shore, NY) is a New York based artist. For over three decades, she has been making paintings, drawings, and installations. Her work is mostly abstract, loosely based on observations from nature. Egbert studied at SUNY, New Paltz. She is a recipient of grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Gottlieb Foundation, and The New York State Foundation for the Arts. Egbert’s work has been exhibited and collected internationally, and can be found in several permanent collections including the Tucson Museum of Art, Arizona, Progressive Insurance Collection, and the Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville ME, gift of the Alex Katz Foundation.
Reviewing Egbert’s work in Art in America, Eileen Myles notes, “Sally Egbert’s oil paintings are as hypnotic as aquariums…(her) chief concern seems to be pinpointing distinctions to name the moment in color and space.”
Glenn O’Brien, in a catalogue essay, describes Egbert’s work: “These magical tableaux conjure dream states outside of experience and history, but they seem to evoke not what has happened, but what will happen–a balance of a state that we have experienced and one that we are moving toward with the attraction of sublime unknowns.”
TRIPOLI GALLERY, founded in 2009 as the Tripoli Gallery of Contemporary Art, was located in Southampton for 10 years and moved to its new permanent location in Wainscott, New York in November of 2019. Since 2005, Tripoli Patterson has organized, produced and curated contemporary art shows in various locations around the East End of Long Island and New York City. For 17 years, Tripoli Gallery has hosted the Annual Thanksgiving Collective group exhibition.