Michael Gallagher, “Havens Neck Peninsula,” 2013, black chalk, watercolor and gouache, 14 1/4 x 19 1/4 in.

Although he is perhaps best known as one of the world’s foremost painting conservators, this artist spent his private moments creating poetic, evocative, and luminous plein air studies that compose this lovely show.

The Fairfield University Art Museum in Connecticut is showcasing several stunning plein air studies by famed conservator Michael Gallagher this summer. “Sketching the Landscape: A Plein Air Journal” brings together works that Gallagher captured during his extended travels to distant continents and hemispheres.

Michael Gallagher, “2742 Salt Point Turnpike, Trees, Spring,” 2014, black chalk, watercolor and wax crayon, 19 1/4 x 14 1/4 in.
Michael Gallagher, “Coastline, Pistol River State Park,” 2008, pencil and gouache, 16 x 22 in.
Michael Gallagher, “Min’s Garden and Coast, December,” 2010, black chalk, watercolor and gouache, 16 x 16 inches
Michael Gallagher, “Cemetery,” 2007, watercolor and wax crayon, 19 1/4 x 14 1/4 in.

On view from April 21 through September 8, the works present “poetic, evocative and light-dappled scenes of rolling hills, sparkling seascapes, rocky outcroppings and moody forests,” the university writes. “Done in vastly diverging locales in different continents and hemispheres, at different times of day, and in all four seasons, Gallagher’s plein air watercolors and oil sketches capture a nuanced sense of place, at once changing and immutable, undisturbed by human presence. Discretely observed and inflected by a reticent silence, these ruminations on the landscape in its myriad manifestations form a journal of visual responses, chronicled over time.”

Learn more by visiting the museum website here.


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