The historic and beautiful medium of pastel receives relatively little attention in the contemporary art world, but a group display of talented practitioners reminds us of what it can achieve.
The Clement Art Gallery in historic Troy, New York, will be the site for an intriguing exhibition of works by 14 contemporary pastelists. “Dust to Dust: Artists in Pastel” opens April 25 and will remain on display through May 28. An opening reception will be held on April 25, from 6-9 p.m.
Margaret Reed, “Fortitude,” pastel on paper, 25 x 37 in. Clement Art Gallery
David Francis, “Rocket Racer,” pastel on pastel board, 16 x 20 in. Clement Art Gallery
The exhibiting artists include Constance Alexander, Connie Dodge, David Francis, Laura Garramone, Carolyn Justice, Julia Lesnichy, Leo Loomie, Michelle Mrowka, Jerolyn Ouimet, Corey Pitkin, Margaret Reed, Mary Ellen Riell, Takeyce Walter, and Jim Richard Wilson. The art on display includes landscape, still life, figurative, and abstract work.
Takeyce Walter, “Chapel Pond,” pastel on sanded paper, 13 x 9 in. Clement Art Gallery
Jim Richard Wilson, “Number Two 2014,” oil and chalk pastel, pen on paper, 7 x 10 in. Clement Art Gallery
Though these artists are not all exclusively pastelists, their contributions in this medium are welcome. An artistic medium in use since the Renaissance, the pastel gained popularity during the 18th century, as its softness and low saturation fit perfectly with the aesthetics of the Rococo movement. Today it has a place among many historic media that have fallen from popular use. Encouragingly, Clement Art Gallery plans to turn this exhibition of pastel art into an annual event.
For more information, visit the Clement Art Gallery website.