Of time and impossibilities at Dowling Walsh

Sep 01, 2014
Eric Green’s “Time Diptych – Bridge” is a grisaille, varnish and colored pencil on board.

Rockland — Dowling Walsh Gallery, 365 Main St., will host two exhibitions in the month of September. Shows featuring work by Eric Green and Sarah McRae Morton will open with a 5 to 8 p.m. reception Friday, Sept. 5, and continue through the 27th.

“Eric Green: Time Diptychs” portrays sections of the interior of the artist’s Belfast house that he has spent the last 17 years adjusting — “I’m actually drawing a place I’ve carefully created and arranged, so in a way, the image is generated twice.” Each diptych is comprised of two panels of the same basic view altered only by the passage of time.

At age 16, Green went to RISD on a full scholarship; after attending the school for a week, he left to ride freights across the country and spent four years on the road. In addition to painting for 30 years, he has worked in a frame shop, assembled pulp testers, traveled with a carnival, restored houses, painted industrial buildings from a hanging scaffold, designed two labels for Brazilian beers and written four novels and a column for the local paper.

Green has had two solo exhibitions in SoHo and Chelsea, received three grants and a merit award from the National Academy of Design. In New England, his paintings have been exhibited at the Ogunquit Museum, Brattleboro Museum, Robert Hull Fleming Museum and the Portland Art Museum.

The subjects of “Sarah McRae Morton: The Impossible Sight of a Ship” are the people from whom the Germany-based artist is descended, by blood or by the “marrow of artistic tradition” … all of whom led her to a place and time in Maine. She described these paintings as invented portraits of the shells of tenacious spirits who have survived because their stories are transmitted around campfires, between rocking chairs and under moth-eaten black skies.

Morton grew up in rural Lancaster County, Pa., where she still keeps a hayloft studio above the horse stalls in her family’s barn. She comes from a family of storytellers — her brother now a musician, her sister a writer. Morton studied drafting and color theory with Myron Barnstone in her teenage years and attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania for college. A travel fellowship was a path to Europe, where she took a chemistry course in Rome on the chemical composition, or decomposition, of pieces from art history; and traveled to Norway to study with painter Odd Nerdrum.

When she returned from abroad, she settled in a coal-mining region of West Virginia to make a body of work about the local history. This work yielded a Mattisse Foundation fellowship to attend the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Since then, her work has taken her to Cerrillos, N.M.; Carmel, Calif.; Baltimore and the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson.

Dowling Walsh Gallery is located directly across from the Farnsworth Art Museum. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment Sundays and Mondays. For more information, visit dowlingwalsh.com or call 596-0084.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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