seraphin gallery, philadelphia, art gallery, fine art, contemporary art, yvonne jacquette aerials
Seraphin Gallery is pleased to present solo exhibition, Aerials by Yvonne Jacquette. Her nuanced nocturnal landscapes of New York City are pieces of constructed illumination. A frequent flyer and high riser, Jacquette captures the bird's eye perspective from observation. Her unique invention of light and the stimulus that arises from it creates the recognizable complexity of the urban landscape. These paintings transform the metropolitan vistas into nighttime reveries that emit the sense of a living, thriving wonderment.
Yvonne Jacquette has been exhibiting her work for over half a century, her paintings are included in the public collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and The Philadelphia Museum of Art among other institutions across the nation.
November 22, 2015
By Edith Newhall
As gallery owner Tony Seraphin tells it, he was not quite aware of Yvonne Jacquette's stature in the art world when, a year or so ago, he offered the admired New York painter a solo show. (As he subsequently learned, Jacquette's paintings and prints are in the collections of most major U.S. museums, and her New York gallery, DC Moore, has been giving her one-person shows at regular intervals for years.)
That impulsive gesture has culminated in a show that plays to everyone's strengths. Seraphin Gallery has an extremely handsome exhibition that accords perfectly with its taste for colorful, expressionistic painting (and that raises the bar for future shows); Jacquette is revealed as doing some of her most exciting work to date.
Jacquette became widely known in the late 1970s for her paintings of nocturnal views of Manhattan as seen from planes, but most of the paintings in "Yvonne Jacquette: Aerials," which date from the 2007 series "Maine Night Lights," of views of lights on the ground at night observed from a helicopter over Maine, are "aerial" in the strict sense.
Jacquette's New York City, though obviously contemporary, judging from all the new skyscrapers and high-rises, pulses with syncopated rhythms that recall an earlier Manhattan. In these paintings, the Gershwins, Georgia O'Keefe's paintings of New York's American Radiator Building and Shelton Hotel, and Piet Mondrian's Broadway Boogie-Woogie, come to mind. This is especially true of the paintings from 2013 and earlier, which stay relatively true to the Manhattan skyline and focus on the interplay between shapes of buildings and grids of illuminated windows, as in Late Sun above Madison Square Park II (2012).
More recently, Jacquette's paintings have begun to suggest collages of city views and disrupted rhythms. In her aptly titled Delirious Manhattan (2014), the city's skyline looks tipsy, with abstract geometric elements appearing out of nowhere, superimposed at Jacquette's whim.
Charles Sheeler's exacting precisionism is echoed in Jacquette's 2015 Snowy and Rainy Rooftops (one of the only two paintings of daylight views in her show), but whereas Sheeler would have let you know his vantage point, Jacquette's scene of water towers, fire escapes , and windows is born of multiple perspectives and sites. New Highrise Hotel, Old Chelsea (2014) is a pastiche of water towers and prewar and brand-new architecture into which Jacquette has painted what appear to be enlarged sections of blueprints.
Poetic license aside, you realize the artist has captured the essence of contemporary New York in her latest paintings. The overlappings of old and new architecture and high-rises in progress are very much like collages, especially as seen by an elevated eye.