David Richard Gallery is pleased to present, Forces of Nature on the Grand Stage: Paintings from 1988 to 1995, a solo exhibition of paintings by artist Sonia Gechtoff (1926 Philadelphia, PA - 2018, New York, NY). At first glance these paintings seem very different from the artist’s earlier works from the 1950s and 60s with their large passages of a single hue, defined shapes and representational elements. However, closer examination and comparative analysis reveals far more formal and aesthetic similarities throughout the artist’s oeuvre and nearly seven-decade career. And, what might seem like significant differences are really just extensions and grander manifestations of the hallmarks of and inspiration for Gechtoff’s paintings and graphite drawings from the 1950s and 60s.
The current exhibition looks critically at a selection of paintings from 1988 to 1995 that are organized roughly into two visual groups. First, those that have a range of any of the following structures: architectural elements that function as framing devices, visual portals to direct the viewer’s attention, an arching structure like the proscenium of a theatre stage or columnar structures. The second group has more of an emphasis on forces of nature including waves, wind and fire as well as spherical structures that reference the sun, moon and celestial bodies. Gechtoff referred to these spheres in the 1960s as “Icons”, inspired by her Russian heritage and interest in religious iconography.