From the Ground Up

 
Isaiah Zagar landscape painting
Isaiah Zagar’s Islands of Nova Scotia, 1973 – a pre-mosaic painting

“Like embedded journalists, Peter Kinney, Isaiah Zagar and Jeff Waring have made the work in this show as ‘embedded’ artists, burrowing deep into the natural world to bring back its dirty, messy, mysterious secrets… Each of these artists is after full-on communion with the natural world, the kind that leaves you surrounded and bowled over, forgetting the difference between being human, rock, plant or divine…”

Me and artist Peter Kinney - a painting by Peter on left, and one by Jeff Waring on right
Me and artist Peter Kinney – a painting by Peter on left, and two by Jeff Waring on right

This is part of the statement I wrote for the exhibit From the Ground Up: LandWater&Sky, now up at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens through June 9. Thanks to Ellen Owens for inviting me to be part of this wonderful show, which has work by Peter Kinney, Jeff Waring, and some rarely seen early landscape paintings by Isaiah Zagar, dating to before his outdoor mosaic work. Two years ago I included Peter Kinney in a small-group show called Ecstatic Landscape in the Borowsky Gallery at the Gershman Y, where I’m the curator. Peter, Isaiah and Jeff’s work feels like they’re all part of the same school: wild, made-outside visionary landscape?

A wall of work showing it surrounded by Isaiah's mosaic ceiling and floor - works by Peter Kinney (two larger pieces) and Jeff Waring
A wall of work showing it surrounded by Isaiah’s mosaic ceiling and floor – works by Peter Kinney (two larger pieces) and Jeff Waring
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