Haynes Galleries presents “The Portrait in American Realism”
Exhibition to Feature Paintings and Drawings From Three Centuries of American Artists

THOMASTON, Maine – Haynes Galleries is pleased to present The Portrait in American Realism, which runs June 13-July 27 at 91 Main St. in Thomaston. This traveling exhibition — previously on view at Haynes Galleries’ Nashville location — features drawings, paintings, sculpture and photographs from 19th, 20th and 21st century American Realists. An opening reception will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 29, and the public is welcome.

“Dating back to the earliest form of artistic expression on cave walls, the human figure has remained a constant source of inspiration for artists throughout the centuries,” says Gary R. Haynes. “This exhibit will serve as a visual exploration of the changing approach to portrait making in America.”

For centuries, the tradition of American portraiture has inspired both artists and their patrons in elite society — and, more recently, in the middle class. The legendary painter John Singer Sargent was known as the painter of American society, while Norman Rockwell and Andrew Wyeth turned their focus to the common man. Today, contemporary masters such as Anthony Ryder, Burton Silverman and Douglas Brega carry on the tradition in style.

Haynes Galleries is featuring two Sargent works in The Portrait in American Realism exhibit, along with works by his contemporaries William Paxton, Frank Duveneck and, Sargent’s former art teacher and mentor, Carolus-Duran.

While this exhibit highlights significant painters from American art history, it also showcases the talent of a new generation of artists — several of whom have ties to Maine and New England. These contemporary artists bring an exhilarating spectrum of styles and influences to their work — infusing traditional portraiture with elements of classical art, romanticism, abstraction, surrealism and impressionism. The resulting body of work is by turns familiar and completely fresh.

New England Don Stone brings a modern twist to impressionism, yet his portraits, notably Memories, transport viewers to an earlier place and time. The portraits of Jesus Villarreal, a Connecticut painter who is a rising star of contemporary American Realism, evoke the Dutch Masters. His striking chiaroscuro beckons the viewer to look beyond the superficial, to uncover the mystery within. Renee Foulkes’ oils are so soft, so smooth, they beg to be touched. Bo Bartlett’s Indian Blood is rich, luminous, almost incandescent.

Massachusetts-based artist Doug Brega is a master of watercolor. His richly detailed watercolors reveal the soul of his subjects — every line, every curve tells a story. Stephen Scott Young’s luminous watercolors of impoverished Bahamian women and children are at once sobering and celebratory.

In Judy, Ellen Cooper captures the personality and grit of her strong female subject. In the face of a solitary female model, Richard Greathouse embodies the character of Italian beauty.

Anthony Ryder masterfully — gorgeously — navigates the landscape of the face, coaxing expression and life out of every line, every curve. A diverse range of styles and mediums gives this show tremendous depth and interest. Richly textured, painterly portraits by Rose Frantzen, Kyle Stevens, Ignat Ignatov, and Lea Colie Wight are juxtaposed with the more exacting illustrative portraits of Bill Murcko and Ryan Brown. Zoey Franks deeply nuanced oil paintings play off the soothing sculpture of Alan LeQuire.

The Portrait in American Realism is a celebration of faces, an ode to the human form, a triumph of expression. It is not to be missed.  

For more information, call 207-354-0605 or 615-430-08147 visit www.haynesgalleries.com.