April 2024

A Spring Exhibition Pre-View:
Color Abstraction Blooms in Boston
Philip Gerstein



“I want to get as close as possible to the truth

and am therefore abstracting everything

until I get to the foundation…of things.”

~ Piet Mondrian


"I paint what I want to see.”

~ Philip Guston


Just in time this early April, several NY and Boston artists have come together to hurry the slow progression of New England Spring -- with their own steeped in color contribution. I've had the pleasure & the privilege of curating this large group exhibition, alighting at the Brickbottom Gallery (Somerville MA), to span all of April (4-28). This show, titled:


will feature two Boston and three New York artists, and through contrast and comparison, a range of post-Minimal Color Abstraction.


While a report on the exact shape of this exhibition will have to wait until my next month's posting, I am delighted to share with our readers some of the images and the curatorial proposal for this show, and of course to invite you to our Opening (Apr.6), and Closing (Apr.28) Receptions. 



Francie Lyshak   RBG (In honor of Ruth Bader Ginsberg)

24 x 40 in., oil on linen,  2020  



Ellen Weider   Town & Country  16 x 20 in., Oil on linen,  2019



Gordon Fearey  Part of Something ,

Watercolor on paper, 16 x 20 in. ,  2020



Jane Yudelman  Unbound 32

33 x 26 in., Archival pigment print



Philip Gerstein   I Am What I Am , 36 x 36 in.,  Acrylic,

glass beads, & textural media on birchwood panel , 2020




Color Will Set You Free.


This exhibition highlights the practice of Color Abstraction in the work of five artists.


For a professional artist, working with color is not a simple or casual thing.  Color can be persistent or unstable, seemingly permanent or fleeting. Color is the most uncertain property of material objects -- a function of ever changing light, ever dependent on its surroundings. This objective/subjective condition makes color as fugitive as emotion -- like a musical note rising and then dissolving into remnant vibration.


Thus, somewhere between music and poetry, between vibrating with sound and declaiming with language, color soaks in into our visual consciousness. 


Reaching into the sanctuary space of our body and our perception, color is emotion . And it is the confidence and skill with which these five artists harness that inescapable, emotive property of color, that allows them to 'speak' so confidently in the language of abstraction -- perhaps even to claim Color Abstraction as capable of being a universal language. Whether forceful or meditative, the clearly positive and lasting impact of the paintings in this exhibition is intended to persuade an engaged viewer of the likelihood of the universality of such a notion.


In our exhibition, the 5 artists' work will be interhung, seeking parallels and contrasts, such as:

the striking similarities of form in Weider's "Objet d'Art" and Gerstein's "In Clarity";

the parallels in the structural organization of Lyshak's "RGB" and Yudelman's "One Day";

or the contrasting use of linear elements in Gerstein's "Annunciation" compared with Fearey's "Permanent".

I intend to use the broad spectrum of my own abstraction as an occasional bridge to span the similarities and underscore the contrasts. I hope for this arrangement to enhance the experience of our exhibition -- the subtlety, the sensuousness, and the sheer beauty of these artists' experimentation with color amid the intuitively organic design.

~ Philip Gerstein


Francie Lyshak


"During this challenging digital era, I am exploring the physical body of my medium. ... The colors, in combination with the surface agitation, evoke a variety of moods.  The monochromes evoke moods encountered deep in oneself during times of solitude."


Ellen Weider


"Drawing and painting are of equal weight in my work. ... Whether my prints, drawings, and paintings are interpreted as pure abstractions or as self-contained narratives, an ironic humor with a meditative bent informs them."


Gordon Fearey


"I think of a painting as a piece of writing, with a beginning, middle and end."


Jane Yudelman


"Using self-imposed parameters of time and place, I create abstract images composed of color and form drawn from nature. It is through these that I explore perception — how we see and experience the world within and around us."


Philip Gerstein


"Just as I speak fluently more than one language, I 'speak' fluently several distinct styles of abstraction. My interest in color and texture joins
them all!

I feel that color abstraction, when used with skill and genuine conviction, can be 'spoken' as a universal language."



Look for further updates, including a possible Artists' Talk / Zoom in mid -April, on the Gallery's webpage.


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Born and raised in Moscow, Russia, Philip Gerstein began exhibiting his work in the 1980's, while pursuing a PhD in Art History at Harvard University. He studied painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Japanese calligraphy with Toshu Ogawa. Gerstein exhibits in NYC, Provincetown MA, and extensively in the Boston area, as well as organizing and curating painting and photography shows. For his paintings – extensively reviewed and widely collected see www.PhilipGerstein.com. For his other work in Scene4, check the Archives

©2024 Philip Gerstein
©2024 Publication Scene4 Magazine


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