Current Exhibition

6 to 87

Donald Alter and Vincent Salem Nicolai

Untitled One.Donald AlterDonald Alter
Vincent Salem Nicolai Vincent Salem Nicolai

It isn’t often one witnesses the beginning of an extremely young artist’s career juxtaposed with a revered and respected artist such as Donald Alter, a man at the apex of his career and a full eight decades older. Just how young is this new budding Artist? Vincent Salem Nicolai is six years old and Alter is 87.

Gallery 66 NY invites you to attend the opening reception for Donald Alter Gallery A and Vincent Salem Nicolai in his first solo exhibition in Gallery C on May 5th from 6-9 p.m.

Donald Alter

It is common practice for artists to list, on their curriculum vitae, the colleges and universities they attended, just as a point of interest. However, the name Black Mountain College carries with it a certain significance that imbues its graduates with added gravitas. Donald Alter is such an alumnus.

The Bronx-born Alter, who will celebrate his 87th birthday this year, is one of a few remaining graduates of the rural North Carolina school that served as a combination mecca and artistic trailblazer for a generation of American artists. Founded in 1933, Black Mountain College took up the mantle at the closing of the Bauhaus School in Germany under the increasingly powerful Nazi regime. The new school operated on the premise that the study and practice of art were indispensable aspects of a truly liberal arts education, and it attracted and created maverick spirits. Although Black Mountain College lasted only 24 years, it quickly became legendary in the art world. The heady atmosphere spawned such future luminaries as Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Ben Shahn, Cy Twombl, Merce Cunningham, Robert Motherwell, Arthur Penn, John Cage, Kenneth Noland and Donald Alter.
Donald is by nature an experimenter.

His brand-new series is entitled, “POOLS, DRIPS AND SCRIBBLES”. Says Donald, “These abstract paintings reflect a serious attempt to avoid the usual components while creating the imagery. Placement on the canvas is random. Subject matter remains nondescript or in some cases dematerialized and borders and boundaries are not honored. I want these paintings to come from somewhere else.” Alter’s work has been described by one art critic as a very sensitive, picture-book style in the form of paintings, drawings and mixed media works. Just as his media run the gamut from oil to acrylic, from watercolor to weaving, the artist’s themes defy categorization, and range from abstract landscapes to almost Chagall-like depictions of people and animals. His use of colors can be at once startling and satisfying, and invites the observer’s gaze to linger.

Vincent Salem Nicolai may be only 6 years old, but this talented young artist eats up the study of venerated artists like a kid going thru a box of cereal, nourished yet wanting more. We first learned of this young man when his mom shared a letter with us about how much Vincent loves to come to our gallery every month and sent along as a thank you a little photo of one of his paintings. We fell in love. It’s often said that to paint like an artist, one must embrace their inner child. Well, Vincent is a child who embraces paint like a serious artist. The result is “MAGICAL ELEMENTS” by Vincent Salem Nicolai. Inspired by the antiquities term “Classical Elements” but through the eyes of a child, Vincent has created a collection of art entitled “Magical Elements”. These enchantingly vivid paintings are comprised of brilliant watercolors representing the earth’s natural matter, being “earth”, “air”, “fire”, and “water”, along with the mythological fifth element “aether.”

A portion of the proceeds from Vincent’s artwork will be going towards the following:

Attachment Parenting International, The Association of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Research and the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Exhibits will be on view May 5th through May 28th, 2017, with an opening reception on Friday, May 5th, 6-9 pm. Gallery 66 NY is located at 66 Main St, Cold Spring, NY 10516. Regular hours are Fri-Sunday 12-6. For more information call 845-809-5838