It's My Nature
The Paintings and Sculptures of Fred Adell
Dates: Through July 28, 2012
Meet Fred Adell, an artist. He's one in a million who has literally never been out of the city (that would be Queens), and now for the first time he's agreed to come out to the "boondocks" to dock with full-blown nature without bars in the Catskill Mountains.
Starting on June 16, The Kaaterskill Fine Arts Gallery will present its latest exhibit titled It's My Nature!, a refreshingly wonderful presentation of the nature of wildlife through the special eyes of Fred Adell. Black bears casually meander across Main Street in downtown Hunter on their way to imbibe the cool clear waters of the Schoharie Creek -- at first glance a very different scene from Mr. Adell's New York City apartment block. But the flow of the Schoharie seems to mimic the artistic thirst of the tireless Mr. Adell who, like his home city, never seems to sleep, working hard, alone at his easel, on his doors, or on the walls of his apartment while he paints his Nature.
"I was about seven or eight when I started drawing and painting," says Fred reflecting back on the origins of his art in the city where he was born and raised. "My father said that he knew I was artistic even before then, observing the creations I made with Lego pieces!" Fred must have been making exuberant Lego creations, and the creations he constructs today bear the same hallmarks of boundless enthusiasm and joy.
Continuing about his past he says, "By that time, I was also fascinated by animals, and began my artistic career by copying photos and book illustrations (of all kinds of animals). "After a while I started sketching ... from life, such as my aunt's cats, and of course zoo animals, as well as mounted specimens in the American Museum of Natural History...." Here Fred lays an interesting question before the Art World: "[C]ould that be considered a form of 'still life'? Animals in their panoramic dioramas, many of them I feel are masterpieces !" Mounted specimens and panoramic dioramas as still life...this reveals some of the sensitive originality of an artist who has been painting his inner vision of the wild all his life from within the asphalt jungles of New York City. In commenting on his life-long love of sketching in museums, especially the Museum of Natural History, Fred says, "I also drew (and still do) the skeletons of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.
His sculptures, like his paintings, are rich in texture and primordial in color, suggesting a deep relationship with the nature of the animal depicted, which has the interesting effect of inviting the viewer ever closer into the "nature" being created by this artist.
Fred in person is vibrant and expressive, and the animation that stirs his soul is the same that directs his brushstrokes putting paint to canvas with an exuberance reflecting back and forth unselfconsciously from painting to viewer. "Growing up with a disability (Cerebral Palsy), I was shy and socially awkward, and felt more comfortable around animals, so I suppose that empathy has been reflected in my artwork."
If one has the least little bit of childlike surrender left in this grown-up world, bring it to this remarkable debut. Fred Adell has come out of the shelter of the city to burst full-blown on the art scene up here in the Catskills, engaging our curiosity as the wonder steals over us at the effortless acceptance of Fred's face-to-face experience depicting his Nature.
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