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Gina Sawin : The Poetry of Migratory Birds
David Sawin : Centennial Tribute 

November 1 - 26, 2022
Reception Thursday November 3, 5:30-7:30


The gallery’s November exhibition will feature new work by Gina Sawin, along with a centennial tribute to the New York School painter, her father David Sawin (1922-1992).


David Sawin’s paintings merge abstract principles with traditional motifs of landscape, figure, and still life, in a unique synergy of European modernism and Abstract Expressionism. He was a student, protégé, and lifelong friend of the art historian Meyer Schapiro, who collected his work. He was included in the 1955 Whitney Annual and showed at the Zabriskie Gallery during the 1960’s and 70’s.


Building on admiration from the late critic and philosopher Arthur Danto, David Carrier referred to Sawin, in an essay from 1990, as “the most self-sufficient important painter I have ever met,” with “a rare gift: absolute single-mindedness. His depicted things merge even as they emerge from his brushwork, which is everywhere full of life. Whatever he paints, he transforms, creating a world in which, unexpectedly, color finds color in harmony.”


Gina Sawin’s paintings are also an idealized or imaginary description of nature. Her subject is the shifting light and patterns formed by avian flight, as well as the way that a moving flock can define or suggest an infinite sky.


Along with those formal considerations, her work references natural and sociological ecosystems. In her words, “Migrating birds seem to me a poignant reminder of the earth’s life cycles, and, in a metaphorical sense, the strength of the whole as a sum of parts. When I am working in my studio, looking carefully at each individual bird in the context of a community, my mind drifts to other groups getting from one place to another, seeking refuge, or the right to survive. I feel the paintings asking: will we get where we need to go?”

Gina Sawin

David Sawin


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