They are both painters, both in love with colors.
They both have deep feelings for nature that triggers out an artist’s whims and wonder.
They are 50 years apart in age and experience, but New York’s Leigh Morse Fine Arts gallery has seized an extraordinary opportunity and brought them together for a show, a rare encounter of two different approaches to a timeless subject: colors.
Paul Resika is well known for his colors. The art critic Hilton Kramer once commented in The New York Times that as a colorist, he “is without peer in his own generation, a generation that has often made color its most important pictorial interest”. By his own generation, Kramer appeared to refer to an era that built the very foundation for what we know today as the American art. We recognize the so-called New York School in the 50s and the 60s, the American Abstract Expressionist movement, and remember celebrities like Willem De Kooning, Hans Hofmann, Wolf Kahn, Joan Mitchell…
Kramer was spot on, when he said that in that generation, color was the main player. The artists continued exploring the legacy of Henri Matisse and the French Fauve movement, and produced art works with a quality and value that defied time and trends.
Tyler Loftis is a young artist and his colors, according to Paul Resika are “fresh”. Paul commented one of Tyler’s paintings “Houston Street I” in these words: “you have this red shape in your painting. I would never do that but it might be what gives the painting its freshness. It is more violent than my pictures. My darks are much more naturalistic. They don’t have color in them as much as yours. But that disrupting quality the red gives is good, it’s what gives it quality”.
In a 20-page exhibition catalog, the two artists talk about each other’s paintings, reflecting their different perspectives and struggles. “When you use color, “Tyler says, “there are so many crazy things that happen”. “It is easier to paint without color- you can control things more with tone. Color is more difficult; it is wild. What I’m trying to say is that color can screw up the best-laid plans”.
“Everything can screw up the best-laid plans”, Paul responds, “I don’t think you should make it too clear. It’s a complicated thing”.
You might agree with both artists that color could be crazy or complicated, but their paintings in the exhibition do not show their struggle, instead, they offer us a breath of beauty and simplicity, a precious moment of pure painting that today we so rarely have the opportunity to experience other than in the museums.