Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Nighthawks at Twilight, 1917-49; watercolor on joined paper, 33 1/2 x 47 inches; Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, Michigan, Gift of the Viola E. Bray Charitable Trust, 1964.3
Acclaimed Burchfield exhibition “Exalted Nature” opens in Burchfield Penney in the Buffalo News
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Read what Colin Dabkowski wrote in the Buffalo News at www.BuffaloNews.com.
Watercolor painter Charles E. Burchfield, at his best, was a conduit through which nature spoke.
He carted his easel and brushes and paints into the wilds of West Seneca, peered into the woods for long stretches and absorbed everything about the scene: The sounds of birds and crickets, the way sunlight broke through clouds and spilled across the leaves of trees, even the shadowy figments of his own imagination that seemed to emerge from the landscape the longer he stared into it.
Burchfield saw things few others could see and used his paintings to translate the foreign language of nature into simple, plainspoken terms any viewer could understand. That’s what made him unique among American artists, and what animates “Charles E. Burchfield: Exalted Nature,” opening Friday in the Burchfield Penney Art Center (1300 Elmwood Ave.).
The show is a collaboration between Burchfield Penney curator Nancy Weekly and Audrey Lewis of the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pa. Its run in the Brandywine River Museum was positively reviewed in the Wall Street Journaland the Philadelphia Inquirer, among other publications.
“The watercolor medium Burchfield perfected is a fragile one and must be protected by lower light levels, and as a result, is rarely lent for exhibitions,” added Weekly. “ ‘Exalted Nature’ provides a unique opportunity to see Burchfield’s masterworks gathered from across the country joined with seminal works from the center’s comprehensive collection and archives.”
The show’s Friday opening coincides with other events that are part of the Burchfield Penney’s free Second Fridays event. More info is at 878-6011 and www.burchfieldpenney.org.