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James Kennedy Show Opens In Amagansett

Originally Posted: March 12, 2009

Diane Guest

Artist James Kennedy with a guest at the opening at Sylvester & Co. At Home. Photos
by Diane Guest

Amagansett - An exhibition of James Kennedy's abstract paintings opened at Sylvester & Co. At Home in Amagansett Square recently. The show runs through May 20 and features a range of Kennedy's works from his early landscape pieces to his most recent layered paintings.

The selected works showcase Kennedy's progression in the artistic process and illustrate his versatility as an artist.

A large portion of the work represented is landscape paintings over smooth birch panels influenced by the artist's upbringing. "Much of my work is rooted in landscape and particularly the geography of my homeland in County Down, Northern Ireland," said Kennedy.

Kennedy refers to this early work as "inner landscapes" or "moodscapes" and anyone who views them could plainly see why. Like a rainy day you want to remember the balmy hills, hazy oceans and misty fields in Kennedy's paintings which have an ethereal quality that evokes a brilliant moodiness you won't soon forget. Their muted palate ranges from pastels and greens to grays and blacks complimenting the softness of his brushstrokes and allowing the grain of the wood to subtly become part of each work.

Guests included Tim Kofahl, Peter Chase, Dan Robinson, Phil Puma, and Dennis

The other portion of the show features larger scale works that are highly textured and involve a layering of media. These paintings use oil pigment, plaster, sand, and wax and rice paper and represent a form of alchemic or media reaction. Though up-close the paintings practically beg to be touched, the further away you stand the more you can appreciate their layers as bright colors peek through the more muted top layers. Though Kennedy uses more contemporary and defined shapes in his later work, nature's influence is still obvious in that some paintings hint of a tree's inner rings or exterior bark - which brings a calming, zen-like quality to the work.

 • James Kennedy's abstract paintings will be on view until May 20 at Sylvester & Co. At Home located at 154 Main Street in Amagansett. Call 631-267-9777 or online at www.sylvesterathome.com for more information.

Updated: March 14, 2009, 11:30 am
Appeared In: out and about >> within the hedges