30 December 2020

New York, New Year: Mark Innerst


 "Letters swallow themselves in seconds,/ Notes friends tied to the doorknob,/ transparent scarlet paper,/ sizzle like moth wings,/ marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,/ lists of vegetables, partial poems,/ Orange swirling flame of days,/ 
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn't,/ an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space./ I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,/ only the things I didn't do/  crackle after the blazing dies."

 - "Burning the Old Year"  by Naomi Shahib Nye, from Words Over Words: Selected Poems, Portland, OR, Far Corner Books: 1995.

Ah, Manhattan, the city that epitomized the glamor of the 20th century city. Even an ordinary traffic circle can became an occasion for magic, especially at night. Thanks to electric light, headlights of cars moving circles form  and windows blink. Mark Innerst's Columbus Circle depicts the spot from which all distances in the city are measured, the place where Broadway, Eighth Avenue, and Central Park East/West converge.

Mark Innerst paints on a table, working on a panel or canvas laid flat, as Jackson Pollock did. Innerst uses acrylic paints, building up layer on layer on panel; for the final step he coats the image with a glaze.

Like Yvonne Jacquette (also represented by the D C Moore Gallery), Innerst's urban views are often aerial ones. Jacquette's paintings seem to be what you might see from a plane while Innerst's vantage point often, as here, seems to be that of a bird swooping down from the sky, navigating between buildngs as it goes. Their methods are polar opposites- Jaxquette's style is almost pointilliistic in its fine details while Innerst bathes his subjects in a lush luminosity has earned comparisons with such 19th century Luminist painters  as George Inness.

Mark Innerst was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1957 and now lives and works  in Philadelphia.  After earning his degree in Fine Arts in 1980, Innerst began working as a preparator at an art gallery in New York City. With that experience under his belt, within a few years he began exhibiting his own work.

Image: Mark Innerst - Columbus Circle as Seen from the Essex House, 2010, oil on panel, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica. (So far MWPAI has purchased five paitings by Mark Innerst for their collection, a vote of confidence in his future.)

2 comments:

Tania said...

The light dances in the night ! Let’s dance, let’s sing the new year, Jane.

Jane said...

Tania, let's dance to a New Year with our late great Congress member John Lewis. He faced down police and KKK members who used dogs, pipes, chains, and Billy clubs to turn back Freedom Riders on the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Montgomery, Alabama. They fractured his skull - but he persisted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygRLrbE85ws (John Lewis dances!)