Herb Alpert & Richard Mayhew – Harmonic Rhythms
Feb 19 – Apr 18, 2015
ACA Galleries is pleased to announce its forthcoming exhibition, Herb Alpert and Richard Mayhew: HARMONIC RHYTHMS, on view February 19 through April 4, 2015. Primarily known for his music, Herb Alpert has gained a reputation as an accomplished visual artist. At 91, Richard Mayhew is acknowledged as one of America’s premier landscape painters and colorists. Both artists, informed intensely by music, use improvisation in their work.
Herb Alpert’s sculptures reveal Alpert’s growth and influences: the spirituality of the native American totems of the Pacific Northwest, the monumentality and modernism of Rodin, Henry Moore and Alberto Giacometti. But as these influences passed through Alpert, they picked up elements of Alpert’s soul, a soul informed by the harmonies and rhythms of music, especially jazz. Thus, his totemic forms are as effervescent as they are magisterial, as sensual as they are spiritual.
Alpert’s sculptures, though generally abstract, nonetheless revel in the fleshy exuberance of human forms. Sensuality and sexuality proclaim themselves with eloquent poise. Alpert treats sensuality not just as an organic experience, but as emotions that seem to erupt from the sculptures themselves. Thus, this interplay between the emotional, physical and spiritual gives Alpert’s sculptures and internal power, an energy that flows from their forms and surrounds the viewer.
Richard Mayhew expresses in color and landscape the spirituality Alpert finds in form. Mayhew’s oeuvre is spirit itself, the spirit that inhabits Mayhew’s landscapes of the mind and soul. His African-American, Cherokee and Shinnecock ancestry provide a deep well of spiritual heritage from which to draw on, and finds expression in the near-mystical visions of nature Mayhew spreads across his canvases. Colors shimmer; fields and hills undulate; trees quiver. Mayhew’s landscapes, pouring forth from the depths of his imagination, inhabit their painted surface with equal measure of serenity and energy.
A jazz singer himself, rhythm and melody seem to flow through Mayhew’s landscapes: smoothly gliding through one area, skipping in syncopation in another, colors rising like melodies through the air. Like much of jazz, Mayhew’s work is often improvisational. As a painter, he’ll let the picture dictate its own creation, letting the paint flow where it needs to flow, much as a jazz musician will let the notes fly where they need to fly. Mayhew thus trusts the paint, the process of painting, and his deep knowledge of how it all works. He understands that improvisation does not mean abandoning skill or control of one’s medium, but that skill and chance must enhance each other.
Richard Mayhew’s work is in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY, African-American Museum, Philadelphia, PA, Museum of African Art, National Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, among others.
A monograph on Richard Mayhew was published in 2009 in conjunction with three solo exhibitions in California: Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco); Museum of Art and History at the McPherson Center (Santa Cruz) and De Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University (Santa Clara).
Alpert’s paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in museums across the United States including the Tennessee State Museum and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles and the Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, among others. In 2013, Alpert was awarded the National Medal of Art by President Barack Obama at the White House. From the Tijuana Brass, to his present day solo jazz performances, with his signature sound, Herb Alpert is a nine-time Grammy Winner, his latest for "Best Pop Instrumental Album” in 2014 for his album, Steppin' Out.
Last year three monumental sculptures by Herb Alpert were on view across from Lincoln Center in New York City and 7 of Alpert’s massive sculptures, at different locations, around Los Angeles and Malibu, Ca. Mr. Alpert and his wife, Lani, will be performing at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City, from March 10-21.