Main Galleries

June 14—August 13, 2014

Sight Specfic: A Selection of American Perceptual Paintings

Curated by George Nick

“Sight Specific” Lectures can be viewed on video:

Megan Marlatt, Orange Slinky, 2007, acrylic and oil on linen

Online gallery | Press release | Seen at Reception

Sight Specific: A Selection of American Perceptual Paintings

Curated by George Nick, this exhibit is one of the most significant undertakings to date for the Concord Art Association. For this show, Nick selects a range of artists from legendary to mid-career painters, assembling more than 70 paintings from more than 50 artists. He comments, “The goal of the show is to celebrate the tradition of careful observation as the basis for an important aspect of American painting and to emphasize the remarkable variety of imagery it has generated."


Eric Aho
Kimberlee Alemian
Lennart Anderson
Sam Cady
Matthew Cerletty
Bernard Chaet
Christopher Chippendale
Rachel Christofi
William Ciccarelli
Dana Clancy
Charles Demuth
Edwin Dickinson
Jeremy Durling

Richard Estes
Jeff Fichera
Shalom Flash
Rick Fox
Philip Geiger
Elizabeth Geiger
Gregory Gillespie
Jill Grimes
Kelley Harwood
Haley Hasler
Childe Hassam
Anne Harris
Andrew Karnes
Catherine Kehoe
Ron Krouk
John A. Lee
Kathy Liao
Megan Marlatt
Siobhan McBride
Nancy McCarthy
K. Min
Joseph McNamara
Elizabeth Menges
Julia von Metzsch
John Moore
Walter Tandy

George Nick
Scott Noel
Philip Pearlstein
John Frederick Peto
Paul Rahilly
Richard Raiselis
Robert Rasely
Harold Reddicliffe
Richard Sheehan
Amy Sudarsky
Lindsey Warren
Frederick Judd Waugh
Neil Welliver
Alexi Worth
Edwin Dickinson
Edwin Dickinson, “White Winter“ 1915, oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches, private collection, New York Charles Demuth, "Three Pears," 1933, watercolor over pencil on paper, 10 x 14 inches Lennart Anderson, "Still Life with Earthenware Vessel", 1973, oil on canvas, 60 x 50.25 inches, Courtesy of Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine.

Note from Concord Art Director, Kate James

Throughout its history, the town of Concord has attracted and launched some of America’s finest artists, writers and thinkers and the Concord Art Association has been exhibiting great art for nearly 100 of those years. Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts, who started Concord Art in 1917, was a spirited painter who rendered her subjects through direct observational painting. She was also an admired curator and patron who exhibited the work of John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, Mary Cassatt and Robert Henri- to name a few- on the same Concord Art walls as the work in this catalogue. From these dynamic beginnings Concord Art has continued to flourish with its original mission to promote and support contemporary art and artists through exhibitions and education. Roberts would be proud to know that the organization she started has over 900 members today who participate in the mission she crafted through juried shows, classes, demonstrations, lectures, community outreach and curated exhibitions. In this tradition, we are honored to present SIGHT SPECIFIC: A Selection of American Perceptual Paintings, work spanning four generations of artists working from direct observation. Like Roberts, these artists paint what they see and their response to it.

Concord Art is forever grateful to George Nick, one of Concord’s and Boston’s best, for generously curating this remarkable gathering of art and artists. Nick is legend in these parts. Candid, energetic, funny and direct, he always captivates and so do his paintings. A resident of Lincoln tells a typical story of a typical painting day in the life of Nick. George knocks on the door of her striking modern home and asks if he can make a painting of her house. Recognizing him and his trademark van, she says, “of course, Mr Nick, as long as I get first dibs.” We are so fortunate George landed in Concord back in 1980 and began sharing his many talents with us not long after. He has been our teacher and art director and now, as our curator, he has hand picked over 50 artists from museums, collections and art studios around the country who “paint the magic” and “discover in observation a threshold to painterly invention.”

George’s inexhaustible efforts were balanced and buoyed by board members, Susanah Howland and Dinny McIntyre. Susanah was not only available night and day, but lent her wisdom, artistry and natural calm to the task of borrowing art and creating this beautiful catalogue. Dinny, a long time friend and fan of George’s became our resourceful and talented fundraiser. George’s friend and colleague, Hal Reddicliffe, the epitome of grace and charm, partnered with George and gave him the perfect muse. We are in awe of all their efforts, George, Susanah, Dinny and Hal, for promoting and assembling this historically significant and remarkably rich and varied body of work.

Gratitude is also owed to our generous board, advisory board and many patrons for helping make this catalogue and exhibit come to life. Our community has, yet again, answered the call! Thank you for your vision, trust and generous gifts. One patron wrote “it’s a great group of artists and collections that’ll do George – and the memory of Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts – proud indeed!”

Statement from George Nick, Curator

While this exhibition began somewhere between the vague boundaries of figurative art and realism, it coalesced quickly into something more personal, that is, a representation of those artists who have been foremost in my mind over the course of my own experience and personal development. These artists include, but are not limited to: Edwin Dickinson, Neil Welliver, Philip Pearlstein, Fairfield Porter, and Lennart Anderson. Ultimately I sought to gather together work by them, as well as that of an additional number of young talents, for this show.

Over the years it has become apparent to me that the fire of the old masters, which many presumed out (or smoldering) since WW II, has been growing steadily, and roars in full flame. Critics, museums, commercial galleries, and institutions of learning have largely chosen to ignore this growth of the contemporary realist movement, thereby serving to form an academy reminiscent of the French control of taste in the late 1800’s. Meanwhile, contemporary realism and figurative art work thus relegated to the margin by many, but not all, leading thinkers, continued to grow, driven by a real desire and focus of spirit sustained by the younger artists of our generation. They are the ones who continue to breathe life into Art and enrich our lives and futures by doing so.

This exhibition is dedicated to Edwin Dickinson, a mentor from the past, and to all artists contemporary or otherwise, who devote their lives to their art.