Fabulists

John Zinsser, Dwight Ripley, Donald Evans, Forent Morellet

November 29 – January 12, 2012

Press Release

The Tibor de Nagy Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of four Fabulists, artists who invent imaginary places in their work. The artists explore made-up lands, which inhabit their own small and imagined worlds.

Donald Evans (1945-1977) painted miniature watercolors that combine humor, a delicate touch, and geographic invention. Created with great verisimilitude in the form of postage stamps complete with perforated edges and postmarks, the works depict imaginary landscapes, currencies, and native flora and fauna.

Like Evans, Florent Morellet’s cartographic work explores histories (both real and imagined), economies, and politics. They map effects of weather and erosion over time. His work charts human presence and their civilizations. Exhibited in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, one particularly timely work consisting of multiple panels of images and texts, maps the island of Manhattan and the imagined effects of climate change over the next centuries. Ultimately Manhattan is reduced to a sliver of land and small islands, with a new economy and government.

Dwight Ripley (1908-1973), an artist and botanist, is represented in the show with a selection of his Language Panels. The Language Panels, color pencils on paper, depict verdant lands with hills and trees. There are rare appearances of figures with speech bubbles with existing and in others, invented languages. The scenes exist out-of-time and are fable-like and playful.

John Zinsser’s small color renderings, selected from his Art Dealer Archipelagos series, map out territories and countries, each named after a New York gallery. The cities are named after artists that exhibit or exhibited at each gallery. Although the works can be irreverent and humorous, they came out of Zinsser’s interest in the history of New York galleries and their roles in recent history.