Pat Lipsky never-before-seen Stain Paintings on display in rare exhibit at GP Contemporary Gallery

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Pat Lipsky never-before-seen Stain Paintings on display in rare exhibit at GP Contemporary Gallery
Pat Lipsky, Spring Fireplace, 1969. Acrylic on canvas, 62 3/8 x 94 ½ inches.

NEW YORK, NY.- Eleven never-before-seen examples of Pat Lipsky’s early work—pictures acclaimed in the New York Times, Arts, and collected by the Hirshhorn and Whitney Museums, among others—are being presented by GP Contemporary Gallery in the new exhibition Stain Paintings 1968—1975.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 30 page catalog with an essay by the celebrated writer and art critic, Carter Ratcliff. These canvases track Lipsky’s progress across her first decade in New York City; the years in which this contemporary painter was coming of age. The exhibition will be on view through Saturday, May 6, the gallery’s first solo showing of Lipsky’s work.

The eleven works were discovered by GP Contemporary Managing Director Gavin Spanierman, after being stored away for nearly half a century. These masterworks were unveiled at the exhibition’s opening—pieces that range from spontaneous flowing bands of color to a deliberate grid organized by striking hues—and represent a thrilling opportunity to experience a painter at the start of a celebrated career, and to revisit the art world of New York in the nineteen-seventies.

“Judgments made in these paintings still resonate today,” said Spanierman. “Visitors will have the opportunity to see beautiful artwork charged with sophistication and meaningful energy. These visual expressions are dynamic, balanced and timeless.” The images reflect the excitement of the period—a moment when American art and American life was being challenged and enriched. That dynamism is captured and extended in Lipsky’s bold work.

Through the exhibition we witness an exciting transformation in the painter’s approach. The earliest pieces present striking and well-defined ribbons of color, beautifully stacked in matching and undulating forms. As Lipsky’s style evolves, the character of her imagery changes and tightens, becoming a loose representation of its former self—subtler and more imperceptible—until her mature style comes into view.

Working in her prevailing mode of the time—gestural abstraction—Lipsky applies sponged acrylic paint to raw canvas, creating a striking watercolor effect, often amplified by a stark background. We see influences of Rothko, Matisse and Pollock, the paint frequently beginning as splatter. The hand-drawn grid lines in the final piece, Sixth Avenue, enclose the viewer while reflecting the streets of Manhattan, arguably the most famous grid in the world. Often associated with lyrical abstraction, color field, and later geometric abstraction, Lipsky’s work demands to be contemplated. This is a chance to relive the start of a career, with a female artist whose work has become well known among museum-goers and collectors.

Pat Lipsky lives and works in New York. Raised in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, her interests in painting were stimulated as a young girl, visiting museums and studying painting at the Brooklyn Museum with Moses Soyer, aesthetics with Jewish Museum Director Alan Solomon at Cornell University, later with the theoretician and sculptor Tony Smith at Hunter. Lipsky began exhibiting her work as a 28 year-old at the André Emmerich Gallery during the late 1960s. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally for five decades. Her work is included in countless private collections and 26 museum collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Walker Art Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She is a winner of the prestigious Adolf and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant, the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, and is a recipient of awards from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, among others.

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