Bo Bartlett’s New York City art exhibit closes

Easter, 2014-2016
Easter, 2014-2016 Courtesy Bo Bartlett

A show in New York City featuring the work of Columbus artist Bo Bartlett came to a close on Friday.

The exhibit, featuring 13 of Bartlett’s paintings, began July 7 at the Ameringer McEnery Yohe Gallery.

Ameringer McEnery Yohe is a contemporary art gallery located in the Chelsea neighborhood that has earned a reputation as one of the leading art galleries in the world and is the primary representative of more than 20 international contemporary artists and artist estates.

In its literature about the exhibit, the gallery called Bartlett a “proficient and cultivated storyteller who challenges our assumptions and attitudes of the functioning world through depictions of life, death, remembrance, transmission and defiance.”

Of his art, the gallery said, “realism is often blended with idealism as the artist does not confine himself to the precise rendering of the world we confront on a daily basis.”

In an article for the Wall Street Journal, writer Peter Plagens said of the exhibit, “The paintings are large, the compositions complex, the subjects announced as important, and the technique impressive.”

When the show opened, Bartlett described the scene in an email.

“The opening was stupendous. Packed, Sweltering. Everyone seems to be swimming in the humidity and good energy. The crowd overflowed in the street and down the block. I couldn’t be happier with the gallery. Miles McEnery and the gallery crew did an incredible job of hanging and lighting. It is exactly the show I’d hope to mount.”

The show came at a time when Columbus State University is preparing to open the Bo Bartlett Center in 2017. The center is being constructed as part of the university’s downtown campus and will feature gallery, archive and programming spaces.

In his book, “Bo Bartlett, Heartland,” Tom Butler described Bartlett as “an American realist with a modernist vision.”

“His paintings are well within the tradition of American realism as defined by artists such as Thomas Eakins and Andrew Wyeth. Like those artists, Bartlett looks at America’s heart — its land and its people — and describes the beauty he finds in everyday life. His paintings celebrate the underlying epic nature of the commonplace and the personal significance of the extraordinary.”

Bartlett, who studied art in Italy, has won numerous awards and has had solo exhibitions in places such as New Orleans, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Seattle and Chicago.

Larry Gierer: 706-571-8581, @lagierer

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