Pamela Salisbury Gallery would like to thank Peter Malone and The New Criterion for the insightful review of Ron Milewicz’s exhibition,The Rhythm of Silence. This is the final week to see The Rhythm of Silence which continues through Sunday, July 25, 2021.
With an aptly paradoxical title, “The Rhythm of Silence,” an exhibition of paintings by Ron Milewicz on view now at Pamela Salisbury Gallery, demonstrates how visual art can nudge the viewer towards a place beyond the reach of words.Rhythm implies repetitive motion; silence implies stillness. Both are present in these small contemplative landscapes, which are exhibiting in the same district in which they were painted. Informed by art history, geographic location, and contemporary painting trends, the pictures remain highly individual. They are a product of the artist’s intuitive studio practice and his close engagement with the surrounding Hudson River region.
Milewicz’s panels rarely exceed twelve inches in height, but they vary considerably in length. Showing more than twenty pieces of this size in a cozy storefront gallery reinforces the intimate nature of the paintings, despite their physically expansive subject. The paintings’ modest but flexible dimensions lend the wider panels a fluidity that carries over to the more conventionally sized pictures. Three of the largest pieces, especially the nearly four-foot-long Summer Morning (2021) and the show’s only drawing, Woods, Meadow, Pond (2021), establish a sense of flow that informs one’s reading of the remaining work.
Artistic precursors rush to mind but fade as one grows accustomed to the way Milewicz maintains a meditative focus on what he feels is essential to each view. Pink Winter (2021) fulfills the expectation that landscape painters address seasonal changes. But any connection to Monet, for instance, subsides as one recognizes the folk-art candor of the drawing. Other historical connections fare better. In conversation with the artist, I learned of his admiration for Chinese landscape scrolls. Unlike the fixed and often curved perspective to which Rackstraw Downes pins his wider landscape compositions, the dreamy disengagement Milewicz casts across his woodland scenes leaves viewers free to set their own pace, establishing their own rhythm from left to right, or the reverse, if they are so inclined. Either way, the trees remain plumb, giving a reliable steadiness to the compositions, despite considerable liberties taken within.
And it is these liberties that provide for a surprising range of expression. Black Moon (2021) and Pink Moon (2019) have similar titles, and each includes an expressively tinted orb. But while the former reads as an early evening view of a gently sloping winter scene, eclipsed moon notwithstanding, the latter is a surrealist vision in blue of a night sky sprayed with calligraphic light bursts resembling an illuminated opera set. All this comes from a careful and persistent study of the common woodlands found in Upstate New York.
Congratulations, once again, to Ron Milewicz, who was just awarded a
2021 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship!