DRAWING LIFE by fred hatt


COLOR exhibition opens Feb 13, 2015

Filed under: My Events: Exhibitions — Tags: , , , , , , , — fred @ 07:32


A collection of Fred Hatt’s colorful figurative drawings is included in COLOR, opening Friday, February 13, at Figureworks Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Here is Figureworks’ show description:

COLOR is part II of WITHOUT/COLOR, a two-part exhibition featuring six artists. Three artists, Meridith McNeal, Alexander Ney, and Joanne Scott, have executed work void of color. Three artists, Howard Eisman, Fred Hatt, and Arlene Morris, have used a palette rich in color for their work.

Part I [still on view through this weekend]
Meridith McNeal, Alexander Ney, Joanne Scott
January 9 – February 8, 2015
Reception: Friday evening, January 9, 6-9PM

Part II [opens next Friday]
Howard Eisman, Fred Hatt, Arlene Morris
February 13 – March 15, 2015
Reception: Friday evening, February 13, 6-9PM

The initial concept for these consecutive exhibitions was to explore the impact of color, and lack thereof, in an environment. Figureworks, an intimate gallery, quickly embraces whatever is placed within it and though there have been nearly 100 exhibits in this space, what has transpired from this installation is far more powerful than what was envisioned.

The first of this two-part series are works without color. Meridith McNeal has created a series of watercolors entitled Liberty Clouded. The Statue of Liberty has been shrouded in fog and rain, addressing the anguish of false accusation and the gross failure of the American judicial system. Joanne Scott has been figure drawing from life for over 50 years. Her delicate and beautifully rendered pencil drawings of female forms in repose blur the lines as to whether her subjects are relaxing, sleeping or perhaps deceased. An oversized pair of Alexander Ney’s lovely, white terra-cotta ravens, ominously riddled with patterned holes and intense expressions, guard the work with its sculptural presence.

What makes this particular exhibition so powerful is that it coincidentally opens as the country is in great unrest. This exhibition was designed around space and color, not any political or social agenda, yet these three artists possess such purpose and strength in their imagery that a collective message clearly addresses our current climate and serenely eliminates a color barrier while doing it.

The exhibition of the next three artist’s work will be installed in February and the introduction of color and content will inevitably evoke uniquely unexpected responses.

Figureworks is located at 168 North 6th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211, one block from the Bedford Avenue “L” train. The gallery is open to the public Saturday and Sunday from 1-6 PM and is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary and 20th century fine art of the human form.

For more information please call 718-486-7021 or visit Figureworks online atwww.figureworks.com



A Self Portrait for the New Year

Self Portrait, 2012, by Fred Hatt

Self Portrait, 2012, by Fred Hatt

Why wish my readers Happy New Year with a scowling picture of your humble blogger? This portrait was my good start to the year just ending. Randall Harris of Figureworks Gallery had invited me to submit a work for an exhibition of self portraits, the gallery’s first show of 2013. It was an opportunity to show alongside a wide variety of really good artists, some of them well-known.

In December 2012 I drew this portrait, with a camera set up to capture stages in the development of the picture. I pointed a video camera at myself and drew from the image on a monitor, to avoid the reversed face you get in a mirror and the frozen effect you can get from working from a photograph. The bluish colors you see under my eyebrows represent the cool glow of the computer monitor I could see on my face.

In the Figureworks exhibition, I showed the portrait as a multimedia piece, with the original 18″ x 24″ drawing hung alongside a digital screen playing an animation of the drawing as it built up, layer by layer. Here’s the video (email subscribers will need to click the link to see the video on Vimeo.

Self Portrait from Fred Hatt on Vimeo.

I really didn’t expect this work to sell. Who – besides maybe my mother – would want a giant picture of me? But a collector bought the piece (drawing and digital animation together), kicking off my 2013 with a red dot.

To all my readers, friends, and fans, best wishes for curiosity, creativity and joy in the coming year!



Opening with Projections

Filed under: My Events: Exhibitions — Tags: , , , — fred @ 09:06
Hostess, 2013, by Yuliya Lanina

Hostess, 2012, by Yuliya Lanina

This Saturday evening, March 9, 2013, my long-time friend Yuliya Lanina has a solo show opening at Figureworks gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in conjunction with Williamsburg After Hours‘ annual Armory Show weekend event.  I’ll be projecting video onto the sidewalk in front of the gallery, one animated piece by Yuliya and a video of my own in rotation.  The reception runs from 7-10 – please come see us.  Here’s the full info:

Yuliya Lanina
Honky-tonk Belles
March 9 – April 21, 2013
Reception: Saturday, March 9th from 7-10PM  *SPECIAL EVENT – SEE BELOW
fine art of the human form
168 North 6th St. (1 block from Bedford Avenue “L” train)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211
 hours: Saturday and Sunday from 1-6PM

Yuliya Lanina is a Russian-born American multimedia artist who splits her time between New York City and Austin, Texas. Having shown at Figureworks for many years, this solo exhibition highlights her most recent series of paintings and will also showcase her latest animatronic sculpture. This body of work portrays alternate realities that fuse fantasy, femininity, and humor.

Employing fanciful imagery from plants, animals and humans, Lanina’s characters simultaneously elicit feelings of uneasiness and empathy. Mostly female in gender, they are made of parts that are not supposed to go together and are derived from the artist’s own projections of nonsensical events and consequences. Painted on a stark white background, the primary isolated figure is accompanied by small winged creatures and quirky floral personas – all gesturing to get her attention. These unusual compositions celebrate feminine power and its connection to the mysterious, the beautiful, and the sensual.  Lanina’s largest canvases are now introducing some intricately tattooed appendages that personalize and provide greater insight into these mysterious beings.

Lanina draws from many sources to create these characters. Though she often taps into Greek mythology with the half-human and half-animal demigods, she also relies on her personal roots with Russian fairy tales, which are filled with fantastic beings deeply rooted in paganism, mysticism, and symbolism. Her creatures and their stories move freely between logical and illogical, realistic and illusory, predictable and surprising, representing life that can only be lived, but never understood.

Bringing these two dimensional characters to life, Lanina has collaborated with Theodore Johnson (technical direction) and Yevgeniy Sharlat (musical score) to create “Honky-tonk Belles”, a festive, animatronic sculpture with characters from her paintings frolicking to an original soundtrack.

Figureworks is located at 168 N. 6th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211, one block from the Bedford Avenue “L” train. The gallery is open to the public Saturday and Sunday from 1-6 PM and is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary and 20th century fine art of the human form.

For more information please email harris@figureworks.com, call the gallery at 718-486-7021 or visit us online at www.figureworks.com


Williamsburg After Hours

7 pm to 10 pm
Sat March 9th


Faces of Figureworks: Self Portraits

Filed under: My Events: Exhibitions — Tags: , , , , , — fred @ 10:47
Arlene Morris, Self Portrait, oil on board, 16" x 16" x 2", 2011

Arlene Morris, Self Portrait, oil on board, 16″ x 16″ x 2″, 2011

I’d like to invite all my readers who are in the NYC area to visit this group exhibition that includes my work, along with a really diverse selection of fellow artists, contemporaries and some well-known names in 20th Century art.  It’s on view this weekend through the first weekend in March, and the opening reception is on Friday the 11th.  Now I’m going to copy and paste Figureworks’ official announcement about the show:

Figureworks is pleased to open the new year with over 50 self portraits from its contemporary and 20th century list of artists. Please stop in this weekend (Saturday and Sunday from 1-6PM) for a preview and also join us next Friday for the artist’s reception, when all Williamsburg galleries will stay open late to celebrate in the new year.


January 5 – March 3, 2013
Reception: Friday, January 11th from 6-9PM


fine art of the human form
168 North 6th St. (1 block from Bedford Avenue “L” train)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211
hours: Saturday and Sunday from 1-6PM
Artists create self portraits for various reasons but frequently it is done as a reflective point in their career. Securing that moment in time when they feel the need to record their presence. Similar to a journal entry, it may manifest in a quick sketch such as the drawing Philip Evergood created in 1944 documenting his life threatening surgery or Byron Browne’s ink drawing of his model with added self at his easel. These sketches were not created for exhibition purposes and are often stashed away with other personal belongings. Oppositely, some are finely executed oils done during long studio hours of self reflection, like those by Ernest Fiene and Joachim Marx. Equally personal, these significant executions are intended to preserve a specific place and time.

Additionally, a number of pieces in this exhibition were created specifically for patrons who commissioned the artist’s portraiture for their collection. This includes the drawings by Red Grooms and Chaim Gross. Others, such as McWillie Chambers and K. Saito, were executed upon request specifically for this exhibition. These types of portraits start from a very different place than those mentioned earlier. The artist, typically just the hand behind the canvas, is asked to now become the subject. Over twenty years ago, Ingrid Capozzoli Flinn had only privately done self portraits. A labor intensive oil painter, this request was very challenging for her as she was forced to spend many hours looking back into the mirror of time.

This exhibition encompasses all of these processes and emotions in a wide range of media from pencil, oil, ink and wood to glass and digital imagery. Artists from different generations and practices are represented. It is also worthy to note the diverse self portraits by couples George & Reina Gillson and William & Marguerite Zorach which reinforces the individuality and personal expression which goes into each work.

Figureworks is located at 168 N. 6th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY11211, one block from the Bedford Avenue “L” train. The gallery is open to the public Saturday and Sunday from 1-6 PM and is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary and 20th century fine art of the human form.

For more information please email harris@figureworks.com, call the gallery at 718-486-7021 or visit us online at www.figureworks.com

Raphael Soyer, Self Portrait, 1975

Raphael Soyer, Self Portrait, 1975

Artists in this exhibition:

Byron Browne

Ingrid Capozzoli Flinn

McWillie Chambers

Marvin Cherney

George Constant

Howard Eisman

Philip Evergood

Bonnie Faulkner

Ernest Fiene

George Gillson

Reina Gillson

Matthew Greenway

Red Grooms

Chaim Gross

Mimi Gross

Bernard Gussow

Abraham Harriton

Bertram Hartman

Fred Hatt

Joseph Kaplan

Benjamin Kopman

Jack Levine

Elim Mak

Irving Marantz

Herman Maril

Fletcher Martin

Felicia Meyer Marsh

Joachim Marx

Michael Massen

Meridith McNeal

Artem Mirolevich

Arlene Morris

Susan Newmark

Rusel Parish

Robert Andrew Parker

Joachim Probst

Ellen Rand

Phillip Reisman

Audrey Rhoda

K. Saito

Jacquelyn Schiffman

Michael Sorgatz

Raphael Soyer

Moses Soyer

Anthony Toney

Mary Westring

David Yaghjian

Barbara Zanelli

Marguerite Zorach

William Zorach



Grief, 2012, by Fred Hatt

Figure drawing sessions are back on at Figureworks after the late summer hiatus.  Randall Harris books great models in his home-like gallery space.  Each session has eighteen poses ranging from two minutes to twenty minutes, an ideal range for me to try out different approaches in my ongoing core practice of studying nature, energy, and expression through the human body and the act of seeing and drawing.  Our models for the first two sessions of the season were Colin and Susannah, both of them tall and strong, with long limbs and elegantly curved bones and muscles.  All drawings in this post are from those two sessions at Figureworks Gallery.

Colin in Light, 2012, by Fred Hatt

I think of drawing as closer to sculpture than to painting.  The eyes are the organs of touch at a distance.  With light and shadow I feel the form, and my markings are the strikes of the chisel and the strokes of the rasp, carving a form out of the block of paper.

About to Rise, 2012, by Fred Hatt

The sculptor’s model and work are on rotating platforms, to check from all sides.  Of course I don’t do that in a 20-minute pose, but the light striking the subject from different angles has different colors and qualities.  By differentiating these various lights and by observing how they fall across the contours of the figure, the form emerges in apparent depth.

Ovoid, 2012, by Fred Hatt

Tall Grass, 2012, by Fred Hatt

A ten minute pose is just enough time to “rough in” the form of the body, its major curves and its relation to the airy space surrounding it.

Holding Over, 2012, by Fred Hatt

The major curves are cut with swoops and swerves, the subtler undulations suggested with scrubbing scribbles.

Side Torso, 2012, by Fred Hatt

Form is energy, and it is the movement of the drawing hand that captures this energy.  There is a pattern of energy that causes matter to grow into the intricate form of a living body, to animate it with tides of breath and streams of blood and electricity of sense and impulse.

Structure of the Back, 2012, by Fred Hatt

The body contains the fire of creation, the dust of stars, the salt of the ocean, and all the memories of life’s evolution.

Above, 2012, by Fred Hatt

A living being is a bubble that rises from the sea of potentiality, floats free for a moment or a century, then falls to merge again into that sea.

Piano Bench, 2012, by Fred Hatt

Earth is our cradle and our crucible.  We grow out of it, walk upon it, and return into it.  We make our Eden or our Hell of it.

Grounding, 2012, by Fred Hatt

The body is a tube, and what passes through that tube is transformed into animal life.  The consciousness is also a tube, and what passes through it becomes a person.

Core, 2012, by Fred Hatt

The mind goes on these philosophical journeys while drawing a ten or twenty-minute pose.  Through the human body I contemplate the nobility and the fragility of being human.

Queen, 2012, by Fred Hatt

These are just sketches on paper, ephemera of an artist’s practice, but while making them I think of them as towering monuments, heroic statues to tell the beings of the future:  we were here, this we saw, this we made.

Resting Power, 2012, by Fred Hatt

The drawings on gray paper are 18″ x 24″.  The ones on white paper are from an 11″ x 14″ sketchbook.  Drawings are made with watercolor and gouache, aquarelle crayons, or a combination of those media.  All images in this post made September, 2012, in open figure drawing sessions at Figureworks Gallery, Brooklyn, New York.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress

Theme Tweaker by Unreal