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Gayle Kabaker’s Fashion Watercolors.

by on November 1, 2011

Last week, Peter Kitchell gave us a tour of the beginnings of the show “One Family, Four Artists.” The half that we saw, exhibited in the Pushkin gallery in Greenfield, MA, featured work by both Peter Kitchell and his wife, Gayle Kabaker.

Upon walking into the gallery, we found ourselves immersed in glowing lanterns of all shapes, sizes, and designs, hanging from an intricate mesh of wires on the ceiling. You can read more about those here.

But the lanterns, despite their initial prominence in the exhibit, were not what stuck with me the most. It was Gayle’s fashion watercolors, focused but fluid, reckless but controlled, and vibrant but not garish, that I remember most clearly. I’m taking a beginner watercolor class this year, and I’ve learned how hard it is to make just simple shapes without the water running, or the colors mixing, or the paint drying too light. But Gayle’s images don’t show these challenges. They are effusive and simple, almost sketches, but they seem to portray exactly what she intended: to capture the gesture of a pose or the angle of part of a dress.

The exhibit had a few shortcomings, of course. The watercolors were not originals, but scanned copies that had been reprinted. I was a little disappointed by this: in the digital age, one of the main reasons I go to exhibits is to see original pieces, to look at the texture of the paint on the paper and see exactly how it was crafted. I also didn’t really see the connection between the lanterns and the paintings, other than that the artists were related.

But overall, the exhibit had a wonderful vibe. The tall ceilings and historic architecture of the gallery combined with the radiance of the lanterns to create a powerful, serene, atmosphere. If anyone’s in the area and they have some free time, it’s definitely worth checking out!

The show was open at the Pushkin Gallery in Greenfield for one night only, on October 21, 2011.

Gayle Kabaker’s website is here:



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One Comment
  1. Nice post, too bad the show was only up for one night – for the artists it is a ton of work, for the media that is generated – there is no way for someone who gets interested to go see the show.

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