Featuring Paul Gervais, Donna Wilson Long, Carleton Varney, Kenneth Walker and Edwina Sandys
March 21 – April 1, 2019
Fritz Gallery is pleased to present ISLAND ICONS, an exhibition featuring the work of Paul Gervais, Donna Wilson Long, Carleton Varney, Kenneth Walker and Edwina Sandys. For the first time, this select group of artists will be exhibited under one roof. This show will feature painting, prints, sculpture and conceptual work from these artists who currently calls Palm Beach home.
From the geometric pastel abstractions by Paul Gervais, the bold color block choices of Carelton Varney, the symbolic figurative jamboree of Donna Wilson Long, the innovative installation work of Kenneth Walker, or the provocative sculpture of Edwina Sandys, it is apparent to the observer that each artist has been inspired by their Palm Beach surroundings. Be it the pallet of our tropical landscape, the abundant historic architecture, the extravagant lifestyle, or the social dynamics of the island community, each of our artists have something to say through their work that all visitors can relate to and most certainly enjoy.
Head of Dorothy Draper & Co., one of America’s best known interior design firms, Carleton Varney has been a scion of design for 50 plus years. With a Master’s degree in Fine Arts Education from NYU in 1969, Varney started his career at Dorothy Draper in 1960 and bought the firm in 1964. Since then his work includes the private homes of major celebrities, world leaders, mega-yachts, and several historic hotels, Palm Beach’s own Breakers among them.
A long time Palm Beach resident, Carlton’s empire includes textiles, wallcoverings, furniture, and dinnerware to name a few. It only stands to reason that this creative whirlwind would have included fine art printmaking along the way. His design philosophy, “stresses the use of bright color and the rejection of all that is impractical, uncomfortable and drab.” His prints reflect this credo with their adventurous use of vibrant hues and bold contrast.
Ken has had a multifaceted creative career as an artist, architect and designer. He is the founder of WALKER GROUP, the global architecture firm that grew to be the largest retail design practice in North America. He is a graduate of Brown and Harvard University graduate school of design. Ken has taught at RISD, Harvard and MIT and was also elected a fellow in the American Institute of Architects.
Ken feels that his pieces are statements, not pictures and are comments on retail, shopping and fashion. He was influenced by the pop art crowd of the 50’s and 60’s in NYC. He says, ” I truly believe that art should either amuse you, challenge you or both. I relish the unexpected.”
Donna Wilson Long:
Donna began her career as an artist after having children and a career as a horse trainer in her native California. She received a BA in Psychology from Vanderbilt University and an additional Degree from Sonoma State University in Humanistic Studies. Her artistic endeavors started as a photographer traveling the world and showing her work from San Francisco to Oxford, England.
Her vibrant paintings tell their stories with lively figures and creatures participating in all manner of activities inspired by her adventures in exotic locales. The paintings often contain social, environmental, and political metaphor and more than likely a good dose of irony. Donna’s work often includes horse imagery due to her lifelong love and relationship with these noble beasts. All of this is brought to life through her Palm Beach perspective and naughty sense of humor!
Sandys started out life in WWII London as the granddaughter of legendary statesman Winston Churchill, she went on to become a debutante and move to Paris. Her life included marriage and children before she became an artist in 1970.
Primarily known as a sculptor, Sandys notable works are located across the country. Her work titled “Breakthrough”, located at Westminster College, Fulton, MO, features eight sections of the Berlin Wall. In her iconic work “Eve’s Apple”, her sense of playfulness and distinctive palette are apparent.
Paul Gervais’ artistic practice, focused primarily on painting, is constantly changing and self-renewing with regard to mediums and conceptual intent. He works in series, yielding a broad range of results produced in rigid respect to the limitations he sets for himself in any given exploration. In his abstractions he has concerned himself, since the 1970s, with the interaction of lines or painted bands of color, some transparent, some opaque, that yield in their cohabitation of a picture plane, layers of sub-color and depths of field.
Gervais received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1980 where he was teaching assistant to Mary Heilmann. His paintings and works on paper are found in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, and are represented in many private collections as well, including Bank of America Collection, and the Hall Collection.
Gervais, also an author, studied at the graduate level with poet, Robert Creeley at San Francisco State University. Among his publications are a memoir entitled, A Garden in Lucca, and a novel, Extraordinary People, which was a finalist for the 1990 PEN/Faulkner Award.
A New Englander of Colonial descent, Gervais lived half his life in Lucca, Italy, with his partner, Gil Cohen, with whom he now divides his time between London and West Palm Beach.