exhibitions > A Modest Revival: Egg Tempera Now

A Modest Revival: Egg Tempera Now

Curated by Suzannah Sinclair

Dahlov Ipcar
John Gordon Gauld
Lee Maxey
Abby Shahn
Suzannah Sinclair
Kathy Weinberg

A Modest Revival: Egg Tempera Now. A tongue in cheek title for an ode to a niche medium that is one of the oldest techniques in paintings. It’s hay day(s) being the Renaissance (1400s), again in the 1800s, and a 20th century revival in the 1930’s with artists like Thomas Hart Benton, Ben Shahn, George Tooker, Andrew Wyeth, and Paul Cadmus. Perhaps there is another burst of renewed interest and devotion of painters here in the Northeast of America (a modest revival) or is this a Baader-Meinhof phenomenon because since I have started painting egg tempera in 2014 I now see it everywhere… #eggtempera

An artist can make a large-scale egg tempera painting, but most tend to be small, small enough to be done in a home studio which is becoming more realistic for most artists these days in our current mid pandemic world. Egg tempera is like cooking or baking, a bit of science and measurements to get it the cook right but once you know the technique and follow some basic rules, the medium can really be pushed. The paintings are luminous, flat, with endless possibilities.

These 6 selected artists love the raw and beautiful pigments, embrace the limits and yet push the boundaries of what one can and brush off what you should. This show is a short contemporary story of a contemplative sensibility that is heightened by the paint not laboriously dogged down in the tradition, the history, and the process but instead it vibrates and shines.