- Sideshow Gallery: Wizards with Paint, 2013 -


Satellite Resolution,
1999, acrylic on canvas, 72" x 144"

Life as it Should Be,
2013, acrylic and aluminum mesh on canvas, 84" x 67" x 8"

“Wizards with Paint”, an exhibition featuring Roy Lerner and Peter G. Ray, will be on view at Sideshow Gallery located at 319 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211. The exhibition opens Nov. 16th, 2013 with a reception from 6-9pm, and will be on view until Dec. 15th.

Press Release:

Stamford curator presents “Wizards with Paint”
Featuring South Salem artist Roy Lerner & Peter G. Ray from Montreal
At Sideshow Gallery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

Roy Lerner, an artist who lives in South Salem, NY, and Peter G. Ray from Montreal, Canada, originally from Bulgaria, will be featured in an upcoming exhibition at Sideshow Gallery in Brooklyn NY.  Dr. Kenworth Moffett of Stamford, CT, a noted arts writer, critic, and curator organized the show and wrote essays for the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition. Richard Timperio, founder of the Sideshow Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, will host the exhibition featuring paintings by Lerner and Ray. The gallery will hold an opening reception for the artists on November 16th from 6-9 pm. The show will run until December 15th. 

“Wizards with Paint” features a pair of artists who come from distinctly different places, Eastern Europe and America, and explores how they meet, both in their aesthetic ideology and here in New York.  An essay on the two artists by Dr. Kenworth W. Moffett, curator of the exhibition, is included in a 28-page catalogue. The following is an excerpt:

“’Wizards with Paint" presents the work of two living masters of the art of painting.  They are both “wizards” insofar as they both possess a preternatural ability to think, feel, imagine and improvise with paint.  Both make full use of the large scale, free form, untrammeled handling begun by Pollock and his generation, as well as new paints and other materials many of which have come along since Pollock’s day.

“I show here Peter Ray’s most recent work while in selecting Roy Lerner’s paintings, I stress the range of his work, both as regards style and scale.  In each case, I wanted to feature the wizardry.

“Roy … has remained amazingly consistent and prolific for almost 30 years.  His sensitive tonal range (which he often deliberately goes against) and improvisational hand and wrist drawing are the staples of his painting.  His signature is a choppy, stutter stroke made with a palette knife, which creates rhythmic marks varying over a chromatic or bare canvas ground without ever repeating. This lyrical improvisation evokes the music of jazz greats like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, whose music Roy loves.   And the freer he becomes, the more his pictures evoke images of landscapes, cities, figures of all sorts, and even phantasmagoric events.  He’s the poster child for what Piri Halasz calls “multireferential imagery”.  These resonate our experience and give character and intimacy to the pictures.  We delight in their miraculous appearance within Roy’s totally free form, abstract paintings.”

Roy Lerner was raised in Greenwich, CT, and attended public school there. He studied photography with Yale Joel and at Northern Arizona University, transferred to the New School, NYC, where he took film making with Arnold Eagle and then to Franconia College, NH, where he discovered painting as his primary medium, graduating in 1977. After graduating he spent time in London, England, where he worked for the world-renowned sculptor Sir Anthony Caro, who passed away last week at 89.

Clear as a Bell,
2006, acrylic on canvas, 48" x 35"

All set to Samba, 2001, acrylic on canvas, 48" x 96"

Axis, 1996, acrylic on canvas on a curved, convex
stretcher, 70" x 40" x 10"

After returning to the United States Lerner helped create and develop the artists’ lofts spaces known as “Yale and Towne” in Stamford, CT. He showed extensively and taught at the Stamford Museum, as well as the Bridgeport Engineering Institute, and exhibited at the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport.

Lerner’s breakthrough came at the 1984 Triangle Workshop in Pine Plains, NY, organized by the late Sir Anthony Caro. Caro and Charles Millard, director of the Hirshhorn Museum, petitioned Lord Peter Palumbo of London to add Lerner’s work to his collection. Lerner was included in the 1987 Fall Invitational exhibition at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, CT, where he was instrumental in producing a lecture at the AMCA by Clement Greenburg.

French art dealer Gerald Piltzer exhibited Lerner’s work at the Salander-O’Reilly Gallery in NYC in 1994, followed by a solo show in Paris in 1995. Lerner has had 27 solo exhibitions, is included in 127 group exhibitions, and has paintings in nine museum collections. Lerner has exhibited in ten countries, most frequently in Canada, France, and Italy. In 2007, he exhibited in Rome and had a solo museum exhibition in Spoleto, Italy.

Lerner has an extensive bibliography of reviews and essays, including articles in Art in America and the New York Times. Noted art critic and writer Karen Wilkin has championed Roy’s work since the beginning of his career. Wilkin is an art critic for the Wall Street Journal, teaches at the School of Visual Arts, and writes regularly for the Hudson Review and The New Criterion. She writes, “Lerner lives and paints in pastoral South Salem, but his work often feels like Times Square, with all its competing, moving imagery, backlighting, and waves of tourists.”

In Peter G. Ray’s case, while in Bulgaria he was known as an author and poet. North America provided him with inspiration and opportunities to explore expressing himself in paint as well as words, a decision that helped him see his vision find a larger audience. Even though Ray comes out of a European tradition. Dr. Moffett writes, “[Ray’s] art is rooted in European easel painting and surrealism, especially the art of Salvador Dali.  But he has also embraced Post World War II, North American abstraction, above all the work of Jackson Pollock. Peter’s signature is a virtuoso paint pouring which, in his case, creates a hyper-illusionism. Like Pollock, Peter loves black and white and the visual properties of aluminum. Most recently he has even assimilated Pop Art, specifically Jeff Koons and Robert Raushenberg.”

Dr. Kenworth Moffett has been including Lerner’s work in numerous museum and gallery exhibitions for decades. Dr. Moffett is a resident of Stamford, CT. He is the former Director of the Fort Lauderdale Museum, was Curator of 20th Century Art at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, former art professor at Wellesley College, and received his PhD from Harvard. Dr. Moffett studied under the well-known art critic Meyer Schapiro at Columbia University.

Gravity, 2013, acrylic and aluminum mesh on canvas,
60" x 30"

Two Dimensions Bent, 1996, acrylic on canvas on a curved, convex stretcher, 48" x 47.5" x 4