I spent the day at the Caldbeck Gallery and the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine. The Caldbeck featured a show of Joe Fiore's paintings from the '70s. Joe had arranged that a percentage of the sale of these paintings would benefit the Maine Farmland Trust. (He arranged this before his recent death) These paintings are typically modest and brilliant. By modest, I mean that they are without pretense. And by brilliant, I mean they are wonderfully diciplined in sustaining color, shape, and compositional relationships. In short, they are beautiful and flawless conclusions. It was great to see Cynthia Hyde (one of the directors)
Across the street Barb and I went to the Farnsworth Museum where they're featuring new, large, Alex Katz paintings. A few were exceptional and indicate the mature technical facility he has developed over his years of work. I couldn't help thinking that it's all gotten easier for him but I don't think that fact has caused his work to weaken. Equally interesting however (and completely unexpected) was a show of hooked rugs from as early as the 1830s in Canada and Maine. Color and designs were quite fine. A Marin watercolor and two Inness landscapes contributed to a fine day of viewing. Painted rather well when I got back to the barn.