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Garrison/Cold Spring

February 20, 2013

“Figuratively Speaking” with Donald Alter – at Gallery 66 NY

Donald Alter Painting "Off the Garden Path," Photo

March 1 – March 31

Opening Reception: Friday, March 1st, 6-9 pm

Gallery 66 NY, 66 Main St., Cold Spring, NY

Figuratively Speaking” is an exhibition of works by Donald Alter of Newburgh, Sarah Haviland of Peekskill, and Giselle Behrens of Hoboken, NJ. Each artist interprets their vision of the human figure in both literal and surreal art forms capturing the esssence of our physicality and imagination.

Donald Alter graduated in 1950 from the famed Black Mountain College in NC that served as a combination mecca and artistic trailblazer for a generation of American artists.  Although Black Mountain College lasted only 24 years, it quickly became legendary in the art world. The heady atmosphere spawned such future luminaries as Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Ben Shahn, Cy Twombly, Merce Cunningham, Robert Motherwell, Arthur Penn, John Cage, Kenneth Noland and Donald Alter.

Alter’s work has recently been described by one art critic as a very sensitive, picture-book narrative style in the form of paintings, drawings and mixed media works. Just as his media run the gamut from oil to acrylic, from watercolor to weaving, the artist’s themes defy categorization, and range from abstract landscapes to almost Chagall-like depictions of people and animals. Alter recently eschewed the use of canvas, preferring to paint his figures on the styles section of the Sunday New York Times! He relates these paintings to his inner caveman: wanting to leave behind pieces of himself on surfaces seen by many. His use of colors can be at once startling and satisfying, and invites the observer’s gaze to linger. Figuratively Speaking will exhibit Donald Alter’s unique and unframed nudes and figures, including the Sunday Times paintings and featuring several works that will be shown for the first time.

Sculptor Sarah Haviland’s work is rich in its elegant representations of women. Whether her medium is paper or bronze, wire mesh, mirrors, or cement, her abstract figurative works bring an originality and grace to her subjects. Often resembling plants, trees, or birds. Her work investigates mythology, images of women, and the implications of mirrors.  Sarah’s recent sculptures and installations open out from an inward female presence to wider contexts of human relationship: to local history, to community, to family, and to the natural world. She uses diverse media from cement and clay, to wire mesh and mirrors and responds to specific settings or states of mind. On Exhibit will be two wire mesh female winged figures, floating in the air spanning 8 feet.

Giselle Behrens creates fantastical surreal worlds and stories through photos inspired by the feminine psyche and fashion.  Her feminine themes are often whimsical: a woman nonchalantly sharing tea with a rooster, a nude clinging to a cloud tree high above the firmament, a disheveled model hatching sleepily from a parti-colored egg. They reflect a playfulness, without sacrificing her respect for her subjects. Behrens specializes in creating Fine Art Fashion Editorials stories told through a series of enhanced images, often setting them in surreal worlds of her own devising.

For more information go to or call 845-809-5838.  Regular gallery hours are Thurs – Sunday, 12pm-6pm.







About the Author

Garrison Cold Spring
Garrison and Cold Spring, neighboring villages within Philipstown, are located approximately 50 miles north of Manhattan on the Hudson River and are known for their majestic river and mountain views and waterfront parks. During the last half of the nineteenth century, Garrison/Cold Spring became a magnet for artists who were attracted to the extraordinary beauty of the Hudson Highlands. Views from the riverbanks have been made famous by painters of the Hudson River School, a mid-nineteenth century American art movement. Active cultural organizations offer numerous activities throughout the year.


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