“A LIFETIME OF PAINTING”
September 6 – September 24, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 8, 6-8 p.m.
Chelsea, NYC: Viridian Artists is pleased to present the paintings of artist Henry Coupe. His exhibition of paintings entitled “A LifeTIME of painting” continues from September 6TH through September 24TH, 2016 with an opening reception Thursday, September 8th, 6-8 PM.
Henry Coupe spent his life creating small paintings, most under 24”, executed in strong, simple strokes, of people in landscapes. His people are shown both alone and in small groups. Tiny in scale, his delicate oils are filled with feeling and speak of love, portraying life’s simplest and most important moments, shared with others or experienced in solitude. With simple and direct titles like “Girl Wearing Orange Sash” or “Man Reading,” the people in his works are known by nothing more than what they are wearing or what they are doing. We don’t know them, but then we realize perhaps we do, for we’ve experienced that moment of “Listening to Father” or read “The Letter,” while lying on the grass.
There is a sense of lifetimes in his paintings that continue from childhood to old age, for he makes sure the viewer knows that the girl is adolescent and that the woman holding flowers is elderly, yet we can’t help but wonder who the “The Chaperone” is. These uncomplicated truths seem to be of utmost importance to Henry in the stories these humble paintings silently tell.
Born in 1924, he married Ann McGivern in 1950 and studied painting at Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute School of Art in the 40’s and through the 50’s with Ralph Wickiser and a student of Hans Hofmann among others. Like many artists, he taught art from 1955 until his retirement in 1976.
Henry Coupe’s early career in NYC began at Aegis and Brata Galleries, both important galleries on 10th Street in the 60’s. The 10th Street Galleries were artist-run art galleries that began in the early 50’s, and where Irving Sandler began his career of writing about the art of that time. While more established galleries like the Janis and Castelli had wealthy art dealers on the more opulent 57th Street, the 10th Street Galleries were near where many established artists of the era, like de Kooning and Kline, had studios in downtown Manhattan. Their presence attracted younger artists to the same neighborhood, where space was cheap for studios and for living.
Coupe’s paintings have been exhibited in Florence, Italy, New York City, Narbeth, PA, at the Smithsonian Institute, in Washington, DC and Chautauqua, where art critic Stephen Westfall curated an exhibition in which Henry’s painting was included. He received Honorable Mention in Viridian’s 24th Annual International Exhibition, juried by Elizabeth Sussman, Curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art. He also received the Subagh Winkelstern and Subagh Khalsa Award, in Chatauqua, NY.
His paintings have been reproduced and written about in Art News, the Christian Science Monitor and Wall Street International. His paintings are in private collections and the Permanent Collection of the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, NY.
This will be Henry’s first solo exhibit at Viridian Artists. At the time of the juried exhibit at Viridian in which he won Honorable Mention, he was 90 years old and had fallen into a coma, finally succumbing at the age of 91 in December of 2015. His wife Ann, who he always said, “continues to be my inspiration”, manages his estate and will be present at the reception to talk with guests about his work. Viridian looks forward to sharing his paintings with you.