“Cries, Chants, Shouts and Whispers: Songs of the Forgotton”
An Exhibition by Yisrael K. Feldsott
October 16 – November 23, 2013
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 17th, 6-9 pm
Discussion with Yisrael Feldsott and curator Peter Selz at 7 pm
NEW YORK – “Cries, Chants, Shouts and Whispers: Songs of the Forgotten,” the first New York exhibition of paintings by Bay Area artist Yisrael K. Feldsott will be on view at Studio Vendome and Studio Vendome Projects — two, new New York galleries — from October 16th through Nov 23rd, 2013. Feldsott’s early works from the 1970s will be on view at Studio Vendome Projects at 30 Grand Street, while the larger recent paintings will be featured at Studio Vendome’s main gallery at 330 Spring Street.
There will be an opening reception at both galleries on Thursday, October 17th from 6-9 pm. At 7 pm there will be a discussion at Studio Vendome on Spring Street with Feldsott and Peter Selz, the exhibition’s curator and former Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture of MoMA, New York and Founding Director of the Berkeley Art Museum.
Feldsott’s paintings defy easy categorization. The work, produced over 4 decades, was born from a life on the fringes of our culture, from interacting with drug addicts, beat
poets, and Rock musicians to becoming an advocate of indigenous peoples and working with tribal leaders in South America and Mexico. This exhibit highlights Feldsott’s incredible artistic journey and showcases Peter Selz’s personal selections of Feldsott’s visceral and prolific body of work.
“When I first saw Feldsott’s work in a San Francisco gallery, I was just astonished,” said curator Peter Selz, “I hadn’t seen anything like that before — and I’ve seen a lot! I had not seen anything quite that magical. The work really made you stop in your tracks. There’s a quality of mystery and, at the same time, it is beautifully executed.”
In the 1970s, Feldsott had the distinction of being the youngest artist to ever display his works at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and seemed destined for stardom.
He was one of the first artists to link the modern art world with the grittiness of graffiti — art that was deemed “without merit” in the early seventies. Sandra Roos, a noted art historian in the Bay Area, said of his role in that movement, “Feldsott was like the Matisse of the (then emerging) punk art scene.” But Feldsott quickly became disillusioned with the hyper-political art scene. Issues of censorship and commercialism drove him to stop showing his work publicly for two decades.
In 2002, after more than two decades of refusing to show his work publicly, the curator of the Museo Guayasamín in Quito, Ecuador, convinced Feldsott to return to the art world he had abandoned with a major museum exhibition.
LAW AND ORDER, mixed media on wood. MEDICO, mixed media on wood.
During the last decade, Feldsott has continued to show in San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Los Angeles. However, “Cries, Chants, Shouts and Whispers: Songs of the Forgotten” is the first exhibition to travel to multiple cities. It began its journey in August in San Francisco at the non-profit Meridian Gallery before traveling on to the Studio Vendome galleries in New York’s SoHo. This exhibition is also a homecoming for Selz, whose groundbreaking museum exhibitions are legendary. The show is managed and
presented by Rediscovered Masters.
An illustrated, 86-page catalogue accompanies the exhibition with an insightful essay by art critic Robert C. Morgan. Morgan calls Feldsott “A born rebel, a pariah in search of his own standards. On another level, his point of view as an artist is not outside the parameters of recognized criteria that connoisseurs would choose to call significant. His paintings are less about art as a detached postmodern idea than about the artist’s uncanny mediumistic ability to simply allow works of art to evolve.” The essay also includes Selz’s extensive interview with the artist. “Cries, Chants, Shouts and Whispers” is all about eliciting primal reactions in the viewer and nothing about deciphering the jargon of art market insiders.
WHEELS OF DEMOCRACY, mixed media on wood.