December 2015


The Classical Tradition . . . Alive and Well in Long Island City

A recent exhibition of still life paintings and drawings at Eleventh Street Arts in the burgeoning artistic quarter of Long Island City (Queens, New York) clearly demonstrated that at its best contemporary Classical Realism deserves higher regard than the contempt cast upon it by today's avant-garde artworld.

The gallery (just across the East River from midtown Manhattan) is affiliated with the Grand Central Atelier [GCA] --a collaborative successor to the Grand Central Academy of Art co-founded by Classical Realist painter Jacob Collins in Manhattan in 2006. Works exhibited were by students and faculty at the Atelier, as well as by artists connected with like-minded ateliers.

All of the work exhibited a high degree of technical skill, some of it dazzling in its intensity. Especially fine were two pitch-perfect small canvases: Devin Cecil-Wishing's When Life Gives You Lemons: Homage to Zurbarán [more] (7 x 10 in.) and Justin Hess's Yellow Flowers (12 x 14 in.). Also commendable was GCA student Kevin Müller Cisneros's Toned Paper (10 x 20 in.).

These are the sorts of paintings rarely shown in Manhattan galleries--which makes Eleventh Street Arts all the more special.*

-- The Editors

* Note: If you like what you see here, write to the gallery to be put on its mailing list for future exhibitions, and check the Grand Central Atelier's website periodically for its Events schedule or subscribe to its Newsletter.

Further information

On Jacob Collins: See various items in Aristos, especially his "Reflections on Classical Realism." and his letter to the editors, "A Painter Responds."

About the other artists cited:

* Devin Cecil-Wishing [more] [more]
* Justin Hess [more]
* Kevin Müller Cisneros

Directions: Both the Eleventh Street Arts gallery and the Grand Central Atelier of Art are located at 46-06 11th Street in Long Island City, quickly and easily accessible by subway or car from midtown Manhattan. Directions (if you take the number 7 train, as we did, keep in mind that Times Square is no longer the end of the line, so be sure to board the train heading east to Queens or you will wind up at West 34th Street in Manhattan!). By the way, Long Island City boasts lots of good restaurants, including a delightful French crêperie, Café Henri.