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The Westfield Athenaeum
The exhibit will open on September 6th and will continue on view in the Athenaeum’s Rand Art Gallery through October 29th. There will be an artist’s reception on September 8th at 6 pm, which will present an opportunity to meet the artist and view the paintings. All are welcome to attend.
Laura Radwell is one of the most acclaimed artists currently working in Western Massachusetts. She has been featured in a number of exhibits around the region, and was awarded a First Place Prize at a juried exhibit at the New Britain Museum of American Art in 2020. This exhibit will present the public with an opportunity to view her most recent work.
The origins of Radwell’s style stem from the innovations of the Color Field School, which burst upon the New York art scene in the 1950s, and remained one of the most important trends in the art world well into the 1960s. Artists such as: Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, and Mark Rothko, were important advocates for this style of art. In the half-century since their pioneering work many artists have investigated the stylistic possibilities of this important artistic movement.
Laura Radwell, through a process of deep and thoughtful study, has identified exciting new ways to expand the Color Field concept. She recently commented that, “I think of my paintings as an invitation, an invitation to slow down time, to connect one’s innermost landscape with the outside world. To intentionally, for a few moments, change the equation between time and space, to choose to be in a different mood, mode, different atmosphere.” Guy McLain, Executive Director of the Westfield Athenaeum, commented that, “Laura has developed a completely unique way of working with the ideas of the Color Field School. Her original use of color and form is intriguing and captivating.”
Radwell’s work is also informed by her extensive travels in Europe. In the 1960s she lived in France, first along the Mediterranean, before moving to Paris to study at the Sorbonne. In 2014 she painted in a workshop in Tuscany, which she commented “opened the floodgates so to speak, and I haven’t stopped since.” Some years later she spent time in an artist’s residency program at the Chateau d’ Orquevaux in the Champagne-Ardenne region. Her art has also been influenced by her travels in Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, England, Germany and South America.