William Scharf 1927-2018 Night Move, 1964 Initialed lower left: "W.S." Titled, dated, and signed veros: "'NIGHT MOVE' 1964 / WILLIAM SCHARF" Oil on paper mounted to board 12 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches

Primordial Language

Hollis Taggart Galleries
521 W 26th Street, 7th Floor
New York, New York

William Scharf’s visual language is steeped in myth and mystery, equal parts surrealist, biomorphic, and something wholly his own. His darkly atmospheric canvases reveal jewel-toned or bone white forms that seem to float in a primordial ether or emerge from prehistoric darkness. Like many of his friends and contemporaries in post-war New York, Scharf tapped into universal ideas of mythology and symbolism to access foundational principles of visual experience. His organic forms bring to mind the actions of creation, destruction, and propagation -- actions common to all living things throughout history and yet uniquely shaded in mystery and wonder.

Coming of age in the heyday of New York’s Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist movements, Scharf developed interests in the careful paint handling, rich color, and heady symbolic language that characterized much of the art of his time. A close friendship with Mark Rothko in particular solidified his interest in color and his philosophical approach to his work. Scharf’s style developed into something immediately recognizable, a unique combination of visual transcendence and quiet moments of beauty. Potent symbols -- the egg, the eye, the cross -- recur throughout his oeuvre, teaching viewers to see his paintings as part of a larger fabric of universal mythos, even as a conduit to an understanding of those omnipresent ideas.

This style crystallized early in Sharf’s career, as evidenced in a series of small canvases from the mid-1960s first shown at Betty Parsons Gallery in New York. Works such as Hole Place and Lid’s Night distil the free-flowing brushwork of the New York School into discrete vignettes of glowing form, each emerging from the shadowed plane like a luminescent creature from the quiet depths. These forms coalesce into compositions that function like contained ecosystems, small aquarium glimpses into a larger, grander, and more wonderful world.

William Scharf lived and worked in New York from 1952 until his death in 2018. He relocated to the city from his native Pennsylvania at the recommendation of his friend and mentor N.C. Wyeth, who had encouraged his artistic pursuits since Scharf’s childhood. Studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Barnes Foundation, and the Académie de la Grand Chaumière prepared him for a lifetime of painting in the nation’s artistic capital. He exhibited regularly over the intervening decades, most recently at MoMA PS1 in Queens, the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art in Malibu, and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.

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  • January 16 - February 2, 2019
  • London, United Kingdom

Matteo Cordero

PUBLIC Gallery
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London, United Kingdom

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 GEORGE HENRY SMILLIE, American (1840-1921), River Landscape with Mountain View, oil on canvas, signed, 20 x 30 inches, Estimate:$3,000-5,000
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Chinese Export Porcelain Large Punch Bowl, Circa 1780.
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The New York Antique Ceramics Fair is Back in January 2019

The Bohemian National Hall
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VIJA CELMINS, Night Sky 3, 2003
  • January 17-20, 2019
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FOG DESIGN + ART

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Fort Mason Festival Pavilion
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Charles Sheeler, Meta-Mold, 1952.  Oil on canvas, 25 1/4 x 31 inches, signed and dated lower right.
  • January 18-27, 2019
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Jonathan Boos Exhibiting at The Winter Show

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Park Avenue Armory
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Michele Pred
  • January 18-20, 2019

UNTITLED Art, San Francisco

Pier 35, January 18 – 20, 2019, with over 60 leading international exhibitors

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Mark Fell, Intermetamorphosis, Performance installation at Serralves Porto, November 2017
  • January 19 - April 21, 2019
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Mother-and-child oil portrait painting by Mexican-born Louisiana artist José Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza (1750-1802), one of two Salazars in the auction (est.  $80,000-$120,000).
  • January 19-20, 2019
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Crescent City Auction Gallery, Jan. 19-20

Crescent City Auction Gallery
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Featured Event

Mary Stevens Fish’s 1879 painting, “Yosemite,” will be on exhibit in “Something Revealed: California Women Artists Emerge, 1860-1960” at the Pasadena Museum of History Sept.  29-March 31.  (Photo courtesy of Maurine St.  Gaudens and Joseph Morsman).
Something Revealed; California Women Artists Emerge, 1860-1960
Pasadena History Museum
September 29, 2018 - March 31, 2019
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