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  • July 18, 2022

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John A. Adams (1891-1967), Roseville, CA (l - r) Young Brothers; Franklin Delano Roosevelt; League of Nations; Young Woman Feeding Three Pigs; Bottle with name, “J. A. Adams,” Eagle with American Flag; Apollo 1 Astronauts, WWI Doughboy. The bottles range in height from 1 5/8" x 11."
Steven S. Powers
(l - r) Maine Hermit carved and painted women in bathing suits; Sanford Darling (1894-1973); Anonymous memory painting; Robert Padilla, “Tree of Life” sculpture; Anonymous folk art painted thumb piano; Nek Chand (1924–2015) Boy with Basket Above Head.
Steven S. Powers

New York, NY — Steven S. Powers and Joshua Lowenfels have curated an exhibition relating to summer in and around New York City. Also dubbed "Sand, Skin, Sun & Sin," the collection is shown in a salon-style installation with works by James A. Adams, Nek Chand, Henry Ray Clark, Sanford Darling, Frederick Hastings, Charles Jarm, George Morgan, Royal Robertson, John Roeder, LC Spooner, Miroslav Tichy, James W. Washington, Jr., Nat Werner, and a selection of related anonymous works

The impetus for the exhibition centers around an important collection of "sand paintings" by John A. Adams (1891-1967). Adams, born in Iowa, discovered the work of fellow Iowan Andrew Clemons (1857 - 1894) and was inspired and determined to figure out how Clemons created his art. Adams created detailed works from 1933 that are similar to the style of Clemons, with complex scenes of the Marquette bridge, an American eagle and flag, and a train around a mountain bend with flags from The League of Nations. Adams also "painted" a portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt from this period. Then it appears Adams moved to Roseville, California, and worked as a switchman for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. He had a family and stopped the practice until he retired and resumed creating work in 1965. In his later "sand paintings," Adams worked in a more personal voice with pieces that illustrate two young boys, a large work with portraits of the astronauts Chaffee, White, and Grissom who perished in the Apollo 1 disaster in 1967. The most significant and unexpected work is Adams' magnum opus, which shows a young woman feeding three pigs. The exhibit displays Adams's paper sign that he would bring to state fairs, "SAND PAINTING. The Pictures are made of natural colored sands, and there is NO glue used at all."

(l - r) “BAD DOG” sign; Desiccated Pram Wheels; Sheep’s Meadow, Lawrence Rothbort (1920-1963), Prospect Park, Brooklyn; Anonymous Moonscape Beach Scene; Gilt Carved and Drawn Panel with Madonna; Edwin Lawson, Historic Fashions; Railroad Sign; Anonymous sculpture ofa topless dancer.
Steven S. Powers

In addition, the exhibition features a significant work by Sanford Darling (1894-1973) with swaying palm trees and paintings by additional artists that show waterways, islands, and landscapes. One painting shows an expansive view of Prospect Park, Brooklyn, done by an eccentric artist, Lawrence Rothbort (1920-1963), who worked en plein air and painted with pointed sticks. Works by Miroslav Tichy, The Maine Hermit, Royal Roberson, and anonymous show paintings and sculptures of scantily clad or nude bodies.

Manhattan Beach: An Urban Summer runs July 14 through September 8, 2022.

The gallery is open Thursday-Sunday 12:00-6:00 pm. To keep up to date on gallery features follow Steven S. Powers (@stevenspowers ) and Joshua Lowenfels (@ployaarrtt ) on Instagram.

Steve Powers

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