Artist Spotlight: Daniel Herr

Daniel Herr, White Nights, Oil, chalk pastel, and collage on canvas, 56 x 56 in. Image courtesy of Lindsay Comstock.

Daniel Herr is an abstract painter whose expressive brushstrokes and vibrant colors combine to create dynamic landscape imagery. Originally from California, Herr has done numerous residencies internationally, completed his MFA at Boston University, and is currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY. His nomadic lifestyle lends itself to his artwork’s focus on place, where one comes from, and where one feels at home. His memories and experiences with places provide reference to his work. This is specifically visible in his piece, White Nights, currently on view at Abigail Ogilvy gallery until October 28th.

Herr reflects back to when he created the painting, “There was a bridge I used to walk across at night to my apartment in Cambridge from my studio in grad school. I loved the idea that I could wake up, walk over the river to go to work, walk back at night.” The nighttime view was mostly mundane institutional buildings, but at night they seemed to have a magic to them. The river was frozen solid all winter, and as he passed over the bridge Herr kept thinking about Starry Night Over the Rhone by Vincent Van Gogh, and the idea of creating his own personal version of the painting.

Daniel Herr. Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Lindsay Comstock.

In regards to titling his pieces, he adds whimsy to his work by using what he describes as “absurd phrases”.  These phrases usually have a narrative quality to them, mirroring the story like aspects of his pieces. He explains, “I like the idea that the picture can tell a story, even if not a beginning, middle, and end. It's more like a title to a poem: it references something specific that the poem isn't saying directly.” Indeed, his art is a visual poetry: expressive, emotional, and sometimes ambiguous. Embracing this ambiguity, he describes his paintings as similar to multiple exposures, superimposed on top of each other.

He continues to expand on the energetic feeling of his paintings in what he is currently working on by creating a series of medium-scale paintings based on watercolor and quick sketches.


Daniel Herr received his MFA from Boston University in 2011 and his BA from the University of California, Davis in 2004. Herr has completed artist residencies around the world including the Molten Capital residency at Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago, Chile, Estudio Nónmada in Barcelona, Spain, and the Artist Colony residency at the Inside–Out Art Museum in Beijing, China. Herr’s work is now apart of the Inside–Out Art Museum’s permanent collection as well as having been exhibited in the United States and Chile. Daniel Herr lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Herr is currently part of a group exhibition at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery, Nocturne, on view from 10/3 to 10/28.

Minimalist Design for a Boston Loft

THE STORY: Our client, who lives just blocks from the gallery in South Boston, visited our annual Salon Show in early 2018. This exhibition is a collection of the newest artworks by our represented artists, as well as a few new artists we are featuring for the first time. I love this show because it is incredibly eclectic, it is a wonderful show to visit if you are a new or established collector, there are so many interesting artworks and styles on view, the exhibition helps guide our collectors in developing their tastes.

After viewing Nicole's available work in December, the client left to consider whether the work was the right fit for his space. He spent a few months thinking about the piece, and then contacted us this summer to move forward with installing the work.

THE ARTWORK: Nicole Patel's artwork represents all things minimal. Her graph series, created with a single thread across a muslin surface, explore elements of drawing and design through textile. Patel's artwork pairs beautifully with the sleek and sophisticated style of the minimalist home. We felt the combination of the geometric grid and the natural aspects of Nicole’s materials were a perfect fit for this sleek modern apartment perfectly.


OUR ADVICE: We encourage collectors to go at their own pace when deciding on artwork. Buying a new piece for your home is an important decision, for some - they are quick to choose and fill their walls with art, others like spending more time carefully considering the options. Although, if you spend too much time thinking about a piece it may be sold by the time you contact the gallery! 

We were thrilled with how perfectly the artwork fit into his space. Our installer, Jonathan Stangroom, and the Abigail Ogilvy team goes to the client's home when installing to give advice on where the work should hang, how high, and if objects or other artwork should be moved around to make room for the new piece. Patel’s work fills the room with a presence. It acts as an anchor for the viewer, like the steady breaths of meditation, allowing us to gain a new vantage point for observation and acceptance.

As a new art collector, this is the first piece the client has ever acquired for his space. We are always excited to help build a new collection, and we are so grateful for our client's thoughtfulness when choosing Nicole Patel's artwork.

Nicole Patel, "Aqua Graph," Cotton Thread on Natural Muslin with Red Oak Frame, 40 x 32 in.

Close up: Black Graph, image courtesy of Sweetu Patel

Summer Guide: University Art Galleries

Boston is a college town, so it's no surprise we have incredible university art galleries in the area. Last week we visited three exhibitions that we highly recommend adding to your summer bucket list! 

Harvard Art Museums
Analog Culture: Printer’s Proofs from the Schneider/Erdman Photography Lab, 1981–2001
Exhibition Dates: May 19 - August 12, 2018

  Photo courtesy of Harvard Art Museums instagram @harvardartmuseums

Photo courtesy of Harvard Art Museums instagram @harvardartmuseums

The exhibition Analog Culture: Printer’s Proofs from the Schneider/Erdman Photography Lab, 1981–2001 at Harvard Art Museums presents nearly 450 photographs printed over three decades by Gary Schneider of the Manhattan-based studio Schneider/Erdman, Inc. as well as an informative look at darkroom photography and printing techniques.

This exhibit provides the viewer with a window into New York City art communities during the 1980’s through to the early 2000’s and their responses to issues of the time, notably the AIDS crisis. On display one can view images of “The Beatles, London, August 11, 1967” by Richard Avedon and “Twins at the Beach” by Louise Dahl-Wolfe as well as three-color photographs by Paul Thek and his studio by Peter Hujar.  The exhibition also includes photographs by Robert Gober, who is most well-known for his sculptures and installations. Visitors can interact with large monitors that display various videos about the printer’s practice. 

The exhibit is exciting to visit for someone who knows little about photography or for someone who is well versed in the matter. Overall, the show is a fantastic presentation of the work of numerous photographers in collaboration with the printer Gary Schneider. 

MIT List Visual Arts Center
Allison Katz: Diary w/o Dates
Exhibition Dates: May 18 - July 29, 2018

This summer the MIT List Visual Arts Center presents Allison Katz: Diary w/o Dates–her first solo exhibition in the United States. Allison Katz is a Canadian born painter currently living and working in London. This suite of 12 paintings is an exploration of the concept of the calendar and it’s regularly spaced demarcating of time. The paintings, which are all the same size, hang along the longest wall of the gallery with one painting on either end of the line spilling onto the short end walls. One painting for each calendar month hangs so that as the viewer enters the space they are met with their expanse. The opposite wall remains blank except for the titles which are along the floor molding directly across from their corresponding paintings.

  Photo courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center and Peter Harris Studio

Photo courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center and Peter Harris Studio

According to the exhibition video Katz says that the exhibition title Diary w/o Dates refers to “a sort of contradiction that I wanted to get across which is that a diary is something structured by time, but if you remove the time component, it seems to be a sort of collection of experience connected to one person, but not necessarily personal.”  Katz’s goal in these paintings was also to explore the presentation of women in calendars and push against the exploitation of their images. Though they explore questions of women’s representation and historical exploitation in their images through the paintings’ relationship to calendar’s such as the French Republican calendar, showing each month as an allegorical woman, and the contemporary examples of Sports Illustrated calendars, the paintings do not take an explicitly feminist stance against exploitative modes of representation but rather simply offer a more subdued and more self expressive example of representation.

Boston University
Boston Young Contemporaries 
Exhibition Dates: June 22 — July 21, 2018

The Boston Young Contemporaries exhibition at Boston University displays works by nineteen graduate student artists from New England, providing viewers an introduction to up-and-coming artists in the Northeast. This eclectic curation of artworks was selected by this years BYC juror, Sean Downey, who received his MFA from Boston University. The exhibition includes paintings, photography, sculptures, and videos that span a variety of subjects. 

In her work Just an Everyday Conversation, Nicole Winning lines a metal shelf with glass bottles containing porcelain clay and water. The variation in clay used makes every bottle a unique shade of brownish-grey, and each bottle is labeled with a QR sticker that if scanned, takes the viewer to a video. William Karlen’s painting The Strangeness of Sleep (oil on canvas) depicts a blue sleeping bag, propped upright against a dark window. The sleeping bag appears to be empty and it is unclear how the limp fabric is able to maintain its gravity-defying position. Marisa Adesman’s Vertumnus’ Bride depicts a female figure whose skin resembles melting wax. The title of this painting refers to Italian painter Guiseppe Arcimboldo’s portrait of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II as Vertumnus. Although instead of constructing her figure from vegetables, Adesman paints her subject in what resembles thick globs of paint that appear to have not yet dried, but is actually perfectly rendered frosting covering the figure's body.

As a whole, the exhibition is an impressive presentation of works by emerging artists. Each piece in the exhibition is excellent on its own, yet together the collection reveals the multitudes of talent in New England and celebrates the early careers of these artists. 

  Photo courtesy: Sean Downey, exhibition juror

Photo courtesy: Sean Downey, exhibition juror

Press Release: Night Swimming

Austin Eddy, Luca Molnar, Donna Moylan, Jenna Pirello, and Natalia Wróbel
June 7 – August 19, 2018

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is proud to present Night Swimming, an exhibition featuring Austin Eddy, Luca Molnar, Donna Moylan, Jenna Pirello, and Natalia Wróbel. Night Swimming is a selection of contemporary paintings showing a junction between abstraction and figuration. These paintings engage the viewer with their uses of geometric and organic forms, patterns, and irregularities.  The works in this exhibition converge where reality meets fantasy, bringing the audience into an imaginary realm through an overwhelming sense of wonder and creativity.

 Installation shot of  Night Swimming , on view through August 19th

Installation shot of Night Swimming, on view through August 19th

Austin Eddy, Three Birds, Two Clouds, One Man Caught Moving. Flashe, Acrylic, paper collage on paper 26 x 20 in.

            Austin Eddy, a Boston-native, is an abstract painter currently working in Brooklyn, NY. Eddy uses mixed-media elements to create vibrant and geometric assemblages that are often sculptural, but typically in the form of a painting. Eddy’s works on paper break down forms into basic geometry. Triangles, squares, and circles make up the figures’ bodies. What appears to be a repeated pattern or color field turns into the neck of a bird, the hull of a boat, or man’s hat in motion. Eddy has focused on this simplification of form and narrative for several years through both a serious and lighthearted approach. His painting on canvas, Flying-Fingers, City-Face (Between Here and There), depicts his most recent addition of collage elements on top of the oil paint. From a distance the work appears mostly abstract, but as the viewer approaches the canvas they will find a swan, a man with a trumpet, or angels flying amongst the varying textures of oil paint.

Eddy received a BFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his work was recently exhibited at Fresh Windows Gallery in Brooklyn NY, SetUp 2018 Art Fair with Cellar Contemporary (Italy), and David Shelton Gallery in Houston, TX. Upcoming, Eddy’s work will be shown at SOCO Gallery in Charlotte, NC, Ampersand Gallery in Portland, OR, as well as Viu Gallery in Queens, New York. He recently completed the Liquitex International Residency in London. 

Luca Molnar, Vesuvius at home. Oil on panel. 40 x 30 in.

Luca Molnar currently lives and works outside of New York in Jersey City, New Jersey. Her abstract paintings are derived from maps of places, whether real or imagined. Molnar writes, "I am drawn to patterns found in domestic spaces like bathrooms and kitchens, the center of care for the body. The inescapable duality of homes as both sites of comfort and battlegrounds of intimate violence leads me to paint contested borders, edges where disparate patterns or colors confront one another." In her painting, Vesuvius at Home, Molnar combines flat colors, vibrant patterns, and suggests a flannel cloth with the use of oil paint alone. The artist intentionally combines seemingly jarring textures and surfaces, coming together to create a surprising unity as a whole. 

            Molnar was born in Budapest, Hungary, she received her BA from Dartmouth College and her MFA from New York University. Her artwork has been exhibited throughout the country, most recently at 80WSE Gallery in New York City. 

Donna Moylan. Nocturne. Acrylic, oil and linen on panel. 10 x 10 in

Donna Moylan’s paintings transport the viewer into a world divided between reality and fantasy. An abstracted background meets figures and landscapes presented across the foreground of her work. Upon closer inspection, a couple embraces inside a hut, a crab scurries over grass, a figure seems to be half man half animal, elements that could be missed via a quick glance. Her color choices demand an audience, either bright and bold, or dark and ominous through thinly applied paint. Moylan’s work exudes spontaneity, freeing both the artist and viewer from societal expectations.

Moylan has studios in Houston and New York.  She grew up in Boston where she attended Massachusetts College of Art during high school and The Museum of Fine Arts School for college on full scholarship. Moylan then left for Rome, Italy where she began her career as a professional artist. Selected collections include the Whitney Museum of Art, The Cleveland Center for the Arts, The New York Public Collection, and The Achille Maramotti Collection, Italy. Her work has been reviewed by the New York Times, Art Forum, Art in America along with many other publications as well as in Italy. 

Jenna Pirello is a contemporary painter who emphasizes the idea of process. In her most recent works, Pirello uses wood panel to transcend the traditional idea of a frame and creates an imperfect ground to work on. The organic nature of the wood panel reflects the unpredictability of the paint, which moves organically, resulting in vibrant, abstract pieces. Pirello generally describes herself as a process-based painter, often spending weeks drawing in order to develop an idea or temperament. The bulk of the decision making, however, is made in reaction to what the paint itself is doing. Describing her process as "a series of methodical excavations. Treating my body as a shapeshifter, I move rhythmically to change the pace, pressure and intention through various ways of touching the surface.”

 Left: Jenna Pirello, Don't Touch Me - I'm A Real Live Wire, 30 x 24 in. Acrylic on wood Right: Jenna Pirello, Silver Springs, 30 x 24 in. Acrylic on wood

Left: Jenna Pirello, Don't Touch Me - I'm A Real Live Wire, 30 x 24 in. Acrylic on wood
Right: Jenna Pirello, Silver Springs, 30 x 24 in. Acrylic on wood

Pirello received her BFA in painting and sculpture from Boston University, then went on to earn her MFA in painting from Yale University. Jenna was born in Newton, MA and grew up in the suburbs of Boston. She was recently granted a Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship from Provincetown MA, where she also exhibited in a solo fellow show titled Slow Disco in 2018.

Natalia Wróbel is an abstract painter currently living and working in Amsterdam. Her artwork featured in Night Swimming was completed during her artist residency this fall in Berlin, Germany at the Berlin Art Institute. Wróbel writes, “I was inspired by cosmology, the idea of the multiverse, esoteric philosophy that acknowledges the inherent mystery around us, optical illusions, mindscape as landscape, and inversion of space.” The paintings give the viewer a sense of the unknown, as if they are peeking into a private moment shared between themselves and the artist. The artworks come from a place of self-reflection for Wróbel, in the most pure and honest way. Each piece creates a sense of overall cohesiveness, while there are hundreds of small moments created through the lines and brushstrokes to captivate an audience for hours.

Natalia Wróbel Gates to Masada Oil paint and charcoal on Belgian linen 55 x 39.4 in.

Wrobél studied art at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, US, the New York Studio School, and the Lorenzo de'Medici Institute in Florence. Her paintings are featured in private collections around the world and have been on view at Art Fairs including Art Basel: Miami, Art South Hampton, and Texas Contemporary. She received the New York Studio School Mercedes Matter Fellowship in 2012, and the Murray Art Prize in 2015. In 2016, her painting was selected for inclusion at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston Auction. In 2017, Wrobel completed a painting residency at the Berlin Art Institute and her work was selected for inclusion in the MassArt auction. Wrobel's work is represented by Abigail Ogilvy Gallery in Boston, MA. She currently lives and works in Amsterdam.