NANNO de GROOT: EARTH, SEA & SKY

9 February – 17 March, 2007

ACME Fine Art’s exhibition NANNO DE GROOT: EARTH, SEA & SKY opens with a reception on Friday 9 February 2007 from 6 to 8 in the evening. The exhibition will feature a substantial group of important oil paintings form the artist’s Provincetown period. Gallery Director David Cowan collaborated with the artist’s widow, Pat de Groot, in selecting a group of paintings that would individually and collectively demonstrate the remarkable emotional range of this talented abstract expressionist painter, and that would also exemplify the simple yet powerful beauty that his late work achieves.

The Dutch born artist Nanno de Groot (1913-1963) emigrated to the U.S. following his service in the Dutch Navy in the early 1940s. His painting career began when he moved to New York City in the late 1940s, built a painting studio, and began painting in a highly sophisticated, abstract mode. The 1950s were a time of great creativity for de Groot. It was the height of the abstract expressionist movement in New York, where de Groot’s highly abstract, deftly expressed, linear figure canvasses were exhibited at the Stable Gallery, the Bertha Schaefer Gallery and at the Hansa Gallery. In the mid-1950s de Groot discovered the Provincetown art colony, and spent his first summer there in 1956. De Groot quickly became a prominent member of the Provincetown community of artists, where he regularly showed his work in solo exhibitions at Nat Halpert’s H.C.E. Gallery from that first summer on.

The early 1960s saw de Groot and his wife Pat buy land, then design, and build a house on the bay in Provincetown. By 1962, they had taken up permanent residence there. De Groot’s paintings from this period remained abstract; however, instead of using the human form as his inspiration, de Groot’s inspiration now came from the landscape around him. Most commonly he painted open fields, flowers, and the sea, and his work from the 1960s reflects and expresses this artist’s profound artistic connection with nature. There is a bravura and vitality about these paintings that also reflects the personality of the artist. The canvasses are typically thick with oil paint that appears to have been almost frenetically applied however elegant the result. De Groot’s fields wave as if in a wind created by the artist’s dramatic gesture, and his seas writhe with an underlying energy that is in no way dissipated by the medium. The overall effect is reminiscent of his Dutch kinsman Van Gogh’s late landscapes, but in a scale, and with a focussed expressive quality that is unique to Nanno de Groot.

ACME Fine Art’s exhibition NANNO DE GROOT: EARTH, SEA & SKY will be on view from 9 February through 17 March 2007. The exhibition will also be viewable on-line at www.acmefineart.com after 12 February.