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Ollie Balf: A Bright Life

Founders Gallery

September 15, 2019 - November 15, 2019

Gallery Hours
M-F, 10am–5pm

Reception: November 13th, 5–8pm

In the late 1940s after graduating college, Balf would go on to live in New York and studied at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts. While in those years artists from New York flocked to the coasts of Massachusetts, instead of following Hofmann to Provincetown, Balf landed in Rockport, MA, spending his first summer there in 1947. Balf was among the founding faculty of Montserrat which was officially open for enrollment in 1970.

Balf fell in love with water-coloring on Cape Ann, a medium he’d never been formally taught but later declared his favorite. In between visits to Old Garden Beach and East Gloucester’s Hawthorne Inn Jazz Club, he knocked out three paintings a day.

“Watercolor is full of surprises,” he once wrote. “Colors are always different when wet, and unpredictable when dry. Accidents are part of the process and you handle the accidents differently each time they occur, so you never know what the final result will be.”

A Bright Life features eight framed and fourteen unframed watercolors from various years, ranging from abstract to observational.

Event created in conversation with “Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction” currently on view at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Lydia Gordon & Tim Harney: The Impact of Hofmann