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2021 Exhibition at Blue Mountain Gallery
, Diptych, acrylic on canvas, 36"x 96", 2021

New paintings by Janet Sawyer continue to convey “the joy that comes from intense involvement with one’s surroundings” as Jonathan Goodman wrote of an earlier show for Art in America.  Presented here are three black and white works and two 36 x 96” diptychs using strong contrasts and abstract imagery to evoke the progress of time marked by cycles of night and day and lunar and planetary transits.    There are also abstract color-immersion paintings and small (8 x 10”) works relating to these series.

In Transit, above, rhythms of colors and shapes move a planet or moon-like disc across the conceptual time and space of the canvas.  Black and white striped areas suggest motion while wavy intervals serve to advance the transition as clouds do in traditional Chinese painting.

Janet Sawyer was born in 1942 in Raleigh North Carolina where her parents taught at the state school for the blind. She was among the founding students of the NY Studio School, and received a BA from SUNY Stony Brook and MFA from Brooklyn College. She lives and works in Manhattan and Montauk, NY and has exhibited continuously since l972 in NYC, Paris, Berlin, and various American venues.  Her most recent exhibition was in July 2020 at BCK Fine Arts Montauk.  Her work is in collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, West Publishing, Gibbons PC, Sterling Corp., Bryn Mawr College as well as private collections in the U.S. and Europe. Reviews include the New York Times, Art In America, Art News, Where, NY Magazine, Ms. Magazine and other publications.

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Alice Neel
Photo: 1971, Group from left to right includes founding NYSS students Irene Peslikis and Janet Sawyer with Alice Neel, Dee Slack, and Lucia Vernarelli.
Read founding NYSS member Janet Sawyer's extraordinary account of the inception of the Studio School in the NYSS Journal.

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