It’s with great pleasure that I announce the opening of the exhibition She said, She said: Art and inspiration in the work of Nell Painter and Lucille Fornasieri Gold.
If you weren’t already aware, Lucille Gold generously donated a set of 93 photographs to Brooklyn Historical Society in 2008. They are all available for your viewing pleasure here. She has been a favorite of ours for some time: we’ve offered her pictures as enhancements to fundraising events and gift prints to BHS staff; we’ve connected her to the documentarian of New York Street Games who used her photos in the film and to Barclays Arena to be incorporated into displays with other Brooklyn artists; and most recently, we worked with Brooklyn Industries to design t-shirts and also created our own postcard set to launch her photographs still further beyond the doors of the archive. For a petite lady, Lucille’s work packs a punch to the viewfinder from which it is increasingly difficult to turn away the more pictures you see.
So it’s no surprise that when Nell Painter made a research visit to BHS, I pointed her to several photographers of note in our collection and she settled on Lucille’s photographs – or perhaps the photographs settled on her — to create a series of paintings and digital abstractions from the images. She’s now been working on the subjects in Lucille’s photographs for approximately three years with no end in sight. While a respectable chunk of Lucille’s photographs are in color, her black and white work dominates. Yet Nell must see color when she views these images, and she incorporates that color into her vibrant interpretations. The result is a dynamic palette that is now splashed across the canvases and walls in our Brooklyn Community Foundation Gallery.
Nell is no stranger to the limelight herself. Her work, along with Lucille’s, was first shown at the Aferro Gallery in Newark, NJ, and she has been the recipient of several artist residencies. In contrast to Lucille’s photographs, Nell and her work are larger than life and envelop you as you find each piece’s lurking details.
I will leave it to every viewer to conclude what you may from the colors, tones, and personalities behind and within the work. The exhibition will run through February 4, 2015.
Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our new website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit the BHS Othmer Library Wednesday – Saturday, 1:00-5:00 p.m.