Jane Deering Gallery
Points of View: Michael Porter | Chris Pullman
June 2 - 29 . 2016
Jane Deering Gallery . 19 Pleasant Street . Gloucester MA 01930
Thursday - Sunday . 12noon - 5pm . and by appointment

Standing by the sea, the eye intuitively travels as far a the horizon line, then upwards to the sky. Michael Porter and Christopher Pullman look at what is close at hand, neither artist feeling the need to stretch beyond the immediate. As Porter says “The objects closest to me were always more interesting than those in the distance …” and in Pullman’s words “The large rocks and granite slabs at the beach below my cottage have been the subject of long observations.”

Points of View presents paintings the artists have made of physical features found along the Cape Ann coast, more specifically along the bit of coast that hugs the village of Annisquam in Gloucester MA. In 2004, Porter was invited by the Cape Ann Museum and Montserrat College of Art (with support from the Arts Council of Great Britain) to spend six months in Gloucester observing and interpreting the natural elements special to Cape Ann. Chris Pullman has summered in Annisquam for 45 years. His cottage on Planters Neck looks west over Cambridge Beach. He walks the path to the beach, studies the tide and puts his chair in the sand near a lone granite rock or a trio of boulders, then in silence studies the rock formations, observing contours and crevices as they change in the shifting light. From the paper emerge portraits of age-old stone.

It is a contemplative approach, unhurried, deliberate, lost in observation. How often do any of us engage this, take the time to notice what’s at our feet or immediately to hand? Porter and Pullman have found extraordinary complexities and grandeur in a multitude of natural elements discovered on their short travels. One does not have to journey far to find wonder.

It appears the artists have stylistic differences. But do they? (Stylistic differences seem apparent. But are they?) Porter’s work seemingly tilts toward abstraction, though he bristles at that description. “I consider myself a literal landscape painter,” he says. “My paintings record texture, light, and the physicality of the actual object.” Chris Pullman’s work is also literal but represents the object as the eye understands it -- as a three-dimensional object in space.

Michael Porter (b.1948, Derbyshire UK) completed undergraduate and post-graduate studies at Chelsea School of Art, and finished his academic training as Fellow in Fine Art at Gloucestershire College of Art in 1973. From 1974 he worked in the same studio in Hackney, East London until his move to Cornwall in 1997 during this period he lectured in most major Art Schools in London and the provinces as well as several throughout Europe. His work has been regularly exhibited in museums and contemporary galleries in London, Europe and America and has been the recipient of numerous major awards e.g.. The National Gallery Artist in residence, The Lorne Award London University, The Odin Award RWA, Honorary doctorate from Derby University and more recently Honorary Fellow of University College Falmouth. Porter’s work is held in numerous museum and public collections and is included in the permanent collection of the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester MA.

Christopher Pullman (b.1941, US) received a BA in History from Princeton University and an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University. In 1966, he began teaching in the graduate and undergraduate programs at Yale, an affiliation he still maintains regularly as Senior Critic, with a focus on motion design. For 35 years, he served as Vice President of Design for WGBH, a major supplier of programs and web content for PBS. In 2002, he was honored with the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) medal for a lifetime of contributions to the practice and teaching of design. Since retiring from WGBH in 2008, Pullman continues to teach, critique and lecture at various schools, and is more seriously pursuing a long personal interest in painting. His work has been the subject of a solo exhibition at the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester MA and at several regional galleries.
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