After her busiest August in 20 years, Elizabeth Eisenhauer has taken a deep breath and hung her favorite art from the summer in her gallery through September. Her selections come from 45 artists carried by the Edgartown gallery. Among them, she has spotlighted four artists: Santiago Garcia, Chase Langford, Rob Brooks, and Stephanie Danforth.
An artist who comes from Uruguay, Garcia specializes in triple-life-size depictions of sneakers. In a recent interview, Eisenhauer said the sneakers are “one of the most loved subject matters I’ve worked with.” The Converse sneaker paintings often appeal to her clients by reminding them of what they wore as children. The brightly colored canvas shoes hang in clusters of two, three, or more. In some cases, they hang from their laces in the center of the work, but in one striking piece, “#1025,” the foreshortened blue sneaker fronts emerge dramatically from the left side of the painting.
Also popular are Garcia’s wild animals. On display this month is a series of his zebras, whose bold black and white stripes impart a strong graphic sense. In “Andante #46,” two zebras stand in profile, heads gently leaning against each other. In two more, “Andante #2” and “#57,” the artist leaves off the animals’ legs, leaving only their torsos and heads in profile. The artist portrays the beauty of these animals without being saccharine.
Cape Cod–based Rob Brooks focuses on beach scenes and varied objects like ice bins and Volkswagens. Using high-intensity primary colors, his paintings are flooded with light. In “Twilight Samba,” though, he portrays a red-and-white Volkswagen bus on a road that curves around in front of a vivid sunset of yellow, purple, and a small amount of orange. In “Sextet,” six light or dark blue dinghies line up along a buff-colored, rope-strewn dock that angles off to the top right of the painting. Interestingly, the water is tinted yellow.
Los Angeles–based artist Chase Langford began at an early age to study and draw maps, and as a teenager, he had more than 1,000 maps and atlases. He writes in his artist’s statement, “Inevitably the visual rhythms of geography largely created my visual sensibility … Today my paintings still echo their geographic foundation.” “Tasman Sea” is an abstract painting that takes irregularly shaped blue circles and moves them across the canvas in a lively manner. In “Santa Barbara,” three black and blue lined, vaguely oval shapes float on blue curved belts that could be seen as ocean waves.
Stephanie Danforth hails from Chilmark, and her poppies set on gold leaf project a lushness that complements their metallic backgrounds. In “Inclusion,” five poppies of orange and pink with one green bud line up to show off the beauty of their petals. “Synergy,” an extreme close-up of two flowers, presents richly ridged pink and orange petals surrounding two yellow pistils and stamens.
Other work on display includes the farm animals of Cheri Christensen, comprising the Belted Galloway cattle of “Vineyard Oreos,” the chicken portrait of “Scrappy Chick,” and another portrait, “Lamb Chop.” Eisenhauer calls the late Stanley Bleifeld “the most accomplished artist I’ve ever worked with.” His life-size sculptures like “Busstop in a Snow Storm 4/7” are part of the Naval Memorial collection in Washington, D.C. This abstract work incorporates figurative elements like an umbrella and the front of the bus in question. Cape Cod–based Robert Cardinal’s “Red Barn at Dawn” takes pride of place in front of the gallery, and Eisenhauer’s son Hugh Holborn, who is a blacksmith, has on exhibit “Albulidae 3 & 4,” two forged iron fish. -Brooks Robards, Martha's Vineyard Times, September 12, 2018