Friday, August 04, 2006

Dear Howard

Walking into the McMurtrey Gallery here and seeing your newest work covering the walls was as fulfilling an experience as I have had in weeks.

The colors, the liveliness – the lives of your paintings – gave me a sense of history. Too exaggerated, maybe, but it’s how I feel. Since I bought your figurative “Moment of Clarity” four years ago, you’ve given me the chance to see an artist develop his work into new and more expansive expressions. Usually, I get snapshots of artists’ careers: the single piece here and there in a gallery and museum; then the occasional retrospective that lets me see how a painter grows and changes over the years.

These are different times, especially for the occasional collector who doesn’t live in art-centered New York City, San Francisco or London. You’ve not only continued to develop (in leaps and bounds). You’ve communicated that development actively with your friends and collectors.

When I talked with Roni McMurtrey yesterday, she went considerably beyond her role as gallery director. She was as proud of you and your “Venti Americano” show as any parent and with good reason. The fact that every piece (except one) had little red “sold” dots beside it is just part of it. The two stunning new works you’d just brought in – and which were already spoken for – was another. She was particularly thrilled with the idea that your talent has been increasingly recognized, and that new fellowships are coming your way.

I don’t have the eye or the vocabulary to have written a review like the one by Keith Plocek in the Houston Press. My own efforts (like this past post) haven’t conjured up the descriptive imagery he used: “Happy, violent, dark, bright, expressive…”

I do know that the McMurtrey intends to hold your show over for at least another week, ‘til August 12th, and that most of the patrons have agreed to leave their Howard Sherman pieces on her walls until the show is over.

I’ll pass the word in the usual way, because other people should see the exhibition in this outstanding space. I hope others will look at your new works on the interactive portion of the gallery’s website.

Keep it up. All the best from your hometown…and one of your early fans.

“DMO,” mixed media on canvas, 60” x 50”, Howard Sherman. Courtesy of McMurtrey Gallery, 3508 Lake Street, Houston, TX.

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