Margaret Grimes was not just a painter of nature, she was a force of nature. She belongs to an illustrious lineage of artists depicting New England, in her case primarily Connecticut and Maine, and yet her take on this canonical terrain was always fresh and uniquely her own—won, in fact, from intrepid battling through forbidding obstacles in search of untrammeled wildness, which was her actual subject. As Susanna Coffey wrote in these pages in a tribute to Grimes when she died in 2020: “Each completed painting was the result of many trips to the place where it was first begun. She needed to revisit the foliage, lighting and weather conditions with which she had started. Of course, she struggled with the inevitable changes she found, for that is what she loved about painting landscape. Inspired by the intricacy and linearity of briary thickets, choking vines, entwined scrub or clumps of broken sticks and bare branches, she painted attentively, as if deciphering an ancient vegetal code. She not an artist who favored the picturesque.” This belated memorial exhibition, organized by her daughter Carolyn Wallace at Blue Mountain Gallery, is her 19th with this artists’ coop of which she was a founder member. Again, true to subject and personality alike, Margaret Grimes continued timeless traditions by being a founder of new institutions—her gallery being one and the highly regarded MFA program at Western Connecticut State University being another. DAVID COHEN
image: Dawn Elegy, 2010
Through February 26, with closing day concert by Bill Warfield and friends, 2-4pm
547 West 27th Street, Suite 200.