On Thursday, Nov. 12, Marist College welcomed visiting artist Paul Sattler, currently an Associate Professor of Art and Gallery Director at Skidmore College, and his works to Steel Plant Studios. The kick-off to this exhibition, titled Remedy: About a Decade of Painting, featuring many of Sattler’s stunning pieces, was an absolute success.
The man behind the magic is Steel Plant’s Art Gallery Director, Ed Smith. Why did Smith decide to use Sattler’s work?
“The concept of being a Gallery Director is to serve the community and provide the students with a broad spectrum of artwork,” Smith stated.” Since it’s been quite some time since the gallery has seen a representative painter, Sattler was the best choice possible.” The two men are former Boston University professors and were re-acquainted with each other two summers ago. Smith referred to Sattler as “one of the best painters of this time.”
Sattler’s shorthand work is what stands out the most to Smith. “He does it with such intelligence and autonomy,” Smith said. “It’s almost abstract. It is as though he took certain samplings and put them in contemporary work.”
As for setting up the actual opening, Smith had the helpful hands of his gallery workers. These students, comprised of Digital Media and Studio Art majors, work for the gallery all year long as an on-campus job. Laura Formisano, one of the employees, enjoys the hands-on experience.
“It exposes you to different perspectives and interpretations to life events,” she said. “Art is expanding a lot.”
Setting up a show can be a tedious but rewarding task. It can include hanging individual lights above each piece, hanging the pieces themselves, labeling, preparing hors d’oeuvres, and publicizing the show itself. The students also serve and guide guests throughout the show’s opening. It is the common passion for art that fuels twins Danny and Sam Lauro, along with many other students working and putting forth so much towards the event.
“The work is gorgeous,” Danny Lauro said.
“And the colors are so vibrant and breathtaking,” Sam Lauro added.
Sattler was happy to speak about his work. His favorite piece that he worked on is titled “Reading the Letters,” his newest work. A beautifully vibrant painting, the inspiration for it was famous painter Henri Matisse. In his older years, Matisse was highly ill, leaving him unable to stand and almost completely blind. As a result, his wife would read him letters in an attempt to lift his spirits, which is what the scene depicts. Sattler mentioned that the “brighter colors” and “sunny glow” represent the south of France, where the piece is set. He also noted that he used a combination of his painting styles along with Matisse’s own personal style, and found the experience to be “very freeing.”
A self-described solitary person, Sattler stated that he has always found making pictures to be the best way to make clear of what is going on inside his head.