Tucked away at the very end of Cape Cod, Provincetown has been an artist’s haven for many painters like Charles Hawthorne, Milton Avery, and Adolph Gottlieb. New York native Paul Resika joins that list, studying under the instruction of abstract-expressionist and Provincetown artist, Hans Hofmann as a teenager in the 1940s. Now, Resika’s dreamlike and avant-garde still-lives and landscapes dress the walls of Lori Bookstein Fine Art Gallery, on view through the end of this week.
This show is comprised of several decades of Resika’s career starting from the late seventies to his more recent work in 2014. The artist’s 2004 piece, “Arabesque,” features a blurred and suggestive memory of a day along the Provincetown shoreline. Inspired by his time on Cape Cod, Resika’s use of bright colors is reminiscent of Fauves like Henri Matisse and André Derain.
The classically painted nudes in his work like Arabesque (2004) and Red Nude (1993) are Romanesque and inspired by his studies of old masters in Italy during the fifties. Resika exaggerates his brush strokes, and layers his paint to create more luxurious paintings. He plays with lightness in his color palette, which makes his painted skies in The Old Pier (1985-87) and The Sail (1993) feel airy. Resika’s whimsical technique of painting contributes to his playful contrasts of painted curves and sharp geometric forms.
This is the artist’s seventh solo show at the gallery and will coincide with “Paul Resika: Paintings, 1947-2014” exhibition at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum on view until the end of August. Resika’s work is also included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art among numerous others.