It's Magic

December 10, 2014 – January 10, 2015

Alfonso Fratteggiani Bianchi

023k Blu 45202, 2014

Pigment on Sandstone

8 1/4 x 5 1/2 in. (21 x 14 cm)


John Elderfield

Mexico (North), 2012

Oil on panel

9 x 12 in. (22.86 x 30.48 cm)


William Bailey

Soldier, 2011

Oil on canvas

40 x 48 in. (101.6 x 121.92 cm)

Signed and dated on verso


Rackstraw Downes

Below the Hospital Complex at 168th Street, 2012

Oil on canvas

11 x 23 in. (27.94 x 58.42 cm)

Initialed Lower Right Verso


Christopher Wilmarth

Gift of the Bridge (Maquette), 1975

Etched glass and steel

36 x 36 x 29 in. (91.44 x 91.44 x 73.66 cm)


Burning Bush

Forrest Bess

Burning Bush, 1953

Oil on canvas

8 x 10 in. (20.32 x 25.4 cm)


Jake Berthot

BONE, 1973

Acrylic on canvas

72 x 72 in. (182.88 x 182.88 cm)


Press Release


December 10 – January 10, 2015

Reception: December 13, 4 – 7PM

Betty Cuningham Gallery is pleased to open, It’s Magic! a group exhibition of works by William Bailey, Jake Berthot, Forrest Bess, Alfonso Fratteggiani Bianchi,  Rackstraw Downes, John Elderfield, Andrew Forge, Alison Wilding, and Christopher Wilmarth,  December 10 – January 10, 2015 with an opening reception on Saturday, December 13th from 4 -7 pm.

The exhibition takes its title from Christopher Wilmarth: “If it’s not magic, it’s merchandise!” and raises the question of what it is we feel when we see a work of art.1

From Forrest Bess’ head size, interior vision, in its rough hewn frame to Rackstraw Downes’ vast unframed view, unfettered by assumption or nostalgia; or from the glass and steel sculptures of Christopher Wilmarth to the stone and pure pigment paintings of Bianchi, the experience of viewing goes beyond the sum of the materials or methods employed. Something happens that draws us in. 

Continuing downstairs at the Gallery are the quiet, contemplative paintings of Andrew Forge, John Elderfield, Jake Berthot and William Bailey; these paintings somehow beg to be experienced by an empathetic viewer. Finally, the single sculpture by Alison Wilding, titled Core, serves as a metaphor for loosing oneself into a work of art as a conical brass vessel resting on a thin surface of rubber draws us into its core or soul.

The exhibition will remain on view through Saturday, January 10, 2015.



Click below for full press review.