Nantucket Arts Nantucket Events

Visions Together

Florence Putterman, Robert Dane, & Carl Lopes

by Suzanne Daub

In the heart of downtown Nantucket, the pulse of creativity beats strong as an extraordinary art exhibition has been mounted. The Gallery at Four India is showing the diverse and vivid expressions of three remarkable artists: Florence Putterman, Robert Dane, and Carl Lopes. Each brings unique perspective, and their work in different mediums weave a narrative that captivates the soul and ignites the imagination.

This Friday, July 12, from 6 to 8 pm Kathleen Knight is hosting a reception to celebrate these artists, their work, and this stunning exhibition.

Florence Putterman, acclaimed for her groundbreaking abstract paintings that dance between the ethereal and the grounded, has been a luminary in the art world for more than 50 years. Her work transcends abstraction: it evokes emotion and contemplation. In her own words, “My paintings and works on paper have long explored how to develop a modern visual equivalent to the deeply felt interrelationship of earth and cosmos sacred to primitive cultures.”

Entitled Entwined Metaphors, after the title of a new book that includes Putterman’s recollections of her life as an artist, essays and articles written about her, and reproductions of many of her works, the exhibit is a testament to this artist’s mastery of form and light, deliberate yet freeing in an interplay of hue and texture.

Kathleen Knight, who owns Gallery at Four India and curated the exhibits, describes Putterman’s art as “colorful and expressive…her paintings show her love for the sea, wildlife, and sealife combined with her spirituality…this exhibit is a way to rediscover an artist who had strong Nantucket connections and a worldwide following.” The show in The Gallery at Four India is the first viewing of her work since Putterman (a devoted Nantucket summer resident) exhibited here in the 1980s with Reggie Levine.

“She related well to animals and other creatures—in her paintings, they had a magical appearance…People who collect her art have more than one piece. We have one collector who has more than 30 pieces,” added Larry Putterman, the artist’s son.

Florence Putterman was awarded a National Endowment Grant in 1979 and has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions in the United States and Europe. She received many other awards and fellowships, and her paintings and prints can be seen in countless museum, university, and corporate collections around the world.

“I examine the world through my painting,” Florence Putterman once said, “My work springs from actual experience visually recalled and made permanent. My themes and images are concerned with man, his environment, and his interrelationships with all living creatures.”

Kathleen Knight chose to feature the glass sculptures of artist Robert Dane and the work of Carl Lopes as companion exhibits because of the symbolism in the work of all three of these artists: “all three express symbols and cultures close to the earth…primal, with a similar sense of metaphor.”

Heartbeats & Harmony is a collaborative show in The Gallery at Four India featuring work by Dane and Lopes—a “carry-over” for those unable to view the exhibit in The Sandwich Glass Museum. “Based on their mutual love of Afro- Caribbean drumming and jazz, this exhibit features glass sculpture and imagery reflecting inspiration from Afrocentric cultures. Those who know Robert Dane’s passion for drumming will be delighted by this interesting display of art glass by Dane and paintings by Lopes.”

Robert Dane’s chosen medium of glass is as delicate as it is transformative. This artist has been fascinated with glasswork from a young age—a fascination that evolved into a lifelong exploration of the material and of the delicate balance between fragility and strength that glass embodies. He’s studied with Italian glassmakers and has mastered murrine and other techniques. While his work is inspired by the Italian tradition of glassblowing, it has a distinctly American flavor, with vibrant colors and spontaneous improvisation.

Dane’s sculptures in this exhibition are a testament to his technical prowess and his artistic vision. Each piece is one-of-a-kind: an original work inspired by Caribbean and African culture.

Multi-media artist Carl Lopes was raised in a rich tradition of dance and music. His artwork explores realms where reality and imagination intertwine. Using airbrushed acrylics, holographic papers, glass beads, and jewelry, Lopes’ paintings appear like stained glass lit from behind. With bold strokes and subtle nuances, his work resonates with a quiet intensity.

Lopes describes his art as “a respectful nod to centuries of influential African design and tradition. Colors, patterns and compositions pay tribute to ancestral heritages and cultures, yet maintain a direct contemporary vibe.”

Together, Florence Putterman, Robert Dane, and Carl Lopes create a tapestry of creativity that spans generations and disciplines. Their companion exhibits in The Gallery at Four India offer a glimpse into the souls of artists who have dedicated their lives to capturing the intangible essence of beauty and truth. Each brushstroke, each fusion of glass, each embellishment expresses an unyielding desire to create something that resonates beyond the confines of time and space.

This art exhibition in The Gallery at Four India featuring Florence Putterman, Robert Dane, and Carl Lopes is a celebration of the human spirit’s boundless capacity for creativity and expression. It is a reminder that art, in all its forms, has the power to transcend barriers and unite us in a shared experience of beauty and wonder.

The Gallery at Four India Street, upstairs at 4 India
Reception Friday, July 12 from 6 to 8 pm
Gallery hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm & Sunday noon-4 pm 508-228-8509

Articles by Date from 2012