Oil paintings by Joseph McGurl
"Becalmed: The Sailing Canoe," 2020, oil on linen panel, 11 x 14 in.

Cavalier Gallery has announced “Contemporary American Luminism: Journey Through Time and Space,” a stunning exhibition of oil paintings by Joseph McGurl. The exhibition will be available online at www.cavaliergalleries.com with private viewings available by appointment in the Greenwich, CT gallery. The exhibition will be presented in our New York gallery at later date. The show opened with a virtual tour and artist talk, including a panel with Fine Art Connoisseur Editor-in-Chief Peter Trippi.

Oil paintings by Joseph McGurl
“Harbor Lights,” 2020, oil on linen panel, 16 x 20 in.

More from the gallery:

One of America’s leading landscape painters, McGurl grew up working with his father, James, a muralist and teacher. After graduating from Massachusetts College of Art and studying in the UK and Italy, McGurl worked as a yacht captain, sailing from Maine to the Caribbean, painting the natural world around him along the way. He furthered his talent by undertaking two years of figure drawing studies with Robert Cormier. McGurl is one of the few realist painters working today who prefers painting en plein air over reliance on photography; thus he is able to form profound personal connections with the landscapes he depicts and allow his memory and imagination to enrich them in his work, making each painting individual. McGurl describes the inspiration behind this exhibition as follows:

“This collection of landscape paintings continues my exploration of our world through the painted image.  Contemporary American Luminism is dependent on philosophy and modern physics rather than style or subject. In a way similar to the 19th century Transcendentalists, including Thoreau and Emerson and Luminist artists including Gifford and Heade, I have an interest in the inherent spiritual implications found in nature. These 19th century artists and writers believed that light was particularly significant. Coincidentally, the particle that gives us light, the photon, has also become dominant in the realm of modern physics giving us insights into the endless possibilities of the ultimate reality that permeates time and space. Sitting in the field interpreting the world with paint on canvas, I realize I may never find an answer to the question that the artist Gaugin asked with his painting titled:  “Where Do We Come From What Are We Where Are We Going”  but I feel closer to that question.  My hope is that these paintings will bring the viewer to a place of contemplation about the beauty of the world we live in and our profound journey through time and space.”

Related Article > Facebook Live Series: Joseph McGurl “Painting Light and Atmosphere” **FREE VIEWING**

Oil paintings by Joseph McGurl
“Port of Entry,” 2020, oil on panel, 24 x 36 in.

McGurl’s paintings have been included in numerous museum exhibitions throughout the United States such as the Cape Cod Museum of Art, The Cahoon Museum of American Art, and the Saint Botolph Club of Boston. McGurl’s work is in the collections of the New Britain Museum of American Art, The Cape Cod Museum of Art, The Mellon Collection, The Forbes Collection, and the Cahoon Museum of American Art.

Oil paintings by Joseph McGurl
“Pathways,” 2020, oil on panel, 8.5 x 12.5 in.

McGurl has been designated a Living Master by the Art Renewal Center of New York. He has been elected to the Guild of Boston Artists, was a Copley Master with the Copley Society of Boston, and is a signature member of the prestigious Plein Air Painters of America. Among his many awards are the Guild of Boston Artists Gold Medallion, The Rehs Award, a Purchase Award, and the John Singleton Copley Award for Artistic Achievement.

Oil paintings by Joseph McGurl
“Field Study, Nantucket Dunes,” 2020, oil on panel, 9 x 12 in.


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  1. Reply to Travis…I am too! As a child, I was fascinated by Bingham’s “Fur Traders” in Child Craft’s book on art. McGurl’s body of work is a welcome eye opener.


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