Donald Elder show at Zang Gallery

Untitled #1 by Donald Elder.

Each time Donald Elder opens a new exhibit — which he’ll be doing at Elena Zang Gallery in Shady from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. each day of the coming Thanksgiving weekend, November 29 and 30 — he takes those who’ve come out on a journey. His journey back into the roots of a painting career that’s long made him one of the most dedicated artists living in our midst.

There was a time when Elder was best known for his landscapes…atmospheric, even moody, capturings of the woods which surround us, the splash of spring and brace of autumn. They brought him the ability to build a studio next to his home, amidst his bounteous flower gardens.

Then the journey started…or renewed, if you look back at Elder’s early years in a world dominated by abstraction and by the painterly use of expressive brush strokes…of style and expression.

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He played. Made monoprints. Taught. Learned from his students and fellow artists…and his own studio journeys.

Which now makes each new exhibit a celebration. Where has Donald been, what will he show us, where will we all be headed now?

From the look of things, art history is again on this artist’s wind. There’s a sense of Rothko at play, of the entirety of modern painting. But also Elder’s own past.

His new work is muscular, yet full of lightness and room for breath, for dreaming.

It’s all quite loose and beautiful, yet also the result of not only a lifetime in the studio, in various studios, but the kind of thoughtfulness a career of one’s own can bring. And should bring.

Talk about a perfect Thanksgiving exhibition…up until Christmas.

An artist’s reception for Donald Elder will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday afternoons, November 29 and 30 at Elena Zang Gallery, 3671 Route 212 in Shady. The exhibition will remain on view through December 23. For further information call 679-5432 or visit www.elenazang.com.

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