at Hudson Coffee Traders
By RAYMOND J. STEINER
ART TIMES online Dec 2009
I’m a bit picky about art exhibit venues, not very open to shows at restaurants, banks, libraries, and the like, so it was a bit out of the ordinary for me to drop into a coffee shop to see this modest overview* — consisting of oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels and charcoal — of Maxwell Schwartz’s work. I was certainly not disappointed. An artist of the old school — he studied at the Art Students League of New York with Frank Reilly, Robert Brackman and M. Peter Piening — Schwartz’s works display all the trademarks of the well-taught artist — conversant with several mediums, as well as a range that carries from traditional to abstract. His life-study portraits are particularly good, but he shows equal technical skill in handling still lifes and non-representational work.
There are not many pieces in the show — perhaps a couple of dozen or so — but you can readily see that this is a painter who’s done his homework and who’s made his mark. The exhibit includes several of his works from his days as a magazine illustrator, more than enough to show that his studio figure studies held him in good stead in this profession which eventually grew into his full-time career — that is, until photography (as it did for so many other talented illustrators) forced him out of the market. If you appreciate no-nonsense, good work, you might want to stop in for a cup of coffee and a leisurely glance over some very fine paintings.
*“Maxwell Schwartz Works” (thru Dec 31): Hudson Coffee Traders, 288 Wall St., Kingston, NY (845) 338-1300
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