The Magic Hour at Paul Rodgers/9W Gallery

Curated by Barbara Rose

Caroline Marks Blackwood
Ernest Kafka
Paul Manes
Randall Stoltzfus

November 15 – January 12, 2007

The “Magic Hour” is that special time between daylight and darkness when the sky changes from blue to violet tones, as the sun sets and the moon rises. It is evoked in poetry as well as in painting as a moment of reflection and illumination. It is a brief moment because of the quality of the light at this time of day. In Scotland this time of day and the attendant light quality is known as gloaming.

The Magic Hour, also known in French as l’heure bleue, refers to a specific photographic effect achieved with a diffuse quality of light at the end of the day and is associated with a poignant romanticism. Typically, lighting will be softer and warm in hue, and shadows will be more pronounced, as a result of the sun being so close to parallel with the horizon. During the Magic Hour, highlights are less likely to be overexposed. In landscape photography, the warm color of the low sun is considered desirable to enhance the colors of the scene.

Rose has chosen four artists; painters, Paul Manes and Randall Stoltzfus and photographers, Carolyn Marks Blackwood and Ernest Kafka with widely divergent styles but a similar interest in the elegiac mood of The Magic Hour. These artists reference the moody paintings of artists such as Ryder, Blakelock, the Luminists and the Hudson River School as well as Kasper David Friedrich and JMW Turner. Their light saturated abstracted landscapes and marinescapes are executed in a contemporary idiom that is a fresh departure from the brutal urban, sensationalistic styles now current. They provide an atmosphere of quiet contemplation and reverie. The sensitive poetry of these works serves as a welcome antidote to the frantic paced, characteristic of the aggressive battles of New York City life.

Paul Rodgers/9W Gallery
529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10011

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