New art for NewAlliance

The corporate offices of New Haven’s NewAlliance Bank are getting a dose of art.

On Tuesday, the Arts Council of Greater New Haven held a reception for a new exhibition featuring the work of two Connecticut artists in its gallery space on the fourth floor of the NewAlliance Bank at 195 Church St.

Debbie Hesse, the Director of Artistic Services and Programs for the Arts Council, said that the corporate nature of the venue, a collaboration with the NewAlliance Bank, provides an opportunity to show mid-career artists whose work is “handsome and polished.”

For the exhibition, one of four that the Arts Council will mount in this gallery this year, Hesse paired photographer Marjorie Gillette Wolfe with painter Susan Cutler Tremaine. Though the two artists work in different media, Hesse said she saw certain parallels between their works that made them a good fit. Abstraction, for instance, was in all the works: Tremaine’s paintings comprise patches of color, while Wolfe’s close-up photographs make greenhouses unrecognizable by focusing on steel frames and transparent materials. And of the 23 paintings and photographs in the show, both artists had numerous works presented in pairs or trios.

“The juxtaposition brings out themes that you wouldn’t see if you were looking at one artist’s work alone,” Hesse said.

Wolfe said she had been a fan of Tremaine’s work before the two were paired for this show, having seen her paintings in another gallery.

The reception drew a small crowd of a few dozen community members from New Haven and the surrounding areas.

“It’s beautiful,” said Joe Catanese, 51, an art collector from Stratford, Conn, referring to the exhibition as a whole. “It’s really sharp.”

Maryann Ott, an employee of NewAlliance Bank, said that though she was not planning on buying any of the pieces, she was fantasizing about where she would put them in her home.

“I am really attracted to these colors,” she said, gesturing at two square canvases layered in swaths of bright turquoise paint — “Awakening IV” and “Awakening IX” by Tremaine.

The exhibition will be up through March 11. The pieces in the exhibition are also up for purchase and range in price from $350 to $2400.

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