Silvermine’s AONE exhibit displays serious splendor

Silvermine Galleries in New Canaan often is local in focus but for its latest exhibition, it is stretching across the country. Argentinian-born Luciana Abait works and lives in Los Angeles creating emotionally-charged landscapes while Connecticut’s own Jason Noushin makes works that blur the distinctions between painting and sculpture. They are but two of the nearly 60 artists featured in a new exhibition that offers a staggering variety of fine art made by artists both near and far.

In its 69th edition, the galleries’ annual AONE exhibition is now a national competition showcasing the breadth of work created by established and emerging artists. The juried show is on view Sept. 7 through Oct. 18 with the artist’s reception taking place Sunday, Sept. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Gallery director Roger Mudre noted this exhibition was originally established in 1949 as the New England Exhibition, a regional exhibit that later became known as Art of the Northeast.

“This year it has once more transformed to AONE, a national exhibition. The exhibition features a wide range of collectable contemporary artwork that is both vibrant and surprising,” he said.

Bill Carroll, director, EFA Studios at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York City, served as juror for this exhibition that includes abstract and figurative painting, photography, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and collages. He said what he found most surprising was the extremely high quality of the works submitted for the exhibition. “With over 360 applicants, I did not expect that the majority of works would be of such a high level of seriousness and sophistication,” he said. “It made the process of choosing exciting and difficult.”

Over the years, this exhibition has featured the work of many important artists, including Louise Nevelson, Elaine de Kooning and Milton Avery. It has long been a platform for both established and emerging artists, many of whom have gone on to national acclaim. Jurors have included major critics, curators and directors from influential contemporary art institutions.

Some art exhibitions revolve around a theme but owing to the diversity and number of artworks in AONE, that would be a herculean feat here. “What ties these works together is their quality,” Carroll said. “I made my choices with the goal of a show that is balanced and well curated, with works that are in an interesting dialogue with each other. There was a wide range of mediums and approaches, and I made sure to include the best examples of each category.”

Nearly every type of artmaking will be featured and in scale, medium, and concept; there is very little overlap. “Each artist had staked out their own territory in a unique way. As an example, there were quite a few painters, both abstract and figurative … but no two alike,” Carroll said.

Among the artists to be awarded Sept. 15 is Russell Ritell of Cold Spring, N.Y., whose work was named the Board Chair Best in Show, which includes a solo exhibition at Silvermine Galleries in 2021. Highly influenced by Old Masters like Caravaggio, Ritell’s latest paintings, including the award-winning “Gorgon” on view, paying homage to the Baroque master.

“In ‘Gorgon’ the tattooist is actually branding the subject with a Caravaggio image. The Medusa head (Gorgon) on his shoulder gives homage to the artist and acts as an ‘inside joke’ or a direct clue referencing the original painting,” Ritell said in a statement.

Pamela Einarsen of Westport received the Patricia Warfield Jinishian Award; Dionisio Cortes of New York City won the Carole Eisner Award for Sculpture; and James Buxton of Farmington received the Mollie and Albert Jacobson Award for Sculpture. The Jerry’s Artarama Awards went to Sascha Mallon of Beacon, N.Y., and Ingrid Scheibler of Newton Centre, Mass.

“Every artist in the show speaks with a clear, and uniquely individual, voice,” Carroll said. “The individual works in the exhibition, in every case, reward the viewer and demand a second look.”

For more information, visit