THE AMERICAN CITY : Ieho Ming & Friends, Manhattan , 1989, - Oil pastel & acrylic on a gelatin silver print of a newspaper. 188.5 x 121.5 cm. - Courtesy, Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto  - Fathers and Sons... 1996-97, oil pastel & acrylic on a laser print of a newspaper. 182.5 x 121.7 cm. Collection of Norman Damiani and Hélène Barabé, Montréal

NEW YORK CITY - Americas Society will open a major exhibition on Melvin Charney, one of Canada 's foremost contemporary artists. Between Observation and Intervention: The Painted Photographs of Melvin Charney, organized in collaboration with the Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec, continues the Americas Society's tradition of presenting timely and compelling exhibitions of contemporary artists from across the hemisphere to the New York public. This exhibition marks Melvin Charney's first solo show in a New York cultural institution since his P.S.1 installation in 1979.

According to guest curator, Gwendolyn Owens: "Artist/architect Melvin Charney has focused his eye upon the city. The art resulting from his careful study includes photographs, sculpture, installations, monuments, and urban plans; among the most arresting works are his painted photographs in which bold images in pastel and paint are overlaid on printed mass media images." These large-scale layered works, which challenge our understanding of cities and their components, will be the focus of the exhibition at Americas Society.

First begun in 1989, the painted photographs grew out of an ongoing project, Un Dictionnaire, for which the artist has, since 1970, been collecting images of buildings reproduced in newspapers, and then painting over them with semi-transparent gray wash and mounting them together to create a ever-expanding work of individual panels that focus on buildings and the ways in our society sees and uses them.

The Americas Society’s Visual Arts department, dedicated to fostering a better understanding of art in the American regions beyond U.S. borders from the pre-Columbian era to the present day, produces gallery exhibitions, illustrated catalogs, and a variety of public programs. The quality of our exhibitions attests to the diversity and heritage of the Americas, and upholds the mandate of the Americas Society to foster a better understanding of the art made in these regions from the pre-Columbian era to the present day.

The Visual Arts program boasts the longest-standing private space in the United States dedicated to exhibiting and promoting art from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada.  Visit :

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Pause For Thought

Monet on Repetition

"I know that to paint the sea really well, you need to look at it every hour of every day in the same place so that you can understand its way in that particular spot and that is why I am working on the same motifs over and over again, four or six times even."