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REFLECTIONS ON MELVILLE

MELVILLE AND MOBY-DICK AT ARROWHEAD

EXHIBITIONS BEGIN JUNE 2011

The following is on display now from
18 June 2011- 9 October 2011 at the:

Arrowhead Museum
780 Holmes Road
Pittsfield, MA 01201

413.442.1793

Sunday-Saturday from 10AM-5PM


Click Here For Directions


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This material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed. All Rights Reserved.



Violent Sea
© Kay Canavino. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Limited Edition Digital Archival Print, 17 ½” x 22 ½”
$750. Framed. 1/10

This photograph reminds me of the old Japanese woodcuts of waves. It also brings to mind this part of the world covered by the ocean. And all the tumultuous geological happenings that brought about this beautiful stone. Are those leaves really little boats littering the bottom of the sea? What is that white stone to the right- Moby or just the shore? The flatness of the stone carries such limitless depth, where you can be carried into the nebula of the rock.




MOBY-DICK’S WHIRLPOOL
© Arthur Yanoff. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Acrylic, Water Soluble Graphite and Collage on Canvas, 53 ¾” x 32”
$8,000. Unframed

Yellow phantom, dark night approaching, Moby-Dick scouting for unsuspecting fish. Sailor caught in a vortex. The whale-like form as though a piece of Monument Mountain dived into the ocean.




Whale Mouth
© Kay Canavino. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Limited Edition Digital Archival Print, 28” x 38”
$2,800. Framed. 1/10

This is one of the first photographs I took on Monument Mountain. I wandered Into this area and was astonished by the giant pile of rubble or talus that was heaped at the bottom of the mountain. I looked down and at my feet was this sweet little rock with a crescent shape. I thought it looked like a mouth, though others see it as a tail fin. Arthur got very excited when he saw it and wanted to paint it right away. The needles suggest movement, as in rushing water, and the little ferns seem to flee from the up-turned gaping mouth.




WHALE ROCK
© Arthur Yanoff. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Acrylic, Pumice, Gel and Collage on Canvas, 54” x 43 ¼”
$10,000. Unframed

Falling mountain is an open whale mouth rock dizzying sensation. Relates to Kay’s photograph of a tail/mouth of a white whale rock peeking out of the ground at Monument Mountain.




Whale Rock
© Kay Canavino. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Limited Edition Digital Archival Print, 23 ½” x 31 ½”
$1,500. Framed. 1/10

I discovered this rock early on the project, and it proved useful to Arthur when he was looking for whale imagery in his paintings. I love the sense of the whale crashing through the trees, with a bit of timber caught in its mouth. The patches of light imitate the underwater dappling of light. I particularly love the pattern of leaves on the rock, which is created by small openings in the leaf cover serving as lenses, much like the opening in a pinhole camera bends light and projects an image onto the back of the camera.




TOO LATE FOR AHAB
© Arthur Yanoff. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Acrylic, Charcoal and Collage on Canvas, 79 1/2" x 42 1/2"
$12,000. Unframed

As though Moby-Dick were a torpedo heading straight for Ahab’s harpoon – goodbye, Ahab. Looking down from the lightning bolt angle of Moby-Dick and Ahab is a gold treasure chest, life’s clown.




Whale Skin
© Kay Canavino. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Limited Edition Digital Archival Print, 17 ½” x 22 ½”
$750. Framed. 1/10

This seems very nautical to me. It is amazing how easy it is to go from rock to water and flesh. The rock’s roseate color is very fleshy, and the green suggests oceanic life forms. It should seem solid, leviathan, but the fissures make you wonder how sound it really is. Or is it a pod of whales, gathering close for comfort?




Waves of Time
© Kay Canavino. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Limited Edition Digital Archival Print, 17 ½” x 22 ½”
$750. Framed. 1/10

You sense the weight of deep earth that was once under water, a geologic compression of history. Fossilized time. I see the movement of a current here – a watery, molten slice of time. Twisted pressure. Serpentine, frozen undulating waves of time.




Island Coral
© Kay Canavino. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Limited Edition Digital Archival Print, 17 ½” x 22 ½”
$750. Framed. 1/10

I happened upon a magical meteorological event on Mount Greylock one fall day: a very heavy hoarfrost. I mistook it for a snow at first, and then realized it was massive ice crystals forming on every surface. When the sun came out the frost was dazzling against the blue sky. I felt as if I had landed in another world, perhaps underwater, surrounded by fantastic glistening coral.




MELVILLE’S DREAM AT ARROWHEAD
© Arthur Yanoff. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Acrylic, Pastel, Water Soluble Graphic and Collage on Canvas, 54 7/8" x 43 3/8"
$10,000. Unframed

Mount Greylock as endless sea. Looming is a strange cloud, half whale, half islander club. Everything in suspension.




THE CHASE
© Arthur Yanoff. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Acrylic and Collage on Canvas, 47” x 9 5/8”
$2,400. Unframed

Fleeting “Whale Rock” stabbed by silver harpoons. A struggle for survival. Yellow offers no relief. It is taunting the whale, waiting for it to expire.




RODERICK ELLISTON IN THE BELLY OF A WHALE
© Arthur Yanoff. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Acrylic, Compressed Charcoal and Collage on Canvas, 42 3/8” x 51 ¼”
$10,000. Unframed

The roundness of Kay’s Whale Rock photograph in relation to its central form inspired me to extend this painting – a screen with an evil reptile on its journey. Alone. No help from others. A winter’s pit.




MELVILLE’S TRAVAILS
© Arthur Yanoff. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Acrylic, Charcoal and Collage on Canvas, 55” x 32”
$8,500. Unframed

Icy night. Melville’s study at Arrowhead overlooking Mount Greylock, which becomes a phantasmagoric whale skeleton taunting Melville’s waking obsessions.




Hunter's Harvest
© Kay Canavino. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Limited Edition Digital Archival Print, 38” x 28”
$2,800 Framed. 1/10

Arthur asked me to photograph this group of pelts and I asked him what motivated him to include them in the project. He explained that he felt the loss of nature when the settlers and farmers over-hunted the area of game, (which caused the Mahicans to adopt a more agrarian existence). I also see the violence that was part of the early life in the Berkshires, as well as the violence in Man in general that often becomes evident when he meets with nature. As I photographed the pelts in my studio I tried to confine my thoughts to the beauty of the furs as exquisite objects.




SIGHTING AT MOUNT GREYLOCK
© Arthur Yanoff. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Acrylic, Pastel and Collage on Canvas, 43 ½” x 54 3/8”
$10,000. Unframed

Painting echoes Kay’s proportions and forms in her Mount Greylock photograph (WHITE WHALE VIEW, MT. GREYLOCK). The clear island colors bring Melville back to Polynesia, the Hump is his whale. The calm broken by the collage accents, which buzz in Melville’s head.




White Whale View, Mt. Greylock
© Kay Canavino. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Limited Edition Digital Archival Print, 22 ½” x 17 ½”
$750. Framed. 1/10

Arrowhead. The sense of depth is appropriate for the appearance of a leviathan on the horizon. The bed of dark trees supports the massive blue-tinged whale of a mountain.




Fatal Harpoon
© Kay Canavino. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Limited Edition Digital Archival Print, 17 ½” x 22 ½”
$750. Framed. 1/10

Late afternoon sun leaves waves of shadows across the snow. There is a peacefulness as well as a loneliness about this photograph, despite dormant sticks piercing the snow like harpoons seeking a submerged target.




Moby Emerging
© Kay Canavino. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Limited Edition Digital Archival Print, 22 ½” x 17 ½”
$750. Framed. 1/10

I love the vitality of this rock. There is so much energy in the shape as it pushes up against the trees and the edges of the frame of the white snow. I also wonder about that horizontal branch which balances above the nose of the stone. A harpoon that is missing its mark?




WHALE ROCK AT MOUNT GREYLOCK
© Arthur Yanoff. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Acrylic, Water Soluble Graphite and Collage on Canvas, 23 7/8” x 47”
$6,500. Unframed

Crushed by a Whale Rock. No redemption. Harsh judgment. If only the menacing red became as blue as the little blue diamond.




Night Thought's at Arrowhead
© Kay Canavino. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Limited Edition Digital Archival Print, 23 ½” x 31 ½”
$1,500. Framed. 1/10

How many nights did the lights burn while Melville paced the floor of his home, struggling with ideas and words? It may look cheery inside, but there is a cold, dark and troublesome world outside that door. This photograph provides continuity with my past series of light-painted night landscapes. There is ambient light from the street and I have hand-lit selected areas.




Stranded Fishnets
© Kay Canavino. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Limited Edition Digital Archival Print, 23 ½” x 31 ½”
$1,500. Framed. 1/10

Arthur had asked me to look on Mount Greylock for some netting that he had seen used for erosion control. I found it one fall day when I was astonished to discover the trees covered in hoarfrost, which looks quite briny. The net suggests exhaustion, perhaps defeat after a terrible struggle. The cheery light creates an interesting paradox with the tangle of net and trees.




STARBUCK/STARBUCKS
© Arthur Yanoff. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Acrylic, Charcoal, Glitter and Collage on Canvas, 43 1/8” x 79 ¾”
$12,000. Unframed

Splintered in every direction. Starbuck’s moral compass, his conscience in conflict with his duty to Ahab as his captain. A human conflict that continues from Starbuck to Starbucks. Looking through the sailor’s rope to the pink vertical – seeking an impossible balance.




MOBY’S INTERVALS
© Arthur Yanoff. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Acrylic and Collage on Canvas, 10” x 47 ½”
$2,400. Unframed

Moby Dick surveys a beached whale that is spread out like a long pink beach as a whale skin against a wall. Stark Trophy. Forms relate to Kay’s Tempest Tossed photograph.




AHAB MEETS RACHEL
© Arthur Yanoff. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Acrylic and Collage on Canvas, 79 3/8” x 26 3/8”
$5,000. Unframed

Ahab’s own prison, his megalomania. The grey arrogance can’t reach the blue and Orange possibilities. This painting, the longer one looks, the more it suggests a double portrait, a study in contrasts on the open sea.




Hawthorne's Ghost
© Kay Canavino. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Limited Edition Digital Archival Print, 23 ½” x 31 ½”
$1,500. Framed. 1/10

This image shows an owl that is in a Berkshire Museum case with other dead birds. So much of how we relate to Melville’s and Hawthorne’s work is as if it is seen in a museum – something from the past, which so poignantly relates to the present. I see this owl as a stealthy, effective, and violent hunter, much like Ahab and his crew.




OWL HEAD SUMMER HEAT
© Arthur Yanoff. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Acrylic, Compressed Charcoal and Collage on Canvas, 37 ¾” x 53 ¾”
$8,500. Unframed

I was deeply affected by Kay’s haunting photograph of a large round owl head. The round circle in this painting wants to be free from the oppressive heat as African-Americans wanted to be free from the oppression of slavery. Long Black accents on the left and on the right of this painting are attempting to flee.




Winter Reflections at Arrowhead
© Kay Canavino. All Rights Reserved.
2011, Limited Edition Digital Archival Print, 17 ½” x 22 ½”
$750. Framed. 1/10

These two parlor windows look out onto Mount Greylock, with snow, sky and trees caught in the glass. The peeling paint interrupts the rhythm of the clapboard siding. I was aware of “twos” as I did photography for this project, thinking of the experience of collaboration with Arthur, and Hawthorne’s collaboration with Melville.