In Doonfeeny Studies, Jeffrey Reed narrates a scenic adventure through the emerald countryside of western Ireland. With twenty-five new works in gouache, ink and oil, Reed captures the lush green hills, quaint rural buildings, and the romance of the light and weather throughout the days of his annual residency with the Ballinglen Arts Foundation. His signature small substrates suggest the scale of vintage photographic snapshots, while his sensitive details and skillful brushwork reflect the experiential depth of physical immersion in the beauty of a moment.
Ireland, with its trickling streams, golden hour glows and quaint, verdant villages, is captivatingly beautiful. Reed’s works are tiny windows into these trans-Atlantic environments, whose subjects reflect the gaze of a knowledgeable guest. In Ireland, Reed explores the Doonfeeny Civil Parish in County Mayo, toting his bike, paints, and tiny brushes. While some pieces are finished on location, he typically produces 20-30 small paintings during each month-long trip. Upon returning to his Philadelphia studio, he refines these works, blending the spontaneity of plein air painting with a deliberate, strategic approach to his compositions. This practice allows him to balance the immediacy of his field documentation with thoughtful reflection on his experiences.
Reed’s paintings transcend the detached perspective of the camera, infusing each scene with a tangible sense of life and specificity. He deftly captures the essence of Ireland, from the moisture in the air to the angle of the seasonal sun, rendering the familiar with a fresh sense of discovery. Although Reed is deeply familiar with his subject matter, he still finds a way to convey the novelty and subtleties of its character. His works not only maintain a strong sense of place, but also celebrate the mystical and natural allure of Ireland.
Jeffrey Reed received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, studied at the Skowhegan School of Art, and received his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. He has received numerous awards, including a Visual Arts Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and has exhibited widely in the US and abroad. Each summer since 2000 he has returned to the Western coast of Ireland to paint and teach at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation. Reed has been represented by Gross McCleaf for nearly 41 years, and has shown his paintings in Philadelphia, New York, throughout the East Coast, and in Ireland. He lives in Pennsylvania where he is an Associate Professor at the Community College of Philadelphia.
January 11 - February 3, 2024
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 13, 1 - 4 pm