Valerie Mendelson is a painter and art historian living in New York. Her work has been widely shown, including at the Westbeth Gallery, the Jeffrey Leder Gallery, the Laurel Tracey Gallery, and the Painting Center. Her articles have been published by Bloomsbury Press, Antipodes, Open Library for the Humanities, and the International Journal of the Book.

 

We are showing a sample from her collection of teapots, of which she has said, “Collecting can be a random amassing, a systematic gathering, or an accumulation over time. In each case numbers of objects are involved. Finding relationships between these objects is in itself meditative and creative. The teapots are an homage to my mother-in-law Marjorie Rocheman. I painted her collection of teapots on fabric that she had also collected.”

She has a lot to say about painting from nature: ”Flowers are emblematic of painting for me. Their fragility, their ephemerality, and their extravagance enthrall me. I also love that flower paintings are generally considered a ’’minor’ genre, a ’feminine’ genre.”

More broadly, she is fascinated by landscape, especially French landscapes. Listen to this: “France has made sure to keep its fields lined with hedges. As a result, birds and deer and rabbits can flourish alongside the big agricultural fields of sunflower, colza, and wheat. These hedges are made up of a wide variety of trees – hazelnut, oak, laurel, walnut, maple – so that while the crops themselves lack diversity, the borders still seem to safeguard not only the wildlife but also the botanical heritage of the area. … At a moment when the landscape around us is changing at an unheard of pace, particularly as development goes unchecked and the climate heats up, painterly exploration of a carefully husbanded landscape where zoning and renewable energy have kept change to manageable proportions is timely. [My] paintings of French landscape and houses reflect balance and interchange between nature and culture.”

Finally, the cocktails. All the drinks were inspired by a book of cocktails printed in 1933 when Prohibition ended. To inspire? To remind? To celebrate? She has paired each with a poem written by her friend Tom March. Imagine taking a sip of all Mendelson’s lovely work.

 

 

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Spring Window
32 x 60

 


Amaranth
34 x 50

 


Landscape with Chestnut Tree
26 x 36
(2019)

 


Autumn Window
51 x 67

 


Collection of teapots
7 x 12 each
(2018)

 


Teapot 1

 


Teapot 2

 


Sadie’s Flip
7 x 5, Oil on aluminum
(2017)

 


Sweet Baby
7 x 5, Oil on aluminum
(2019)

 


Rolls Royce
CKT
(2018)


Still Life with Copper Pot
16 x 47
(2017)

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