Adger Cowans started his art career in photography, working in the film industry since the late 1950s and early 1960s and claiming Gordon Parks as his mentor. He turned to painting in the 1970s, and it is this area of his work that Hearne Fine Art puts a spotlight on Thursday, Dec. 9, when it opens “Imaginé.”
Cowans will be the guest at a reception and holiday party from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, and will give a gallery talk at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.
Cowans’ paintings on exhibit at Hearne are created with drops of acrylic paint applied to rag paper. Gallery owner Garbo Hearne said Cowans uses paint dropped during the process of creating other works and arranges them on the paper. The drops, though they take arbitrary shapes, are placed so that the picture as a whole can be read as landscape, an effect enhanced by the fact that the drops stand up off the paper. Cowans’ backgrounds are gradations of color that suggest ground and sky.
Cowans, born in Ohio in 1936, earned a BFA in photography from Ohio University and did a stint in the U.S. Navy before he moved to New York City to work with Life photographer Parks and fashion photographer Henri Clarke. He worked with Sidney Lumet, Spike Lee and Francis Ford Coppola doing still photographs for film. The exhibit runs through Jan. 15.
IN MEMORIAM: The arts community lost a fine patron and a colorful human Friday night. Susan Pfeifer brought her outspoken, opinionated and passionate nature to bear on the Arkansas Arts Center (carrying on the work of her mother, Raida Pfeifer), the Friends of Contemporary Crafts, the UALR Friends of the Arts, and such organizations as the AIDS Interfaith Network and Planned Parenthood. The Vassar graduate owned the Design Center and introduced contemporary jewelers and potters to Little Rock through the store. She dressed the part, too: She could be counted on to wear show-stopping attire (amazing red shoes the last time we saw her). Her commentary was often conversation-stopping, as well: Pfeifer once interrupted this writer’s ravings about a ceramics show by looking her in the eye through those huge round glasses and saying, “That work was so ugly.” But the conversation didn’t end there; there was always more to discuss and debate, and it was a welcome exchange. Several weeks before her death, she created the Susan Pfeifer Horizons Fund to support artists and new visions. Donations may be made to the fund at 425 W. Capitol Ave., Suite 3801, Little Rock 72201.
Eileen Lindemann, owner and operator of Eileen’s Gallery for 18 years, is retiring in January and has put the paintings in her gallery on sale. Included in the sale are works by Dale Terbush, Robert Moore, Jason He, Guido Frick, Elesa Shuman, Ray Sipos, Neil Boyle, Kirk Richards, Virgil Johnson and Jacquelyn Kaucher. Works will be 30 percent off if framed, 40 percent off if unframed.
“It’s been a good ride,” Lindemann said. “I’ve enjoyed it.” But she said the demands of business — which now include keeping a webpage — were more than she was interested in doing.
The sale runs through Dec. 23. If there is more art to be sold, Eileen’s will reopen Jan. 4 and close for good Jan. 22.
Art After Hours, a gallery at Third and Spring Sts., will hold its 2004 Retrospective from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, featuring works by area artists. At the Arkansas Repertory Theater, painter Todd Crockett is showing his abstract paintings during the Rep’s run of “Children of Eden,” through Jan. 2.