Two Natures Talking at MCLA Gallery 51

May 28 – June 21

Opening Reception: May 28, 6-8p

Fragments of text, brushstrokes on paper, shapes on canvas, lines on a page. Two Natures Talking explores the creative exchange between two pairs of Artists and Poets, Wilma and Stephen Rifkin, and Ellen Joffe-Halpern and Annie Raskin.



Ellen Joffe-Halpern




Wilma Rifkin

Artist Wilma Rifkin and poet Stephen Rifkin will present paintings and poems they created primarily as a result of their experiences from living for 20 years in the woods of Deer Isle, Maine.

The couple’s work is influenced in particular by Deer Isle’s forests and shores, as well as the darkness of Maine winters. According to Stephen Rifkin, neither he nor Wilma Rifkin illustrates or explains the other’s works. The works themselves “associate, or hang together [and] ruminate in languages.”

Stephen Rifkin’s collection of poems, “The Merit of Light,” was published in 2014.

A mixed media artist, Joffe-Halpern uses bright colors, loose brushwork and fresh compositions that are inspired from architecture to draw in viewers of her art. She describes her collaboration with Raskin as a “free-flow exchange of ideas.”

In sketching out her compositions, Joffe-Halpern shifts her vantage points of the same motif to describe a multiplicity of perspectives, while Raskin writes in a conversational tone about color and shifting perspectives, often creating a dialogue with the paintings.

Raskin asks, “From where we are seeing and what is distorted, how may we know?”

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