Tucked in the bucolic rolling hills of Litchfield County is Kent Barns, a village of restored antique barns that is now home to a farmers market, general store, bakery, bookstore, and perhaps unexpectedly, a community of art galleries. Among them is Carol Corey Fine Art, a must-visit haven of contemporary art founded in 2020 by gallerist Carol Corey, who moved to Kent after the death of her friend and business partner Renato Danese, with whom she ran the acclaimed Chelsea gallery Danese/Corey for over two decades. “Between his loss and the pandemic, I completely reevaluated my entire path,” says Corey.
Instead of taking Corey farther away from the artists she represented, the move from New York City to rural Connecticut actually brought Corey closer to one of them: Roz Chast. A household name to many, Chast (who also lives in Connecticut) is a brilliant interpreter of the everyday whose hilarious, neuroses-addled cartoons and covers have appeared continuously in the New Yorker since 1978. “Roz is so revealing about her feelings and insecurities. It’s a really human connection that people feel to her work,” says Corey, who has represented Chast since 2012.
At the end of August, Carol Corey Fine Art opened its second exhibition of Chast’s work, “Roz Chast: Buildings, Bananas, and Beyond.” On view through October 1, the collection of new drawings and embroideries were created during the last three years, while Chast had more downtime to devote herself to her other artistic passions. “Roz has always been really crafty, but she started doing embroidery in more depth during the pandemic,” says Corey.
The opening reception for the show will take place this Saturday, September 9 from 4 to 6pm, and includes an in-person appearance from Chast and fellow Ridgefield resident and visual artist, Karla Knight. The two will be discussing their shared interest in textiles, dreams, and more. House of Books will also be at the gallery pre-selling copies of Chast's forthcoming book I Must Be Dreaming, as well as her collaboration with Patricia Marx, the children's book Tired Town. Since both books are yet-to-be-released, guests who pre-order either title at the reception will receive a signed bookplate specially designed by Chast for the event.
After the Chast shows closes, the gallery will welcome “Dozier Bell: Home,” a new exhibition from another artist Corey has worked with for over a decade. “Dozier’s work is exquisite, and technically masterful,” says Corey. “She creates infinite spaces inside these tiny works on paper that are often only about 3 x 5 inches in size.”
Working primarily from memory, Bell’s small-scale paintings and drawings strongly evoke the natural environments of her coastal Maine upbringing, seen through an otherworldly lens.
With this show, she has introduced human-made imagery, such as building exteriors and interiors, not often seen in her previous work. “They pull at your heartstrings,” says Corey. “They feel nostalgic and a little melancholy, but incredibly attractive at the same time; like something you’ve lost that you once treasured.”
The opening reception for “Dozier Bell: Home” will take place Saturday, October 7 and the exhibition will be on view through November 12. For more information about upcoming events and exhibitions at Carol Corey Fine Art, visit Carolcoreyfineart.com.