To capture the sea in all its mystery, power and beauty takes an artist of great insight and skill. Among the few who have accomplished this feat are painters Albert Pinkham Ryder, Winslow Homer and John Marin.
Now with Hank Gans' breathtaking exhibit, At the Water' Edge, one can add his name to the illustrious list. In photograph after photograph of Maine, Florida, California, New York and many other parts of the world, he shows us the variety and brilliance that can be found in the sea.
Gans catches the sky turning from purple to pink to violet over Penobscot Bay in Maine, California's Monterey Bay shimmering like gold, and the Golden Gate Bridge plunging into fog. He introduces us to the wittiness of a preening pelican and allows us to see the perfect grace of a seagull in flight.
The photograph of Gabriel Lake in upstate New York, glistening deep blue and reflecting an orange sky, is like an expressionist painting, a harmonious composition of light, texture and color.
The poet William Wordsworth wrote, "My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky." Obviously, so does Gans, a man especially tuned to the glory all around us. We should all be thankful he bears witness with his camera.
Valerie Gladstone writes for The New York Times, Washington Post, Artnews and many other publications