Michael Torlen has been deeply affected by Monhegan. This show will feature twenty-four of his plein-air watercolors of the ocean rolling and beating against the island’s rocky shore. Twenty of them are framed as single images; the other four serve as the central panels in narrative triptychs concerning life at sea. Torlen grew up among people who made their living from the sea; his father was a commercial fisherman. He knows his subject well.
Torlen is professor emeritus of the School of Art and Design, Purchase College, SUNY. He has shown widely and has work in the collections of several museums, including the Housatonic Museum, the Neuberger Museum of Art, and the Springfield Art Museum. Critic Carl Little wrote: “With his brilliant Monhegan seascapes, Torlen takes his place in the distinguished line of painters who have rendered the island’s shoreline. . . .”