March 4 through 25, 2023

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the Palm of your Hand
And Eternity in an Hour


postcard showing two works by artist Jan Novy

Look Closely: a Retrospective of Art by Jan Novy

Jan Novy (1952-2019) looked at the world closely. Meticulously. Mindfully. 1+1=1 Gallery presents LOOK CLOSELY, an exhibit of paintings Novy made for herself but that absolutely need to be shared. This exhibit celebrates the intimate and sensitive watercolors and colored pencil, graphite drawings she kept hidden in her sketchbooks and tucked away under piles of color swatches and studies. 
Please join us for by a soft opening on Saturday March 4 from 11 to 4. Stop in anytime, to enjoy hot chai, coffee or tea and delicious homemade treats. We’d love to see you! You are also invited to a cocktail/appetizer reception to celebrate Jan Novy’s artistic life along with many of her dear friends and her husband, Paul Cartwright. The evening reception will be on Friday, March 10 from 5 to 7pm. Make it a date night and find a small gem to take home with you!
The LOOK CLOSELY exhibition is available both on-site and online (below.)
Please have fun browsing Novy’s tiny paintings and drawings, and make sure to click on the photos to enlarge so you can truly LOOK CLOSELY.
We are happy to give you more information about any of the pieces. You can make a purchase inquiry and we will invoice you online, or put a red dot on the piece so you can come in to the gallery to pick it up. We ship anywhere in the continental US. 

Jan Novy



Art is a Partnership


Somebody once told me about this guitar player. He was good. He could reel off amazing solos every night. A fan asked what went through his mind as he played so emotionally. Jeff said, Are my fingers in the right place? 

Artist’s statements are where you find them—in the art. Art isn’t accidental and artists have agendas. There are precepts to follow. Still, the meaning of art is a partnership, and I’m just one of many partners. 

I grew up in the burbs of Chicago. My Czech grandfather did letterpress printing in his basement, and my dad was a printer, too. I went to school at Western Illinois, better known for soybeans than art. My parents wanted me to be a teacher. I secretly changed my major; even so, they came to graduation. 

After school I went west, bouncing off Busby to Astoria, where I worked for a local printer, then back to Helena before I mildewed. I typeset at Falcon Press in its early years. Later I did graphic design, freelance and otherwise. The Holter Museum used to send you the postcards I created. I painted when I could. 

(I had a show) thirty-one and a half years ago, six months before my son was born. After a second child, my daughter, was in school, I started painting again—a private form of meditation. And now I have this show of work from the past three decades. 

Fonts and writing systems that might have been occupied and fascinated me. That was my starting point for painting. My art became more non-representational over the years. I favor patterns and grids and colors that point to – my partner says – colored patterns and grids. 

You need to understand that the photos taken during our honeymoon show street grates in Paris, rows of cabbages near Prague, and avenues of standing stones in Scotland. I almost always work with watercolors. Sometimes I paint on Yupo paper, but typically I paint on traditional watercolor paper. The paints themselves come mainly from Daniel Smith. I work from dry to wet and light to dark with the paints, the usual and nothing more esoteric than that. 

When I came back to painting, another artist warned me that it’s art while you’re doing it, and afterwards it’s merchandise. The mystery is in the other half of the story. You buy that merchandise, take it home, see patterns you only just then recognize, and the merchandise becomes art again. 

Art is a partnership.

~ Jan Novy (1952 – 2019)