Posts Tagged ‘David Brickman’

The Best Films of 2014 [Get Visual]

Friday, February 20th, 2015
Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood

Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood

Reviews by David Brickman

With the awards season in full swing, I’m ready to weigh in on my favorite films of the past year. 2014 was an excellent year for movies, and that shows in the truly tough-to-handicap Oscar races. Luckily, I have so far seen six of the eight Best Picture nominees, and they are all worth the time. I’ve missed American Sniper and Selma, but plan to see the former very soon. As for the latter, I’m just not that interested in a dramatic alteration of Civil Rights history, so I’m skipping it.

1. Boyhood - How anybody can not be completely blown away by the achievement of this 12-year project by Richard Linklater is beyond me. It’s a drama about a kid growing up, in which all the actors actually age in real time through the course of the filming. More than that – it’s a really great life story, beautifully performed. Patricia Arquette will win the Oscar for this one, and if Linklater doesn’t, it’s simply wrong.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

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ArtBeat: Mike Glier at Opalka Gallery [Get Visual]

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
An image by Mike Glier

An image by Mike Glier

Review by David Brickman

The title of the current show at Sage College of Albany’s Opalka Gallerymeander, because you can’t see much while marching – could simply express a philosophy, but I feel it also aims to serve as a sort of explanation. This 35-year survey of Mike Glier – extended till Sunday (February 8) – features several rather disparate bodies of work – the titular meandering – each of which displays technical mastery, intellectual rigor, and engaged passion. Glier paints, brilliantly. Glier draws, with consummate ease. Glier conceptualizes, deeply and effectively.

But there remains the sticky problem of Glier’s diversity, and it can’t be overlooked. We want our artists clearly recognizable – the market dictates this, and people’s overworked minds and hearts demand it. How then do we view an artist who refuses to present a unified vision, who is – inconstant?

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

2014 Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region [Get Visual]

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
Jeanette Fintz: Traveler's Reflection 3

Jeanette Fintz: Traveler’s Reflection 3

Review by David Brickman

The annual Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region, hosted this year by the Albany Institute of History & Art, raises the usual set of questions while presenting the usual confounding mash-up of regional art.

Popularly known as the Regional, this show has been running for nearly 80 years, making it one of the longest-standing exhibitions of its kind in the U.S. It’s always an annual high point for fans of the local art scene, and can be either a high point or a low point for participants, depending on their success in entering, personal taste, or overall degree of crankiness. This year’s edition was mounted on a later schedule than the usual summer appearance and will be up through Monday, January 19, affording a nice opportunity for the procrastinators among us to see it, even as 2015 has arrived.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Books: A Novel, Photographs and Poetry [Get Visual]

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Sputnik Summer

By David Brickman

Though it isn’t a picture book, Paul Castellani’s Sputnik Summer features a great photo by Adirondack photographer Carl Heilman II on the cover, and its author and his wife, Donna, are great modern art enthusiasts who attend a lot of openings, so it caught my attention.

Castellani is a professor by trade, but his academic roots stay pretty well hidden in this coming-of-age novel that takes place in the late ’50s in a fading Adirondack resort town where a somewhat typical 17-year-old boy tries to come to terms with the limits of his hick town, the crummy summer resort his abusive dad runs, his own college ambitions, and the need to get laid.

The story is punctuated by news bits and advertising slogans taken straight from the publications of the day, which provides a sort of parallel narrative that suggests political and social commentary without offering it directly. Castellani is an excellent storyteller, and he keeps you interested in the twists and turns of this intelligent but inexperienced young man’s rather fateful last summer at home. Put simply: I enjoyed the book and so, probably, will you or the person you decide to give it to.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith @ Union College’s Mandeville Gallery [Get Visual]

Monday, November 24th, 2014
Jaune Quick-to-See

This contemporary take on the Sisyphus myth, titled “Sissy and the Plutocrats,” is, at six by eight feet, the largest painting in the Jaune Quick-to-See Smith show at Union College.

Review by David Brickman

A fine, small show of paintings and prints by the Native American artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith fills Union College’s Mandeville Gallery, situated in the extraordinary Nott Memorial in the center of the college’s campus green. Smith is internationally known for the skillful way she combines primitive, symbolic imagery with modern painterly style, and as an articulate voice for women and Native Americans.

I’ll admit I was not familiar with this artist before hearing about this show, but it lived up to expectations in a number of ways. First, Smith is a mature artist who knows her way around a canvas, and who maintains a sense of humor while addressing socially- and politically-charged issues. Second, the selection presented here is limited in scope, while still being broad enough to satisfy a first-time viewer. So it clearly communicates her vision and messages without being overwhelming.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

Mary Pat Wager @ Albany Center Gallery [Get Visual]

Friday, November 14th, 2014
Mary Pat Water: Solitary Confinement, 2014

Mary Pat Wager: Solitary Confinement, 2014

Review by David Brickman

In the great tradition that Albany Center Gallery has become in its 35+ years of existence, the current retrospective by sculptor Mary Pat Wager is a big, sprawling show of important work covering a span of several decades. Wager is a familiar face on the regional art scene including at past ACG shows, but this major exhibition is still a long time coming and a welcome sight.

Featuring scores of works from 1978 through 2014, Collections: A Retrospective was independently curated by Jackie Weaver and includes wall-hung and free-standing pieces in steel, wood, copper, bone, bronze, stone, brass, glass, paper, and more, usually combining several of these materials in one piece. It’s organized clutter, marvelously inventive, sophisticated-yet-direct assemblage by an inveterate collector (some would say hoarder) of stuff.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

Theme and Variations: Gail Nadeau @ FMCC [Get Visual]

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
Gail Nadeau: Diamond Studded Dress with Rock

Gail Nadeau: Diamond Studded Dress with Rock

Review by David Brickman

The show Angelus by Gail Nadeau at the Perrella Gallery of Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown raises a lot of wonderful questions. The very talented Nadeau works in digital media as well as traditional forms such as silver-based photography and oil paint, and all are present in this 60-piece installation.

Is it a retrospective? Well, there are images from 1985, 2014 and in-between. But, no, it’s not a retrospective. Is Nadeau a photographer, a painter, or what? Well, she does show photographs here, and very painterly mixed-media pieces. But, no, I wouldn’t call her either a photographer or a painter. Rather, I think printmaker would be the correct term.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

In Brief: Ramersdorfer and Van Alstine at LGAP [Get Visual]

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
A view of Confluence of Opposites III at Lake George Arts Project featuring Storm Warning II, left, and Sisyphean Circle, right, by John Van Alstine

A view of Confluence of Opposites III at Lake George Arts Project
featuring Storm Warning II, left, and Sisyphean Circle, right, by John Van Alstine

Review by David Brickman

The idea of a show of only sculpture shouldn’t seem at all radical, but it is uncommon enough that it bears noting. And when such a show is presented by equal partners in a domestic relationship, each with significant international showing experience, at the best little public gallery in our region, it is noteworthy indeed.

Caroline Ramersdorfer and John Van Alstine are not opposites at all, despite the flowery title of their well-wrought exhibition, “Confluence of Opposites III,” at the Lake George Arts Project’s Courthouse Gallery; rather, they share similar characteristics that are more significant than nationality or gender or material or technique. Both work in three dimensions but really emphasize a frontal view of their carefully assembled compositions; both combine strict geometry with naturalistic forms; and both work in dramatic, abstract gestures.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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