Posts Tagged ‘David Brickman’

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.

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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.

Catching Up with the Albany Institute [Get Visual]

Friday, September 12th, 2014
A view of the Small + Seductive installation

A view of the Small + Seductive installation

By David Brickman

We’ve all been there – you’re aware of a show you know you want to see, and it has a long run, so you leave it till later because you know you have plenty of time to catch it before it closes … and then, inevitably, time goes by and, in the best of circumstances, you catch the show on its last day – or, more likely, miss it forever.

That’s how, on Sunday, I caught the last day of a fine show of five photographers at the Albany Institute of History & Art, and then took the opportunity to peruse an ongoing exhibition called Small + Seductive, which continues through September 28. Featuring about 50 works of art (a few of which are multiple-piece series) by 37 artists, Small + Seductive is the third in a recent series of shows from AIHA’s collection of contemporary art. The first of that trio included only photographs (full disclosure: two of those were mine) while the second was made up of large-scale work in more traditional fine art media.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

“Body Language” and “Homespun” Inhabit Public Spaces [Get Visual]

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Sang Wook Lee: Fork and Knife, 2014, silk, silkscreen  and hand embroidered cotton thread

Sang Wook Lee: Fork and Knife, 2014, silk, silkscreen
and hand embroidered cotton thread

Reviews by David Brickman

When Howard Schultz bought Starbucks in 1983, his goal for the business was to provide “a third place between work and home,” where people would meet, work and relax, thereby forming a sense of community in a coffee-shop setting. A similar process goes on in art spaces, which can range from elegant museums to commercial galleries to – you got it – coffee shops, and which also provide the opportunity to form a sense of community. The greater Capital Region offers many options in that range, and they all contribute significantly to a vibrant scene that I think is underappreciated both within and beyond this geography.

Get Visual aims to explore and expound upon that scene (with occasional digressions beyond), and I am pleased to be returning to it after a long hiatus. This post will be the first of many to come under a new plan to write as often as possible around my full-time job – probably just once or twice a month but, at least, regularly. Please spread the word to your interested friends.

Two shows that recently caught my attention happen to share important characteristics, though they are distinct. Presented neither in museum nor commercial settings, these shows each occupy a type of “third place” in the exhibition realm: spaces that are devoted to significant public purposes apart from art, but which also host high-quality, curated exhibitions.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

ArtBeat: Best Shows of 2011 [Get Visual]

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011
Jeanne Pissarro: Cocotte, Reading

Camille Pissarro: Cocotte, Reading

It’s a time for looking forward and a time for looking back. As I check last year’s Best Shows post, it amazes me how much things have changed as well as how much they have remained the same, at least for Get Visual.

At this time a year ago, I was crowing about how much traffic had increased on the site during its second full year. Well, this third year has seen the traffic rate double, tallying about 40,000 page views in 2011, with a peak of just under 5,000 for the month of November. Admittedly, a good number of those are probably just folks in Uzbekistan trolling for Norman Rockwell images to steal – but, hey, I’m not choosy!

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

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