Posts Tagged ‘Get Visual’

ArtBeat: Susan Meyer’s “Formation Proposal” @ Courthouse Gallery [Get Visual]

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016
Detail view of Shaft, laser cut acrylic, H-O scale figures, and aluminum

Detail view of “Shaft,” laser cut acrylic, H-O scale figures and aluminum

Review by David Brickman

Several times now I’ve seen one or two of Susan Meyer’s tiny, fantastical utopias and, every time, they fascinate. So I couldn’t bear to miss her solo show Formation Proposal at the Lake George Arts Project’s Courthouse Gallery in Lake George, which is on view only until Friday (April 15).

Meyer uses brightly colored acrylic sheets to build complex little spaces that are populated in this show by miniature nude figures. Her sense of color and form is outstanding, and she fully exploits the way light penetrates these stacks of stripes.

Though dates were not provided for the pieces on view, they seem fresh – especially the central piece – titled “Together” – which is more airy than dense, with a limited palette of white, yellow and blue, and is suspended from the ceiling, so it floats as if in zero-gravity. As one gallery-goer commented during my visit, it looks like The Jetsons. There’s a playfulness here not completely opposed to that favorite 1960s cartoon – but there is also a slightly ominous dystopian feeling to the worlds Meyer creates, adding to their mystique.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

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ArtBeat: Alma Thomas @ Skidmore’s Tang Museum [Get Visual]

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
Installation view of Alma Thomas at the Tang Teaching Museum. Photo by Arthur Evans.

Installation view of “Alma Thomas” at Skidmore’s Tang Teaching Museum. Photo by Arthur Evans.

Review by David Brickman

I wonder what Alma Thomas’ public school art students thought when, in 1972, their teacher – retired and elderly – became the first African-American woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

The idea of an artist being that important and, yet, having had to teach school all her life is far from unique, but this extreme case is certainly food for thought. Skidmore College’s Tang Teaching Museum in Saratoga Springs has, in a sense, rescued this delightful painter from obscurity a second time with a sharp, spacious presentation of about two decades’ worth of her work (on view through Sunday, June 5) in a show simply titled Alma Thomas.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

ArtBeat: 38th Annual Photography Regional [Get Visual]

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
A view of the 38th Annual Photography Regional at Fulton Street Gallery

A view of the 38th Annual Photography Regional at Fulton Street Gallery

Review by David Brickman

At the age of 38, the Photography Regional has come full circle. Originally conceived as a counterpoint to the Mohawk-Hudson Regional, which did not accept photography until the early ’90s, the Photo Regional has always been popular with professionals, artists, amateurs, professors and students; and it has always made a splash with audiences, and in local media.

But has it evolved?

The current iteration of the show, at Fulton Street Gallery in Troy through Saturday, April 2, looks and feels eerily like the earliest Photo Regionals – it was mounted this year first as an all-inclusive salon, and then as a juror selection (following the original format); it includes a significant number of the same names that participated in it way back then; the prints and images, though mainly produced with digital technology, look a lot like prints and images of the ’70s; and it is in the same city as the first Photo Regional (which was hosted by the Rensselaer County Council on the Arts, now known as the Arts Center of the Capital Region).

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

Kate Teale: “The Housed” @ Opalka Gallery [Get Visual]

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016
Kate Teale:: (left) Raft 2009; (right) Floating World 2010

Kate Teale:: (left) Raft 2009; (right) Floating World 2010

Review by David Brickman

While lovers enjoyed flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s weekend, I’ve got a different suggestion for lovers of art: good ol’ drawing and painting. In a world overstuffed with postmodernist theorists, it’s a tonic to walk into Sage College of Albany’s Opalka Gallery and see graphite on paper and oils on board by the extremely talented Kate Teale, an English artist now established in New York City, who should be a household name, but was a new discovery for me.

Teale’s exhibition of six graphite drawings and 18 oil paintings, titled The Housed, was curated by Don Desmett at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and is on tour. It also includes a couple of extremely long (about 30-foot) digital prints from original drawings and a large direct-wall drawing that was executed on-site with student help. The installation suits the high, open space of the Opalka perfectly, allowing the larger works and groupings to breathe, while melding into a cohesive whole that the viewer can digest in reasonable bites.

Teale’s style and technique border on photo-realism; however, she also flirts with formal abstraction, as she explores her subjects of rumpled beds, seascapes, windows and the human form nearly as dispassionately as a scientist studies a lab rat. Not that the work is cold – in fact, it feels intensely personal – but that Teale takes the position of an outsider looking in at herself and her intimate surroundings.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual

ArtBeat: “Photography” @ Carrie Haddad… and Other Hudson Galleries [Get Visual]

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016
Kahn & Selesnick, Oak-Man Falls 2015, archival inkjet print

Kahn & Selesnick, Oak-Man Falls 2015, archival inkjet print

Review by David Brickman

I drove over to Hudson last Sunday to meet a friend for a pizza at Baba Louie’s (it was delicious) and check out the Photography show at Carrie Haddad Gallery. Haddad typically focuses on painting, but her gallery (the longest-standing in Hudson at 25 years old) has always shown photography as well, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to enjoy a contemporary showcase for the medium.

We were not disappointed, as the exhibition featured a wide array of traditional and postmodern styles, ranging from Jerry Freedner’s bucolic Catskills landscapes to Newbold Bohemia’s tacky domestic dramas and Gail Peachin’s clever, tiny cutouts.

The show includes 12 artists but gives the lion’s share of space to the duo Kahn & Selesnick, whose elaborately detailed fantasies have evolved from neo-antique sepia prints to richly colored inkjets. Just a few of K&S’s new works are monochrome, and those work very well, but here we see mostly color among the 20 images presented and, frankly, it is a bit distracting. That’s because the pictures still evoke timelessness, yet the coloration in most of the prints is noticeably 21st-century.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual

ArtBeat: “Folk Modern” @ Albany International Airport Gallery [Get Visual]

Friday, January 22nd, 2016
Installation of found-object assemblages by Jack Metzger, 2006-2015 (photo: Arthur Evans)

Installation of found-object assemblages by Jack Metzger, 2006-2015 (photo: Arthur Evans)

Review by David Brickman

The creative process can be deceptively simple, but I find exposure to it is almost always uplifting. There’s a delight in seeing how a person, whatever their flaws, can draw from within themselves the strength, imagination, and skill to produce something new and wonderful to behold.

Folk Modern, the current exhibition at Albany International Airport Gallery (on view through Sunday, May 8), explores how eight regional makers (perhaps a better word in this case than “artists”) have delved into that creative impulse and, as such, is a celebration of it. Emblematic of the special qualities of this process is the work of Jack Metzger (pictured at the top of this post), a shop owner who seems to just really like to collect odd, old stuff and mess around with it. His installation in the show reveals a discerning eye, a sense of wit and a reverence for the integrity of a good, mysterious object. It’s also great fun.

The mounted text that introduces the show makes the point that “the wall between folk and fine art has been crumbling for some time, and inhabitants of both sides have been finding much common ground.” Indeed, one would honestly have to admit that, without peeking first at a resume, there’s no way to tell which of these people is on which side of that fading divide.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

ArtBeat: Tidbits for 2016 [Get Visual]

Monday, January 11th, 2016
Ellsworth Kelly in his studio in 2012 (photo stolen from the New York Times)

Ellsworth Kelly in his studio in 2012 (photo stolen from The New York Times)

By David Brickman

As 2016 yawns and stretches into existence, a few items on the local art scene have caught my attention:

  1. The recent death at age 92 of Ellsworth Kelly. Almost universally regarded as a giant of 20th-century art, Kelly lived and worked in our region (Spencertown, Columbia County) for a great many years. I recall one encounter with the man, about 1984, when he stopped in to peruse my modest gallery on Washington Avenue in Albany. We knew he was a client of the hairstylist upstairs, but had never seen him. So, one day a middle-aged gentleman came in from the stairway area and looked around with what seemed to be a very practiced eye. I tried to engage him in conversation – no luck. Then I asked if we could place him on our mailing list (we did that with all visitors), but he demurred. When I more or less forced an introduction, he only gave one name: Kelly. I do recall that he did not seem impressed by what he saw, but neither did he seem disgusted. Personally, I love his work for its purity of form and color, and for its spirit of adventure. I also like the fact that Kelly was a supporter of local ventures, donating a print or two to be sold at Albany Institute fundraisers and employing local artists as assistants. He will be missed.
  2. Jack Shear photography collection donated to the Tang Teaching Museum. Shear was Ellsworth Kelly’s longtime partner, and on Saturday, February 6 the Tang will open an exhibition selected from 500 significant and historical photographs he recently donated. It’s a very truncated who’s-who of 20th-century photography (with a notably gay-centric twist) that is sure to draw a lot of viewers and perhaps a snippet of controversy. Remember when the political right wing went nuts because the NEA had supported an exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe pictures in Philadelphia? This show will definitely make it clear we’re over that.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual

ArtBeat: “Pulled, Pressed and Screened” @ the Hyde Collection [Get Visual]

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015
Robert Cottingham - Orph, 1972 color lithograph on wove paper

Robert Cottingham – Orph, 1972 color lithograph on wove paper

Review by David Brickman

Perhaps my biggest regret from my college experience is that I never studied printmaking. Aside from the fact that, outside of art school, it’s hard to get access to a fully equipped print shop (and, so, it was an opportunity lost) I think I would have enjoyed the processes. And I’m sure I would be a smarter person now if I had learned some of those complex techniques then.

That’s one reason I wholeheartedly urge you to see Pulled, Pressed and Screened: Important American Prints at The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, on view through Sunday, January 10. Organized by the Syracuse University Art Collection, Pulled, Pressed and Screened features 51 prints by as many artists and spans the decades from 1930 to 1980.

This gorgeous selection makes clear how important printmaking is to 20th-century American art and provides a wonderful window onto our history. It’s also easy to love, as many of the artists are familiar names, including Grant Wood, Robert Blackburn, Jasper Johns, Helen Frankenthaler, Milton Avery, Romare Bearden and Dorothy Dehner.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

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