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

September 23rd, 2014, 10:00 am by Sara
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.

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ArtBeat: Public Art Speaks Volumes [Get Visual]

September 19th, 2011, 2:30 pm by Sara
Clown Soldier - Rensselaer Riverfront Art Park

Clown Soldier - Rensselaer Riverfront Art Park

By David Brickman

If you haven’t had public art on your mind lately, there are two current reasons that maybe you should. One of them is the 9/11 sculpture commissioned by Saratoga Arts to be made out of World Trade Center steel by two prominent local sculptors, John Van Alstine and Noah Savett, which should have been unveiled last weekend but wasn’t (background here). The other is the Living Walls project that also launched last weekend and will be the focus of a broad spectrum of events this weekend in Albany.

Amid all the hubbub surrounding the 9/11 anniversary, there was the unfortunate story of how this significant piece of art has been turned into a political football by various folks in Saratoga Springs, who decided they didn’t like either the initially approved siting of the 25-foot-tall abstract memorial, or a second proposed location (for a good overview of the debacle, read Tom Keyser’s coverage from the Times Union).

It always galls me when people who otherwise do not involve themselves with art suddenly feel entitled to act against it when they see something they don’t like being given prominence in public. A couple of significant examples from the recent past include the removal of a long-standing sculpture, which critics compared to a collapsed staircase, from its spot near a government building in downtown Albany; and the very controversial and expensive removal of a monumental Richard Serra sculpture from a public square in Manhattan.

Click to read the rest of this story at Get Visual.

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