ArtBeat: Caroline Ramersdorfer @ Opalka Gallery [Get Visual]

February 3rd, 2017, 11:00 am by Sara
Installation view of Gravity & Light at Sage Colleges' Opalka Gallery (photo provided by Opalka Gallery)

Installation view of “Gravity & Light” at Sage Colleges’ Opalka Gallery (photo provided by Opalka Gallery)

Review by David Brickman

A world-class sculptor is on view at Sage College of Albany’s Opalka Gallery – so please go see the wonderful retrospective solo show “Gravity & Light: Caroline Ramersdorfer Sculpture, 1985-2016.” It opened on December 2 and will be there through Sunday, March 5, so no excuses.

Ramersdorfer has great international credentials, both in her development and in the exposure of her art – yet, she is also local, having a home and studio in the Adirondacks town of Wells, which she shares with an equally prominent sculptor, John Van Alstine (see my brief review of their two-person show at Lake George Arts Project in 2014). A native of Austria, Ramersdorfer studied art in Paris and Florence and then learned marble carving in Carrara (where else?), and has produced commissioned work for permanent installations in places as fur-flung as China, Iran, Egypt and Abu Dhabi.

One extraordinary feature of this exhibition is its inclusion of numerous maquettes and sketches for some of Ramersdorfer’s major projects, and they are as skillfully crafted as their larger progeny, while also being charming in their tininess. The beautifully produced catalog of the exhibition features lavish illustrations of each foreign installation (plus one on the Sage campus in Albany), telling the story of these remarkable and ambitious creations.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.


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

February 24th, 2016, 1:00 pm by Sara
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

The 37th Annual Photography Regional @ the Opalka Gallery [Get Visual]

April 1st, 2015, 1:00 pm by Sara
Beau Comeaux: Rubble

Beau Comeaux: “Rubble”

By David Brickman

The 37th Annual Photography Regional is both a glimpse of the past and a window on the future. Hosted this year by the Sage Colleges’ Opalka Gallery in Albany, the Photo Regional’s present iteration is a truly fresh experience that also speaks clearly to the show’s long and influential history.

Featuring 80 works by 39 artists, the show was ably and amiably judged by the collaborating duo Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, who filled the capacious gallery with a broad sampling of styles, often choosing three or more pieces by individual makers, which gives the show a welcome depth often missing from such juried affairs. Prizes, chosen by the ParkeHarrisons, went to nine recipients, including two prizes given to student work, a first for the Regional in my memory.

Overall, I got some very strong impressions of where art photography is at in 2015, and I liked what I saw: A lot of black-and-white work (whether digital or traditional); a good amount of strong color abstraction; a great deal of personal documentary; and some experimental/technical stuff – but very little of what I would call “postmodern,” especially of the often annoying “created to be photographed” genre.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

ArtBeat: Mike Glier at Opalka Gallery [Get Visual]

February 3rd, 2015, 2:00 pm by Sara
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.

ArtBeat: Mark McCarty: Skin @ Opalka Gallery [Get Visual]

November 4th, 2011, 11:05 am by Sara
Mark McCarty: Skin @ Opalka Gallery

By David Brickman

It is appropriate that the exhibition Mark McCarty: Skin at Sage College of Albany’s Opalka Gallery begins with a self-portrait, because this show is as much about McCarty as it is about the many people depicted in it. Long awaited (McCarty’s last solo show – aside from a wonderful mini-exhibition of iPhone pictures that just ended at McGreevy ProLab – was in 2004), comprehensive (the show presents 35 pieces, 36 if you count the one that is, inexplicably, included twice) and focused (all the works are black-and-white portraits) Skin happened because Opalka Director Jim Richard Wilson recognized that it needed to happen.

McCarty has been making both personal and commercial photographs for over 30 years, and both have brought him considerable recognition. But the effort to mount a major art exhibition is easy to leave aside when you are dealing with clients, raising a family, meeting deadlines. So McCarty continued to make the personal work – that’s essential – but has tended to only show it in dribs and drabs, usually at one or another regional group exhibition.

Now, we have the opportunity to look at a broad and deep slice of those pictures – still limited to a particular long-term project or two, but a good choice was made to present a very personal segment of the total output, rather than a more diverse survey. It tells a deeply compelling story of lives written on the skin of those living in it, and of McCarty’s place amid those lives as participant, observer, and compassionate collaborator.

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

ArtBeat: Harold Lohner: Gathering at Opalka Gallery [Get Visual]

September 8th, 2011, 12:00 pm by Sara
Harold Lohner: Attraction 3

Harold Lohner: Attraction 3

My policy on faculty shows prohibits me from reviewing the exhibition Harold Lohner: Gathering at Sage College of Albany’s Opalka Gallery, but it doesn’t say anything about endorsements – which is a good thing, because this event should not be overlooked. It is a large, exuberant show stuffed with Lohner’s characteristic monoprints in a vast array of colors, combinations, and sizes. There is also a handsome catalog accompanying the show with an essay by another Sage faculty member, Melody Davis.

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

ArtBeat: African American Abstract Masters @ the Opalka Gallery

November 2nd, 2010, 5:01 pm by Sara
Joe Overstreet: Carry Back

Joe Overstreet: Carry Back

Opening this Friday, November 5 at the Opalka Gallery on the Sage College campus in Albany is African American Abstract Masters, a group exhibition by 14 artists born between 1914-1937 who have enlisted a variety of approaches and aesthetic influences over the span of six decades.

The show, which travels up from from the Anita Shapolsky Gallery in New York City where it exhibited this past spring, features Robert Blackburn, Betty Blayton, Frank Bowling, Ed Clark, Herbert Gentry, Bill Hutson, Harlan Jackson, Norman Lewis, Sam Middleton, Joe Overstreet, Thomas Sills, Merton Simpson, Alma Thomas, and Frank Wimberley.

As Anita Shapolsky notes:

The artists in this exhibition are truly masters of Abstraction. The black art movement was helped by the W.P.A., the G. I. Bill (after WWII) and the Civil Rights movement. With all that, most artists had to go to Europe to paint and sell – similar to the jazz musicians of that era. Many of these artists did show in the fifties and early sixties but like all abstract artists, they were eclipsed by the Pop and Minimal movements. Today, many galleries are showing younger artists of all races. This group of first and second generation black artists has fallen through the cracks and should not be forgotten.

An opening reception is slated for Friday (Albany First Friday) from 5-9pm. The exhibit continues through December 12.

In conjunction with the show, the Fahrenheit Jazz Quartet, led by bassist Chris Sullivan, will perform in concert in gallery on Saturday, November 6 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15; $10 students, free for Sage students.

Jim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Mohawk Hudson Humane SocietyAlbany Poets