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