Saturday, August 30, 2014

Look At It This Way

Nathan Lyons photography "Made in Rochester "
in the Spectrum Gallery
at Lumiere Photo

We are lucky to have many really fine artists in our midst, here in Rochester - the "image capital of the world".  A visit to neighborhood galleries during the quiet end of August leaves a very favorable impression especially at The Spectrum Gallery at Lumiere Photo on 100 College Avenue.  I loved a new book from Nathan Lyons ( Return Your Mind To Its Upright Position ), and I went in to see the show "Made in Rochester".  How is it that Nathan Lyons can photograph a bare city wall and make it worth looking at?  He documents mural paintings in urban settings and we can revel in the incongruity of the scale of the images against the surrounding landscape.  The lighting and the clarity of these small prints in this show is just my cup of tea.

"Made in Rochester" celebrates the work of five notable photographers and is curated by one of the featured artists: William Edwards.  The summer mood is the distinct impression left by this show - and maybe that is felt through the cool footsteps in the sandy beach photographed by Pat Cain.  The color in these photos is a bit melancholy, the setting a bit lonely, but also peaceful and eternal.  The pairs of photo prints from Bruno Chalifour that feature trees and brush sometimes have a strong abstract expressionist quality to them; one in particular reminds me of a Jackson Pollock painting - just a scribble of branches and underbrush.  William Edwards takes me down a sunny path in Italy, and I can feel the warmth of the surroundings, and take in the lights and shadows in his poetic prints.

Pat Cain photography in the exhibition
"Made in Rochester"

I have written about shows for Carl Chiarenza recently, and the photos in this exhibit are equally dramatic and robust.  His pictures come from pictures - that is - his photos are often made from collages of other torn images that are all of this artist's creation -  making this self-reflexive art partly about textures in black and white.  There is remarkable restraint in this intimate world of art.

Across the hall at Galleryr, a show is just finishing called "Notables: R.I.T. connections with artists, friends, and the university."  In this selection we have artists like Bill Keyser who shows sculpture and paintings, and we have industrial designers who paint ( Toby Thompson ) and there is a fine selection of photos and drawings and much more to see in each of the rooms at Gallery r.  Norm Williams passed away a few years ago, so I was lucky to have the chance to know him, and work with him at R.I.T.
Here, some of his photos have a nostalgic quality and that is part of their appeal.  The feeling of nostalgia is something that is hard to shake in photography, maybe because I know it is a record of the past.  Jim Thomas has a few of his recent works, and I liked his drawing of what appears to be a set of rocks, or portraits of boulders.  

Bill Keyser one of the artists in 
"Notables" at Gallery r