Thursday, March 30, 2017

Vision Of The Future

"Future View" by Alan Singer
Transfer monoprint on Fabriano paper
My entry for "Made in NY, 2017"
at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center,
Auburn, New York
thru May 21, 2017

Once a year there is a very interesting juried exhibition of recent art mounted at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, NY called: "Made in New York".  This year, the title of the show is "Envisioning the Future" and I was very happy to have my mono print "Future View" selected for this show which seems appropriate for many reasons.  When I think about the future for the visual arts, I think about new techniques coming on board to broaden the search and enliven the map that artists use to find their path.  When I think about the future for the arts, I consider R.I.T., where I teach , and all the new voices coming from all over the world to develop their vision and practice their craft.  It is heartening to see all these young people flocking to the arts, and the show called "Made in New York, 2017" is right on the mark.  I am sure that we will see many new avenues opening up for artist exploration.

Peter Gohringer
" Soft Green Mutant" thermal vacuum formed plastic

When you see this show, you will have the opportunity to view this art in a wonderful space, the exhibition is selected carefully - so as to be not too crowded, and right at the entry there is this bright yellow-green form by Peter Gohringer that certainly has that look of something new and unusual.
This brilliant bubble like appearance, framed in white has a little bit of Pop Art in its genetic makeup but it stands alone in its simple field.  I am reminded of the movie "The Graduate" with Dustin Hoffman, when he receives advice about his future career prospects in:  plastics.  

"Rain Rustler Outfit" by Jennifer Hecker

Right around the corner was another surprise by Jennifer Hecker - a mixed media piece called "Rain Rustler Outfit", it is a costume made partly from worked hot glass along with a welded steel hat and "water pistols" with boots.  Funny imagination here in a sculptural presence that I have not seen before;  I wonder if climate change has driven this artist to think about what lengths we will have to go to deal with the elements.

Sue Leopard's artist book, at "Made in New York, 2017

There were some old friends represented in this exhibition, such as Sue Leopard with her book dedicated to: "This Past Winter ( GLOBAL WARN ( M ) ING - Serious Ill Winds, past & Future".
Sue has been making intricate hand made artist books for many years that include ingenious typography and careful image making on pages here of an ivory sort of paper: the Japanese Kitikata.

  Artist Janet Winkie next to her work " Receiving Blanket"

Janet Winkie who teaches at SUNY Brockport, has a sewn piece on display which she calls: "Receiving Blanket" made of old gym socks and a satin backing.  I was kidding her, but I said that the way her piece was hanging reminded me of marine life, especially the manta rays ( see also Chardin's paintings of ray fish ).  If you go back to the title for this show - "Envisioning the Future" this is in direct relation with a baby's first blanket as they enter the world.  A hopeful sign.

Thoughts about marine life are back again in the swirls of a giant woodblock print by Taro Takizawa.

An image of an giant Octopus on a vintage china plate reinforces this thought by Beckett Wood.  In the description of the work, the label reads that the plate has been fired at 2300 degrees, which I imagine makes the image pretty durable.

"Unknown Landscape" by Taro Takizawa

I was looking for hopeful signs in this show "Envisioning the Future" but more often I came away with the feeling of impending warnings - to be on your guard.  One very simple but beautiful work was a silverpoint image inscribed on a white panel and titled "Standing Stone" by Peter Allen.  This technique takes a long time to accumulate enough value to be visible, and it is hard to photograph but below you will get the idea of what it is all about; I urge you to go see the show and find this quiet piece in the show.

"Standing Stone" by Peter Allen
silverpoint on white panel

Thoughts about the future seem to be very graphic and might involve tumult, and I feel this in the small horizontal composition by Sarah Sutton from Trumansburg, New York. Her painting on panel is called "Delay Line Memory" and it is an engaging little oil that has a variety of  articulated values that tell a story of violent destruction on the man-made landscape. 

Sarah Sutton's painting  "Delay Line Memory"

"Made in New York, 2017 " brings together many people who have been working in the visual arts doing really interesting things in a wide variety of media.  I like Phyllis Bryce Ely's "Field at Risk" which is made with oil stick on top of old draftsman's mylar that still has traces of an engineer's drawing in places, calling our attention, once again to our environment and how we treat it.

Phyllis Bryce Ely's "Field at Risk"

As I leave,  I stop by two large drawings that again hint at the direction we are going. In these works by Donalee Wesley called: " Encroachment l and ll from 2017, we get more of that tumult, and tumbling action when the human population upsets the balance with wildlife, especially powerful predators.  We are all in this together, so be mindful of others as we work towards our future place in the universe....

Large drawing by Donalee Wesley
"Encroachment 1 "
"Made in New York, 2017"
Schweinfurt Memorial Art Center, Auburn, New York