Sunday, November 5, 2017

Satisfy Your Curiosity

"Sacred Curiosities"
at Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, New York
Joanna Poag on wall at left, and Jacquie Germanow in front on right

In the past week I have visited exhibitions that expand my definition of contemporary art and you might find them interesting too.  There is a very fine group show at Main Street Arts at 20 West Main Street in Clifton Springs, and a strong show that has just opened on College Avenue in Rochester at Gallery r.  Grad students from Rochester Institute of Technology are presented at Gallery r in a show titled: "Forces at Work", and it is up until November 19th - so you don't have that much time to catch up with the latest developments.

Bill Stephens and his drawings in "Sacred Curiosities"

I had a chance to speak with Bill Stephens about his drawings in the show at Main Street Arts and I found out about how he does these intimate gestural works which are presented at the gallery.  When you look at the details you can see that they are not quickly done, that they are a kind of meditation on the nature of experience, and the dialog that the artist has with his materials is very engaging.

Bob Conge, mixed media 
at Main Street Arts

It would seem when we look at the collector cabinets of Bob Conge that he has an eye for the absurd.

These boxes of toys and ephemera owe a great deal to Joseph Cornell, but he updates this vision with a edgy flair.  Dolls, toys, and a curious sense of humor informs the collected work he has on view at Main Street Arts.  There is a theme that runs through the selected works in the show at Clifton Springs, some of it has to do with a color palette that is shared by many of the works of art, another facet is a sense of edgy humor which comes through the sculptures of Bill Stewart and the work above by Jacquie Germanow  called "Hot Rumor".    Juxtaposition is also an operating principle.
Take a look at this composition by Emily Kenas below....

Emily Kenas ( Triptych ), mixed media

Bill Stewart
Sandman Bluebird
Main Street Arts
Clifton Springs, NY

Back in Rochester, at Gallery r, the grad students who are featured in the exhibition "Forces at Work" really step out and begin to have a real presence - they are going to make a terrific contribution to our culture now and in the future.  My choice for most interesting art in this show includes a mixed media work by Chenyang Mu, and this sculptural work includes blown glass, found objects, miniature speakers, and music ( heavenly music ).  The music is composed for the work of art and the art does its best to enhance the music!  Blown glass pipes the music to your ears and this art reminds me of the time I saw the composer and musician Harry Partch at The Whitney Museum of Art in New York City.  

Chenyang Mu
"What We Can See" mixed media and recorded music

Artist here is Kibaek Sung

The pink missile is quite timely considering the news today.  It is both funny and shocking at the same time.  My student Kibaek Sung is making his presence in our area known winning a recent commission which he is working on while doing his Thesis.  I could go on and on about this show - it is a great opportunity to think and see the possibilities that art will take and it will satisfy your curiosity.