Saturday, November 10, 2018

Missing Words & Autumn Color




Autumn Colors come to my block



When I read the description that Emily Glass wrote about some of her recent paintings now on view at The Geisel Gallery, I was shocked to understand that print editions of the Oxford Junior Dictionary deleted words that relate to nature in favor of words that promote new technology.



Poster announcing paintings by Emily Glass

A strategy or a focus on deleted words for creatures like the newt, or the adder, or for plants like a fern seem hard to imagine - that a dictionary editor would deprive a younger reader of this connection to a living world!  In so doing, Emily Glass paints a picture of a drastic change in our relationship with a world of growing things.  With this feeling that our attachment to nature is under attack, one could "read" her paintings as a direct appeal for us to stop this from happening!



Emily Glass: Deleted Word "Fern"
oil on canvas

In her compositions she directs our attention to the forest floor, and the passing life that one finds there, the slow movement of a snail, the shapes of decomposing leaves, the cycle of life that we won't find when we glance down at the latest news coming out over our smart phones..


Emily Glass at Geisel Gallery
downtown Rochester, New York

Emily Glass also shows a sense of humor in her Jackson Pollock-like portrait of arugula on a sheet of paper.  In this way her paint handling reminds me of many works by Catherine Murphy - where she uses realism to mimic abstraction.



Emily Glass at Geisel Gallery

Her technique has an illustrational focus - to show us details when necessary, and also to inform the viewer of a persistent kind of abstraction in the factual nature of life.  In fact, I can remember when I was very little how abstract the entire world looked - and  there is an internal thrill in seeing that experience translated in the strokes of paint applied by Emily Glass.




Sainte Victoire by Bruno Chalifour

Rochester has a vibrant arts community and there are a variety of places to go and see what artists are doing today including the hall at the East Avenue Inn ( 384 East Avenue at Alexander Street ).  Up now is "Trio" with Howard Koft, Bruno Chalifour, and Paula Santirocco.  So, on a cold afternoon in November I went to see these three artists and immediately got drawn into the documentary details of photographs made by Bruno Chalifour.  The mountain made famous in paintings by Paul Cezanne is one focus for Bruno Chalifour, and his photographic prints have a clarity and lightness that is remarkable.



Howard Koft  at 384 East Avenue

Howard Koft works with digital tools to create images that take reality to a new plane.  Buildings can be bent, warped and given new dramatic significance.  The digital realm is something I am very familiar with, and the materials that one can use as subjects for art can really manifest themselves in unfamiliar ways - at least as fine art is concerned.  For hundreds, maybe thousands of years we have trusted our eye to comprehend our surroundings, but with the new digital tools we can transform almost anything into a new artful experience - call it augmented reality!...



Paula Santirocco - "Its a New Day", acrylic

Paula Santirocco works her abstractions with bright color and a love for her materials.  She makes it look easy, but I will bet that there is a lot of trial and error to get her paintings to look this way.  All in all the "Trio" is an interesting show - though the space at 384 East Avenue may not have been on your list of must see galleries, still it deserves your attention.






Sunday, November 4, 2018

Environmental




Melinda, barn owl, along with Wild Wings volunteer
November 1, 2018


It has been raining all day, but I am inside, at my job - teaching drawing for students at R.I.T. with a special visit from two volunteers from WILD WINGS, and three wonderful birds that are in their care.  Each semester a visit from the natural world is in order, and these birds make terrific models to study and draw.  Once students get to see and hear about these birds - rehabilitated by the volunteers at WILD WINGS, they have a whole new respect for our environment.



Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, New York

This weekend we drove over to Main Street Arts in Clifton Springs to see an exhibition by another R.I.T. faculty member who has a show of her recent paintings.  Lanna Pejovic is a prolific landscape painter and she presents"The View From Here".  I wrote a little introduction for the new catalog that was produced for this special show - and I have to say that her paintings were really worth the drive  to see them while they are still on view ( thru November 16, 2018 ).



Lanna Pejovic " Lily Fountain"

The gallery at Main Street Arts has never looked better, and the installation is very sensitive to the needs of these nearly abstract paintings.  Lanna may have had the original inspiration for this from her visits to Linwood Gardens near Pavilion, New York, but she has taken her art to a new level.


"Meditations" by Lanna Pejovic at Main Street Arts

The first things to hit me were her textures and colors..There is a sense of an overarching structure in notations that continue from painting to painting.  Some of her work verges on realism (more often in drawings) but the most satisfying works create a sensual experience - as in "Meditations".  Rather than being made strictly en plein aire these paintings are mostly finished in the studio - and like the Monet show at the Memorial Art Gallery - the art has a touch of the wild, a tactile exuberance.  Even though the catalog gives you an impression of her paintings, you really need to see them in person.
..
Upstairs at Main Street Arts I found a fine set of dimensional works in porcelain by Jody Selin  and a gouache that he calls: "Top of the Hill" ( that reminded me of Edward Hopper ) by another R.I.T. graduate - Chad Grohman.



Jody Selin


Chad Grohman "Top of the Hill"


This busy season takes us back to Rochester, in the Public Market where we went upstairs to The Yards Collective which has been doing things in their rugged space for seven years now.  The curator for the new show is Shane Durgee and the exhibition is called - "Into The Out Of".  He must have had fun selecting the work for the show by two other R.I.T. grads - Cecily Culver and Ashley Ludwig - because their works achieve a nice harmony in an art that is experimental and spare in many respects.

Cecily Culver has been teaching students recently at R.I.T. and I hope that they get a chance to see what their teacher has been making - her installations have a sense of humor - in part because they are minimal but also because they create a situation.  You really can see this art through her eyes, looking down between some bricks where you can see a salamander ( all part of a witty sculpture she has created ) - as if there was a hole cut in the floor of the gallery.



Cecily Culver at The Yards

Cecily took the time to tell me that the neon bird in her sculpture was resurrected for this exhibition which made me think of artists like Bruce Nauman.  Her sculpture is like a window with some irony -you don't know whether you are looking out or you are looking in!

Her exhibition partner in this show is Ashley Ludwig, who exhibits a whole wall of diamond shaped compositions that often are collages with a poetic saying, or something else that galvanizes your attention.  So if you are in the area - visiting the public market, walk upstairs and enjoy the show!



Ashley Ludwig at The Yards Collective
in
The Public Market, Rochester, New York



Ashley Ludwig's collage works
at The Yards Collective