Saturday, December 12, 2015

In Black and White

Glass Art by Eunsuh Choi
Nazareth College Art Center
Pittsford, New York

At Nazareth College Art Center, I had the chance to shake Garth Fagan's hand and let him know I thought his dancers were giving a stellar performance.  The mini-retrospective that his dance company brought to the stage that Sunday afternoon at Nazareth suggest to me that Garth Fagan should be given some Presidential medal if he hasn't won that yet.  His dance company brought joy to my heart, and gave me a powerful rhythm to propel me toward the future.  Before we went in to enjoy the performance we went in to the gallery to see a fine show of glass works by Eunsuh Choi.  These finely wrought glass constructions remind me of a delicate Sol Lewitt - but with a touch more humor and a bit more pictorialism than Lewitt would allow.

Eunsuh Choi at Nazareth College Art Center

I thought about what it would take to create a fine glass grid, and there was an instructive video playing at the gallery that gave the viewer a window into the creative process.  It is labor intensive, and you have to possess a steady hand with a torch, a strong focus and a patient mind to work the glass strands in such a way.  I am struck by these constructions and how they evolve in this show ( now closed ) which was titled: "Aspirations".

Glass artworks by Eunsuh Choi

We are just back from Philadelphia, where we stopped in to visit the Barnes Foundation, and later stayed with brother-in-law Steve Sears at his Iron Works in Bucks County.  Steve has been involved as an artist and fabricator of large scale public sculpture ( see below ) and decorative iron works, and his foundry has everything you need to be a creative blacksmith.

From: Steve Sears IronWorks
in Center City, Philadelphia

One morning, Steve gave me a tour which included a demonstration of some of the many jigs he has invented to turn metal, and we went to see some of his major metal sculptures he has made for artists in the area, some of which are permanently installed in Center City.

Steve Sears in his shop
Bucks County, Pa.

When we arrived back in Rochester, the second installment of "FLUX" was opening at Gallery r on College Avenue.  "FLUX" is a memorial to Keith Howard - and where the first show dealt with Keith Howard's photo based prints with mulitple colors, this new chapter concentrated on black and white images mostly hand made but still using his Non-Toxic process. 

Keith Howard at Gallery r
College Avenue, Rochester, New York

This is Keith Howard going back to the basics of printmaking - a direct involvement with black and white contrasts, textures applied with a brush on the printing plate, or ink that is crackled like dried mud. His prints on view in this show are more intimate, and they carry a simple message of maybe a circular movement - or restless crossed marks that are very graphic.  Maybe these are demonstrations of his materials and an wry sense of humor about always staying active and moving ahead in his research. I am glad that R.I.T. has had the sense and timing for this memorial set of shows.  Thank You, Keith!

Select prints by Keith Howard at Gallery r
Rochester, New York