Sunday, March 6, 2016

Room To Move

Alan Singer
Acrylic on board, 2016

Having just put the finishing touches on a large painting I have been working on in my studio, I stood up, backed away and took a look.  Not only at my work-in-progress, but in my immediate surroundings at Rochester Institute of Technology, and also in some galleries that have promising shows.

George Wegman
Digital Divide #3

Oh, I didn't have to walk very far to get to Phillips Fine Art & Frame, just downstairs in the Hungerford Building, and there is a new show called " 3...Amigos".  The three artists in question - George Wegman, Peter Monicelli, and Edward Buscemi studied art together under the auspices of MCC years ago, meeting in the studio classroom of Jacque Clements ( Art Essentials 101 ).  As friends they grew up together and found their artistic roots, and they are still painting today.

Peter Monicelli

George Wegman has three closely related abstract works ( like Digital Divide #3 ( 2015), above ) and all three are broken into sections of little squares - almost like pixels blown up-  in compositions that echo Piet Mondrian and other strict formalists.  Peter Monicelli has shown recent work that is more architectural, but here he has paintings of landscape with the lush greens and atmosphere where he has worked up his ideas in a series of modestly sized images.  Ed Buscemi stands out with brash color in paintings that attempt to have a dialog with a viewer.  These "3...Amigos" have enjoyed their brotherhood in art for many years, and I hope it continues in this way.

Edward Buscemi
"Sorry,  I've been told not to talk about the matter"

Paintings by Matt Mroz

Where I work at Rochester Institute of Technology, my graduate students were about to embark on their careers, but first they were having their thesis shows before they graduate in a couple of months. Their exhibition was well attended, and there was much new art to see.  Looking around there are surprises to behold including new paintings by Matt Mroz, which are partially created with paints, and partially created by igniting the surfaces very briefly with molten metals.  Matt is a sculptor mostly, and his other works in this show were remarkable for their emphasis on weights and measures, and even an effort to defy gravity.

A  Matt Mroz sculpture defies gravity.....

Sarah Taavola rigged up a set piece with pantyhose stuffed with colored sugar crystals that drains out slowly from minute holes like sand in an hourglass.  On top of this are several white wedding dresses, and what all this signifies is part of her thesis which originates from her "Feminist Complaint Department".  Her sculptural work includes objects that look like a pasteurizer and a myriad of udders on a low have to see it, words don't do it justice!

Artist at R.I.T. - Sarah Taavola

I also enjoyed the paintings of Abiose Spriggs and Shane Durgee, prints by Michael Strobert,  and quilts and more from Emily Bellinger who really took over a corner of the tall exhibition space of the Bevier Gallery.

Emily Bellinger sets up her thesis show
at the Bevier Gallery, Booth Building, R.I.T.

Finally, back in Rochester at the Axom Gallery, I stopped in to see paintings by Lin Price who is a painter living near Ithaca, New York.  Lin is a friend of Joy Adams who has shown her art in our area ( at the Memorial Art Gallery and at the Axom Gallery space ).  This is the first time I can recall seeing Lin Price's paintings and they are droll works with an emphasis on a humorous situation in each case.  This is a literary or illustrators point of view that requires a light touch and a good sense of the dramatic scene - very theatrical -which I found engaging and amusing.

Lin Price
"Watching the Rolling Stones"
2013, Mixed media on board
Atom Gallery