Sunday, May 6, 2018

Industrial Strength

industrial Strength

Albert Paley, "Genesee Passage"
in downtown Rochester, New York

Right in the circle in front of the old Bausch & Lomb Building in downtown Rochester,  there stands a wonderful monument to industry and artistic pursuit by Albert Paley.  I enjoyed looking at this post-modern work of art on a beautiful spring afternoon and  I was thankful that such a thing was commissioned for this location.

Geisel Gallery placard

Inside the building, I walked upstairs to the Geisel Gallery to view  the installation of watercolors by Leo Dodd on exhibition through May and arranged by his son, Paul Dodd.  It was just last year that I was introduced to this painter's artwork - so I went to see this new selection that includes paintings made in far flung places like Italy and even the State of Maine!

Leo Dodd paints motif 
Pemaquid Point, Maine

Leo Dodd ( 1927-2015 ) was a mechanical engineer by day - working for Kodak and he was always attracted by the human activity around building sites in Rochester and elsewhere.  As Rick Muto has written, "Leo Dodd was in the mode of painters like Thomas Hart Benton, a regionalist who had a distinct style that emphasized gesture, gravity, and movement."

Leo Dodd /  Heavy Lifting
watercolor on paper

I am sure that I am not the only one who has drawn and painted around construction sites ( my favorite thing to do when I was a young teenager ).  Leo Dodd was there too, as an observer and one who could chronicle changes to the urban landscape with a touch of his pencil and brush.  I think it would have been interesting to watch him work.  How did he decide upon which details to show and which ones to suppress?

Leo Dodd and the Occupy Movement

If you go and visit the Geisel Gallery you get a taste of what it was like to watch some of the landmarks of Rochester being built through the eyes of this artist.  Seeing these scenes - of workers doing their jobs - and then making a composition for them brings to mind the traditions found in Winslow Homers' watercolors or someone like John Singer Sargent.

Karen Frutiger
"Softly Spoken"
The Gallery at Creativ Framing and Editions Printing
510 State Street

Down the way, over to 510 State Street ( Made on State ) we have a show of collages by Karen Frutiger presented at The Gallery of Creativ Framing and Editions Printing.  Karen's show is on through June and it is worth the trip over there to see her experiments in layering color and form.  This is an art that owes a debt to her abstract expressionist forebears, and you can actually go back to the ground breaking efforts of Kurt Schwitters to find the energy that Karen Frutiger brings to her project.

Karen Frutiger collage

Having just viewed the watercolors of Leo Dodd, I couldn't help but sense some of the same contrasts and gestures in Ms. Frutiger's artwork.  I enjoyed her textures and deep contrasts, and she even has a bit of fun in a work like #11. "Rainy Day" which takes a splash of blue bubbles and makes a composition out of two grey house-like forms.

Karen Frutiger

Here once again, I am curious to know how she does what she does.  Why she selects such deep values, and how does she get her collage materials to sit so flatly?  Go see for yourself and think about how this art is made... wouldn't you like to know?

"Rainy Day" by Karen Frutiger