Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Poster at the entrance to Axom Gallery
Rochester, New York

About the time I was putting the finishing touches on my own show at Axom Gallery here in Rochester, I went out to check on some of my R.I.T. colleagues who now have their own exhibitions in our area.  I have worked with these people that I write about here, usually as an advisor or instructor at R.I.T., but in most cases as I have watched them work it is I who have learned from them, and continue to do so.

Highland Park 

It has been cold and snowy, and I found my way up to Highland park to check out one of my favorite views.  It is remarkable how I can find so many similarities in the real world when I compare these views to the abstraction in my paintings, like the snow scene here, and my painting I call "Electrical Storm" at the top of this post.

I walked over on cold winter night to the opening of "A Day's Gonna Come" - which is a two person show for Jacquelyn O'Brien and Zach Dietl, now on view at the new RIT City Art Space.  This show is on until February 23rd, and it features new sculpture and prints by these young artists who are beginning to speak in an artistic  language of their own.

Jacquelyn O'Brien
"A Day's Gonna Come"
at RIT City Art Space

Actually, Jacquelyn's work is an evolution for the kinds of sculpture she was making while still a grad student a few years ago at R.I.T.  Her art has a penchant for declaring it's own weight, and she has a flair for pink.  Her art expresses a kind of pressure that one might have seen in the art of Robert Gober from twenty years ago.  That pressure her sculpture exhibits, I equate with a social anxiety, and it certainly has to do with weights and measures.

Jacquelyn O'Brien at City Art Space

I was glad to read in a fine printed brochure that accompanies this show that Jacquelyn has won awards for her work, because it is certainly memorable.  I think her large sculpture with dangling cement cylinders is like some sort of arcane musical instrument that has the potential to ring out with a thud by crushing that furry thing underneath.

Jacquelyn O'Brien "Weights"

I have a tendency - thinking about a psychological diagram when I am looking at these sculptural and conceptual works, and I also think about the title for this show "A Day's Gonna Come" - and what that may mean in regard to this work.  Like Louise Bourgeois, we may be regarding this work in the future like a trend setter, so we will see.....

RIT City Art Space features work by Zach Dietl

In Zach Dietl's sculptural art there is a certain matter-of-factness that may cause one to think of the rigging of ships and other historical associations.  Some of Zach's artwork has a light humor to it - modern jazz effect of a few squeaky squawky notes in an otherwise solid performance like tooth picks sticking out of a wood beam.


Down the block at Rochester Contemporary Art Center, I walk back to a room to see some intimate drawings by Cory Card.  Cory also has a droll sense of humor and his suite of drawings called: "Sweepings" include very sensitive renderings (in graphite) of materials that we often overlook or just vacuum up.  These drawings are hard to characterize, but they are, or almost could be,  mere shadows.

Very meditative... and curious!