Sunday, January 26, 2020

New Birds and Flowers

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
50 Years with Garth Fagan Dance

In Rochester this week we celebrate Garth Fagan and a remarkable milestone  presenting fifty years with his Dance Company.  Above you might see him in his green cap surrounded by throngs of well-wishers who have come out to see his troupe perform in the Eastman Theatre.  Here was an opportunity to see the magic of music and dance on a prestigious stage and it was so fabulous!

Jeff Tyzik was the conductor for the orchestra and they had just the right jazzy, snazzy performance to augment what the dancers were doing upfront.

I really appreciated the inclusion of Duke Ellington's composition ( Take the A Train ) and the story of how influential Ellington's music had on Garth Fagan as he developed his repertoire. I also admired the DANCECOLLAGEFORROMIE - which was the last dance of the evening, in honor of the visual art of Romare Bearden.  If you want to know more about Romare Bearden, check out the book by Mary Schmidt Campbell that was just profiled in The New York Review of Books.  Bearden is a seminal artist working in mid-20th century in New York City, and I am honored to say that I had a chance to meet him and shake his ( enormous ) hand!

Garth Fagan with his energetic choreography brought to life the collage artwork that Bearden specialized in.  Collage is also an art form that you will find in a new show that has opened at The Mercer Gallery on the campus of Monroe Community College.  This is a two person exhibition called: "All About Birds and Flowers" featuring the artwork of Kurt Feuerherm and Judy Feuerherm, and collage and drawing are the highlights that steal the show.

Judy Feuerherm flowers on Yellow...

It should be noted at the outset that Kurt Feuerherm has recently passed away ( 1925-2019 ) and this show was scheduled many months ago when he was still with us.  Kurt was a real presence in this town and he has many friends and collectors of his artwork.  Kurt had a real sense of humor which you don't often find in the visual arts.

Drawing and collage by Kurt Feuerherm

The show at the Mercer Gallery has a fine selection of works, some of which are on view in a set of small vitrines that feature sketchbooks and journals in one corner and small colorful sculptures in another.

Journals and Sketchbook by Kurt Feuerherm

"All About Birds and Flowers" will amuse you and also stimulate you to think about the subjects in new ways.  The images made by these two artists are graphic, colorful translations into a new language - something that keeps the roots but gives a whole new feeling to visual expression that verges on abstraction.  If images of birds can carry across an emotion - Kurt's drawings certainly do that.  In the collage work from Judy Feuerherm she re-invents a botanical art that has at its core a kind of abstract expressionist verve.

Artwork by Judy Feuerherm

This two person show will be on view thru February 14th, 2020, so catch it if you can!