Alan Singer Studio 432 Hungerford Building
Wall, June 2020
Emerging from a lockdown mode is wonderful, if still a bit un-nerving!
During this viral wave, we washed our hands frequently and donned our masks, keeping our social distance which is becoming second nature in this crisis. Left to our own devices, we search out fresh air from the porch of our new home and marvel at the woods all around us up in the Egypt Hills. Luckily, I have my art studio in the Hungerford Building in Rochester, so I can escape and work on a painting or a print when the time allows.
Before the pandemic hit I had the chance to send off some images to a publication called SciArt. They have a special initiative to engage with a community of artists online and present a gallery in this new issue that is dedicated to art and algorithms. Artists like myself are trying out new avenues to construct an artistic expression which is very liberating and also very challenging. Take a look at this site which is a blend of science and art and see what we are up to. Here is a link: https://www.sciartmagazine.com
In many ways the paintings by Mondrian and the art of Ellsworth Kelly and Sol Lewitt inform me and in the studio I can build on the path they set using geometry to enter a new world of composition that stresses color and pattern. A concept I use to construct my new work depends on the notion of a cellular automata - this started out as a mathematical construct that would show how the aggregation of matter ( atoms or cells ) can create structure and intelligence. In some ways it also reminds me of building blocks or Legos and the miracle of how things fit together.
"Coming Home" Oxford Gallery
Amy McLaren, Three Women,Three Animals"
Acrylic on canvas
Another way to engage anew is to go out and find artwork to look at and enjoy. Here, in Rochester, I have that opportunity now that some business is beginning to re-open - and in fact I went over to visit the Oxford Gallery for the first time in many months. "Coming Home" is the name of their new show and it couldn't be more apt a title for an exhibition. Timing is everything and I am happy to say that one of my watercolors is part of this show along with about fifty other artists and their work.
One of my students from years past - Amy McLaren has her painting ( above ) in this new show which will run into September. Amy has painted an allegory - as a story about women and how they present themselves - so in the gallery their is her painting and you have to read the wall label!
The ideas behind the show "Coming Home" can be very different for each artist, and you will find this show very entertaining when you go. Think about the collections of things you might have had as a kid ( I collected baseball cards and models that I built by hand ). David Dorsey has an oil painting of a collection of monopoly tokens in a glass jar that can remind you of your childhood and his painting has an uncanny ability to be both very abstract and very literal at the same time.
David Dorsey at Oxford Gallery
In this time of social unrest, with demonstrations in the streets, the notion of home can be really tested as it is in the little painting by Carolyn Edlund which she titles: "When Home Won't Let You Stay".
Carolyn Edlund, oil on panel
"When Home Won't Let You Stay"
There are always surprises with a big show like this one. For example there is Bill Keyser's unique abstract painted blue shape and a corrugated piece of rusty metal. Considering the title of this show "Coming Home" - how does his artwork align with the theme of the show? Bill's art is certainly strong, and I wonder what his take is on the message this sends....?
Bill Keyser's "Long Story Short"
at Oxford Gallery
Putting a show like this together you get many kinds of art in juxtaposition. You can play one off the other. A gallery visitor ( I was alone in that regard ) has the freedom to make choices of a work that they could live with. Jim Hall told me of a comment made about my painting - that a viewer thought that "Our Home" was the best painting of a house they ever saw! Isn't that interesting? I can enjoy this conversation with Jim because I can learn so much more about the artists that he has invited to exhibit their work, and considering the fact that there are not too many galleries open around town, this was indeed a delight....
Left and Right =Paula Crawford with "welcome Home" and Alan Singer with "Our Home"
Engage Anew with photos courtesy of Jim Hall from Oxford Gallery