Note: The current exhibition at Albany Center Gallery features work in black and white by eight artists and was organized by the Executive Director Tony Iadicicco and me. Below are some images from the show and an essay I wrote to accompany it. The gallery will NOT be open on Saturdays through the duration of this exhibition. It will be open M-F, 12-5. Enjoy! - David
|Show invitation, featuring a detail from Willie Marlowe's installation of acrylic paintings|
What do you think of first when you consider art in black and white? My thoughts range from line drawings, possibly like those elegant ones Matisse is famous for, to richly textured photographic silver prints, whether from the street, the land or the studio, to minimalist paintings on a grand scale, such as those by artists from the ‘60s.
|Photographic silver print by Theresa Swidorski|
Instead, we have a powerful confluence of realism, abstraction, minimalism, expressionism and more, with a broad inclusion of media from fiber to flower to photograph. David McDonald, whose deeply worked, highly structured drawings grace these walls, also contributed a small selection of the scores of altered books he has created. Willie Marlowe, a painter known for the brightest of neon colors, brought us similar work in juicy black and white – but she also turned the show into a stunning example of international mail art.
|A Sharpie drawing on painted door by John Hampshire|
John Hampshire’s labyrinthine Sharpie drawings continue to expand on his quasi-apocalyptic visions of tornado-wracked landscapes, this time with large man-made structures included. Barbara Todd has provided bold-yet-soft minimalist quilts as well as delicate wall-mounted constructions of cut-out boards, while Evan Euripidou’s mixed-media installation also starts at the wall’s surface, only to leap full-blown into the gallery’s space as living art.
|A large detail of Barbara Todd's wall installation|
Like Hampshire, Scott Nelson Foster depicts starkly uninhabited built spaces, but he renders them in the subtlest of gray-scale tones with almost unbelievable watercolor technique. Theresa Swidorski’s darkroom-made silver prints take us into a deep, black forest penetrated by a transcendent sunlight, and the collective Blacklight Lighthouse’s monochromatic videos dare to stare directly at the source of that light, while doing our blinking and shrieking for us.
In all, The Black and White Show does what Albany Center Gallery’s mission has dictated for more than 35 years – it brings out the best from a regional art scene that has very much to offer and shares it with an eager audience. Thank you, Ms. Salzman, for unknowingly giving us the inspiration. You are here in spirit.
|One of the etchings by Victoria Salzman that inspired The Black & White Show|