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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fall exhibition preview

The season is upon us and we will never, ever catch up with it. But it’s worth trying, no? Here, in chronological order based on their opening dates, are some of the exhibitions that are happening in the region this fall that are on my radar. I will try (and fail) to see all of them, but I promise to review most of them as the weeks and months roll by. Meanwhile, you may want to mark these on your calendars.

Through the Eyes of Others: African Americans and Identity in American Art, which opened today (Sept. 8) and runs through Jan. 6 at the New York State Museum, explores the complicated issues surrounding race in American culture as seen in paintings and sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of the art works and artifacts (including Black Child, the oil on canvas by Phillip Thomas Cole Tilyard shown above) were amassed by 19th-century collector Stephen C. Clark and the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Additional selections were culled from various public and private collections, including the New York State Museum. I expect it to be one of the top shows of the year.

Also already open, but with a reception on Saturday (Sept. 12) from 5 to 8 is Alchemie, a new show by the painter Laura Colomb. Recently named “Best Emerging Regional Curator” by Metroland for her work at the Saratoga Arts Center Gallery, Colomb’s newest body of work contains large diptychs with elements of Adirondack landscape and nature (image at right). This also marks the last solo show at UpstArt, which will close after a final group show in October, and the departure of Colomb from the area.

Opening Sunday (Sept. 13) is The Play of Light, a solo show at the First Unitarian Society by Oakroom Artist Gary Shankman. A fine painter in the Impressionist style, Shankman will show new work that includes studies of toys verging on the creepy. Reception is the following Sunday (Sept. 20) from 12:30 to 3.

The University (at Albany) Art Museum kicks of its season with Uncharted, a show with thematic ties to the exploration of the Hudson River that includes the work of 10 artists. Co-curated by director Janet Riker and staff curator Corinna Schaming Ripps, it opens with a reception from 5 to 7 on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and promises to be fascinating in a Po-Mo way.

Hudson Valley Community College's Teaching Gallery will host Is It Just Me?, which surveys the last 10 years of New York artist Jennifer Dalton's sculptures and installations that were based on exhaustive “excavations” of herself and her art world surroundings. The show opens with a reception on Thursday, Sept. 17, from 4 to 6, preceded by an artist talk at 3 in the Bulmer auditorium.

Off the beaten track, but truly intriguing, will be a reception and show from 4-7 on Saturday, Sept. 26 at the newly minted Malden Bridge Community Center. Titled Levity and Not So Much, the show features four women artists who will present drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations. Some of you might already know the work of their ringleader, Monica Miller. I do, and it is always terrific - as are her parties. Don't miss it. (The map at right will help you find the site - you can click on it for a bigger, printable version.)

Back to academia, on Sept. 27 a large collection of renowned photography by Texan Keith Carter will be on view at The College of Saint Rose's Massry Gallery. It's a beautiful, new space and Carter's sensual, unassuming work is sure to be a hit with area viewers.

Looking further ahead, another solo photography show will begin on Nov. 1 at Sage College of Albany's Opalka Gallery. Dona Ann McAdams' exhibition is titled Some Women - it features selected works by this street photographer-documentarian from 1974-2009. Expect classic black-and-white treatment of avant garde subject matter.

Still further ahead, Canajoharie's Arkell Museum plans to open Walter Wicks: Games, Gizmos and Toys in the Attic on Nov.15. The traveling exhibition showcases enlarged photographs and models by the children's book illustrator famous for the I Spy and Can You See What I See? series.

Other shows of interest include gallery exhibitions in Hudson through Oct. 11 at Carrie Haddad Gallery (Great Pretenders: An Exhibit of Art Fakery - image above right), Carrie Haddad Photographs (Melinda McDaniel, Joseph Putrock and Arnold Kastenbaum), BCB Art (Arlene Becker, Cynthia Coulter and Carla Shapiro), and the always superb John Davis Gallery (Fran Shalom paintings, plus Douglas Culhane, Erin Walrath, Grace Bakst Wapner, Jeremy Hoffeld and Barry Bartlett).

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