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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Galleries are re-opening! (Part III)

Installation view of Willard Boepple show at Pamela Salisbury Gallery
photo by Peter Crabtree
When I heard galleries were starting to emerge from the pandemic darkness and open their doors again to visitors, I beat a path to Hudson, which has the busiest gallery scene in our region. A friend there had made me aware of a large show by Rodney Alan Greenblat at Hudson Hall, and we were able to wangle our way in even though it was early in the week (it's open afternoons on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays by timed entry to avoid overcrowding, with guided group tours at 4 p.m. each day).

Lemon Eye Home Rainbow Device
by Rodney Alan Greenblat
Though I was already a bit familiar with Greenblat's painting, this was a revelation in that the show features several very big sculptural pieces from decades past, along with a profusion of very recent work, most of it in two dimensions. Being highly productive hasn't hurt Greenblat at all - the quality is remarkably consistent - and he is clearly having a whole lot of fun, not surprising from an artist whose greatest success involves creating children's books, cartoon characters, and video games.

Many of Greenblat's pieces include a sort of avatar called Lemon Eye, whose cheerfulness seems undiminished by wisdom. I think we can all use some of that right now, and I absolutely loved the show, which is entitled Something to Look Forward To. It continues through Aug. 23.

Pamela Salisbury Gallery was my other primary target on this mission, because it used to be John Davis Gallery, which was always my favorite in Hudson (not meant as a knock on the many other worthy galleries there!) and which I hadn't seen yet under the new owner's management.

Fence 5.2.20 BB, 2020 - screenprint by Willard Boepple
Pamela proved to be as gracious as her predecessor, and the space is virtually unchanged (phew!). So is the quality of the work on view, in this instance four separate solo shows that maintain a high standard and will satisfy anyone's need for rich colors. I particularly liked the screenprint variations in a show by Willard Boepple that is presented on two floors in the main gallery. Boepple also offers a terrific series of neo-Constructivist sculptures, some of them in small-scale 3D-printed versions that are quite charming. Boepple is a colorist of the first order, and this show is not to be missed.

It Won't Rain, 2020
watercolor on paper by Maud Bryt
In the gallery's rear carriage house, a multi-level barn-like structure, Maud Bryt, Richard Kalina, and Ying Li each have a floor to spread out in. Of those, I was most drawn to Bryt's subtle, suggestive watercolors that reflect actual sites and landscapes, but feel more like interior journeys. All four shows will run through July 26.

I also visited Carrie Haddad Gallery, where Jeri Eisenberg, Louise Laplante, Allyson Levy, and Lori Van Houten are joined in a group show entitled Natural Worlds. Though unified by the theme, this group of four is very disparate in style and media, offering a likely match in taste to a broad range of art lovers. My choice would be Eisenberg's ethereal enlargements of flowers and leaves (see image at end of this post). The show continues through July 26 has been extended through Aug. 9.

Shelter, 2020 - gouache by Jenny Kemp
The Lake George Arts Project's Courthouse Gallery just reopened on Saturday, July 11, with a solo show of paintings by Jenny Kemp, a favorite artist of mine for years, who I recently reviewed as part of a group show at Carrie Haddad. Her Lake George exhibition features a hefty swath of brand-new work, and continues through Aug 14.

The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls has announced it will re-open on Saturday, Aug. 1, by appointment only. Visits will be limited to seniors and high-risk individuals from 10 a.m. to noon, then will allow the general public from 1 to 5 p.m., Thursday through Sunday each week.

The National Bottle Museum in Ballston Spa has re-opened, and its Jan Rutland Artists' Space currently features a show that had just been mounted when the shutdown hit. A is for Abstract in the Adirondacks! is open from 10-4, Tuesday through Saturday, through Aug. 1.

Also in the northern zone of the Capital Region, Schuylerville's Laffer Gallery re-opened on June 13, leading the charge with a typically classy three-person show featuring Robert Moylan, Tracy Helgeson, and Regina Wickham. A Cultivated Vision will continue there through July 26.

Acacia No. 3, 2018, Japanese Kozo paper infused with encaustic by Jeri Eisenberg

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