Get Visual is the grateful recipient of a grant from The Christos N. Apostle Charitable Trust

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Black & White Show at ACG

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.

ADD NOTE: There will be a second reception for The Black & White Show on Friday, Aug. 1, from 5-8 p.m. as part of Albany's monthly 1st Friday events. 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
When Tony Iadicicco and I began to put this show together, we had those thoughts and more – certain artists jumped to mind quickly; others were just a discovery away. We knew there should be a good range of media and styles in this show, but we wanted to let the art itself lead us to what the exhibition would ultimately comprise. In a twist of fate, Victoria Salzman, the printmaker whose dark, edgy etchings of human subjects were the catalyst for the show’s theme, no longer lives within our geographic radius, so she couldn’t be included – and, as it turns out, neither a printmaker nor a social-commentator took her place.

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 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 & 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

Saturday, July 12, 2014

I'm ba-a-a-a-a-ck!

Well, almost. This is a heads-up to the few who may have kept the feed alive these past couple of years, and to anyone else who would somehow stumble across this post.

My new job at the Office of the State Comptroller is the dream-come-true of an artist turned editor turned auditor (take enough accounting classes and your dreams do get pretty weird) - and it should give my life enough predictable free time to resume contributing to this blog.

No specific plans yet for when I will begin posting again, but expect it to be soon. Make that soon-ish. Stay tuned!