|Terry James Conrad adjusts his musical installation at the Opalka Gallery.|
all photos provided
|Tin cans reduced to essential shapes|
All of which makes the unusual approach to making art that Terry James Conrad has pursued so fascinating. Currently the protagonist of a solo exhibition and series of events at Sage College’s Opalka Gallery in Albany, Conrad has taken that second R to heart, and made Reuse his raison d’etre. The result is both intriguing and – perhaps a surprise - esthetically appealing.
|One of Conrad's presses in use - the paper|
is at the bottom, under the cans
It’s worth trying to explain about those presses. Conrad has invented a unique method of printing, which uses gravity to create downward pressure on a matrix of folded, joined, and grouped tin cans that are placed on top of the printing paper. Each press is a multilayered stack of found stuff, not all of it functional, but all of it adding to the overall visual and symbolic effect of the conglomeration. After homemade inks are piped into the interior spaces of the cans, where they pool and soak for several days, an embossed and colored image will be permanently impressed upon the page, formed of deep lines from the cans’ edges and flowing colors within and around them.
|Conrad has embellished these found cans with colored foils|
|Four Conrad prints|
The show is billed as a survey, with prints ranging throughout the last 10 years. Most of them have white backgrounds, but a triptych entitled Benthic is brown and soft like suede, fully stained with walnut ink around its other colors and floating shapes. Benthic is also larger than the other prints, and super-fresh (dated 2021), suggesting a strong current direction.
Terry James Conrad: Object Permanence will remain on view through March 13. The Opalka Gallery is open to the public, with generous visiting hours that include Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons. I highly recommend that you make time to see this outstanding show by a uniquely dedicated and talented artist.
|Benthic 2021 - monoprints by Terry James Conrad|