Mid-Summer Days




Barbara Mink
now open at  the Geisel Gallery
Rochester, New York


"Reds" by Barbara Mink


Last night at her opening for the Geisel Gallery in Rochester, New York, Barbara Mink was on hand to greet her guests who had come to view her recent paintings.  Her exhibition "High Finish" is on view thru August 24th, 2019, so you will have ample opportunity to see her recent paintings selected for her show. 

I have known Barbara for a while, having first met with her when she was presenting the interesting speakers for Ithaca's "Light in Winter" events which were like TED talks about art and science.  Barbara is also teaching at Cornell University and she maintains the Mink Gallery at her home on north Cayuga Street in lovely downtown Ithaca, New York.


Geisel Gallery now showing "High Finish"
select paintings by Barbara Mink

The Geisel Gallery is a wonderful space in the former headquarters of Bausch & Lomb, and it gives an artist the opportunity to create a focus, a visitor can really get close to look at the colors and textures of these abstract expressionist compositions.  Some paintings have explosive energy while others are much more like a collector's cabinet of discrete marks set off against light backgrounds.



Barbara Mink at her opening for "High Finish"

" High Finish" alludes to the fact that many of these new paintings are embedded in a thick layer of resin that seals the work and often unites the artwork in a unique way.  The resin is essentially colorless but gives a shimmering depth to each painting as you can see when you step in closer to look.  Sometimes her paintings look like a very colorful storm while at other times dots and shapes are much more disciplined and not nearly so charged with energy.

These mid-summer days have been busy for me, I am presenting a selection of my paintings and prints in the offices of the Edward Jones investment group and this is an opportunity to meet a whole new bunch of people who come to 706 University Avenue.  Just down the street at 500 University Avenue, in The Memorial Art Gallery my painting is on view as part of the 66th Finger Lakes Juried exhibition,  and I am happy to part of this very select group of artists!  And then there is the show I have curated called: "Process & Purpose, 2019" that will open to the public next week at the brand new RIT City Art Space in the center - the heart -  of Rochester at The Liberty Pole in the Sibley Building, 280 East Main Street.



Alan Singer's print "Re-Entry" at 
706 University Avenue, Edward Jones office ( call for information 585 271-3808 )


"Process & Purpose, 2019" is an exhibition whose focus is on contemporary printmakers and their art. There are about 30 works in this new show  which I have arranged, and each artist gets to make his or her statement.  This practice of making prints is a great way for collectors to begin to build a collection, because the artworks are often much more affordable.  In our show I look towards the future - by including younger artists who are just emerging, as well as a few time-tested professionals all of who make western New York their home.


"Dazzle Dazzle" by Sarah Kinard


Below are a sampling of some images that should be thought provoking, and attractive.  Printmakers often make editions of their artwork on paper, but the technique to do this takes time to perfect.  I like the way the prints  create a kind of a dialogue.  So our show is meant to inform and engage the eye and the mind.  Come on over and see for yourself!



"Avoid Meaningless Words" by Minna Resnick


Print by Nick Ruth, part of the show "Process & Purpose, 2019"
set to open next week at the new 
RIT City Art Space
280 East Main Street
Rochester, New York 14604






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Futures Looking Bright




Curator, Rick Muto at the University Gallery
Campus of Rochester Institute of Technology
installing
"Renewable Futures"
thru August 10, 2019

Rick Muto. He is smiling now because his job is almost complete.  The last few artworks will go up on the wall and the labels will be attached and then in a few hours crowds will arrive for " Renewable Futures".  We are in the University Gallery on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology and the new exhibition opens with over a hundred works of art created by art students who have graduated from RIT during the 1960s and have then gone on to careers in the arts.  Some, but not all of these talented people became teachers - in all there are eighteen creative people being honored in this new show.  One of them, Paul Garland ( below ) was giving an artist talk at the Axom Gallery recently, and I had a chance to go and hear what he had to say about the development of his art.



Paul Garland speaks at Axom Gallery

Some of the original inspiration for Paul Garland stems from landscape art and this can be seen directly in a large painting of his that was on view in the University Gallery show that just opened.
Interesting to hear Paul Garland comment on why so many of his compositions are divided in half - just to see what happens!  How many artists would be willing to saw their work in half and then deal with the results!


Paul Garland composition at University Gallery

Walk in to the University Gallery to see a diverse collection of artworks, sculpture and assemblage. These eighteen artists -- many of whom have been friends for  almost fifty years make up a core of creativity and they have brought so much to the Rochester region.  A few, like Judd and Julie Williams have passed away, so it is touching to be reminded of their accomplishments.  I have met many of these folks and have enjoyed their artwork in numerous shows.  I share an office with Luvon Sheppard who is one of the honorees here being celebrated in this exhibition.  Kudos to Luvon!



Walls of art, part of "Renewable Futures"



Lawrence "Judd" Williams ( 1934-2018 )


Each one of the eighteen artists has had some influence on the younger generation coming up.  When you survey this show you realize that there is not set direction that these artists have taken.  Portraits are on view, abstracts, collage, carved and assembled and welded sculpture is on hand.  There is no governing style to these diverse artworks - it is all the energy of the 1960s that is in the spotlight. During the opening I had a chance to talk with several of the artists including Tarrant Clements ( below ) who is fascinating as an artist with a particular brand of sophisticated humor that she brings to her work.



Tarrant Clements


One of the many artworks on view by John Kastner addresses a current topic,  and that is the prevalence of plastic waste products  that he finds when out and about.  His large assemblage comes plugged in with flashing lights and other warning signs - the work itself includes pieces of plastic and details and comments that are right up-to-date.


Assemblage by John Kastner


John Kastner has illustrated several children's books, and he has a rare wit and an eye for the comic and dramatic gesture.  He also is showing some very delicate drawings like the striking portrait seen below.



Portrait by John Kastner

Kathy Calderwood also has her art featured in a book which you can purchase at the front desk.  We stopped to chat at the opening and it was great to see her paintings once again in this show.  Her work often includes some verbal dialog, and her paintings can almost be read like a rebus.  


Kathy Calderwood at the University Gallery



Visual Art can create a dialog about place and space!

Rooted in the 1960s the art that blooms could be seen against a backdrop of social upheaval, and yet there is a promise of better things to come...  "Renewable Futures" allows a visitor to consider  the contribution that this group of eighteen artists has made to our community, and it is quite considerable, and it provides one of many reasons to value what we have to offer  as part of the fabric of our culture here in western New York!

Renewable Futures
at 
University Gallery, R.I.T.
thru August 10, 2019 

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Exhibition Hours




Alan Singer: "Electrical Storm" gouache on canvas
in the new
66th Finger Lakes Juried Exhibition
Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY


Thank you for all the nice compliments I have received for my painting ( above ) in the recently opened 66th Finger Lakes show.  Yes, I missed the opening because I was in Pennsylvania at an exhibition of my father's artwork that I co-curated with my brother, Paul Singer.  Sorry to have not seen and talked with all the friends and other artists who were part of this grand exhibition that is held at regular intervals over the years.


Painting by David Hockney of the Grand Canyon

Actually, I have not been in the Memorial Art Gallery for a while, so walking around I found some really exciting developments.  The David Hockney painting of the Grand Canyon was a surprise - especially because it is in a gallery with some classic ( and much older ) American landscapes, so it really stands out ( all of that red! ).  But I like the attitude.



New Wall murals by Fun Krew

When you walk down the hall where the Sarah C. Rutherford portraits were painted, we now have extravagant graffiti which must be a first for any local museum to reserve space for artists of this genre.  Yes, I have seen many photos of this sort of mark making and a lot of the real thing on the subways of New York City ( Thank you TAKI 183 ! ), but to  see this jazzy stuff along the hall really could change some minds about the outreach the museum is undertaking.



Peter Fischli & David Weiss: their film " The Way Things Go"

Take the time to sit and watch "The Way Things Go" in the media lab.  It is a kind of Rube Goldberg process when one thing hits another and sets off a chain reaction.  Reminds me of the viral videos for the music group OK Go that I saw at the Bridges Conference in Canada a couple of summers ago.



Photo courtesy of The Memorial Art Gallery
Greeting  visitors to the show

Once inside the 66th Finger Lakes Juried Exhibition I found myself looking over artwork from a wide variety of working artists, and even some who might describe themselves first as scientists or crafts people.  The juror for this show is Marilyn Zapf  ( any relation to the type designer Herman Zapf? ) .  She chose a selection from 62 artists many of whom I have seen before,  and there are always a few surprises in store!  A visitor can cast a vote for their favorite before they leave.



Susan D'Amato " Taxonomy of Air"

A trend it seems in some contemporary art presents a kind of obsessive compulsive behavior like the presentation by Susan D'Amato from her series of Ten Thousand Things, which was similar in some respect to Cory Card's drawings of dust particles that won an award across the room.  Cory Card's artwork here is like a fresh kind of neo-dada experience.



Jeanne Beck's " Book of Longings"

A wall hanging from Jeanne Beck is just gorgeous with hanging chains and gold papers that could flutter in a breeze takes me back to paintings of Gustav Klimt and Vienna.  Directly across  from that are two artworks from Werner Sun whom I had the chance to meet in Ithaca when we had the opening of my printmaking show which will be coming soon to Rochester, at the new RIT City Art Space.



Joseph Accorso's painting of the "High Falls Spring Runoff"

There is a diverse approach by contemporary painters,and in this show there are a few pieces that approach traditional  renderings of what we can see around us, notably the painting of High Falls by Joseph Accorso.  There are several standout works that are dimensional and Lee Hoag's work would be among them.  He invents what look to be  utilitarian objects that have yet to be discovered - and as  technology impacts our lives - so does art.


Lee Hoag and "Late Shift", 2018

I was glad to see that Colleen Buzzard's piece was given an award.  Having just been in her studio within the last month, she is doing something with drawing, sculpture, and light that is very engaging.
I urge you to go see this new exhibition, because a delicate piece like Colleen's does not reproduce well - you have to see the real thing!


Colleen Buzzard"s "Hard Merge From Left"

Our Print Club of Rochester is lead in part by Katharine Baca-Bielinis and she has a fine print in this show which should not get over-looked.  It is telling that the juror's taste comes out in the present exhibition, and it is not based on the trendiest color or material.  Come and enjoy the show, and before you leave, stop in to find the Lockhart Gallery show that is on now ( 1969 Turns 50 ) and enjoy the collection there that includes the well-known like Andy Warhol, and the artists that will be better known like Warren Colescott  ( 1921-2018 ).


Lockhart Gallery presents: "1969 Turns 50 "


Warren Colescott  ( 1921 - 2018 )


The Memorial Art Gallery is undergoing a period of renewal.  There are many reasons to come out and look at what is happening in the arts, especially now when there is so much political turbulence in our country.  It is a good time to find some peace and a way to contemplate what artists have to add to our daily lives.  It is just like what the bumper sticker says: EARTH without ART is just EH....



Wendell Castle and Kathy Calderwood
at
The Memorial Art Gallery
500 University Avenue, Rochester, NY












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Father’s Day 2019




Arthur Singer ( 1917-1990 )
An American Master
& Art

This past weekend we celebrated Father's Day in a unique way.  Growing up in our family of four - our business involved everyone in the arts.  I teach art and practice it at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.  My brother Paul, is a graphic designer, book designer and artist, and our father and mother were both artists and illustrators - so it was inescapable in our family!  We love it and have made our careers so far in the arts - and art worked for our  father, and it works for us.  But I am getting off track here, I just want to say that we celebrated this Father's Day by opening a retrospective of our Arthur Singer's artwork in a setting that is unique in Millersburg, PA, near Harrisburg.  The place is called The Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art.  Our show is called: "Arthur Singer, An American Master".


The State Birds and Flowers commemorative stamp series, 1982

At the top is a photo of Arthur Singer made by Lenny Eiger in 1982 just as our series of Birds and Flower stamps were about to be issued and released in Washington, D.C.  I say our series because I worked with my dad and painted all the flowers for the fifty designs.  They would go on to be best sellers.  But this was not the first time that Arthur Singer would have a hit with his artwork.  In the 1950s he produced a series of eight paintings that were made into prints for American Home Magazine that sold millions of copies, ( see the series below ).


American Home prints on view at
Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art
Millersburg, PA

Arthur Singer also illustrated over twenty books like his "Birds of North America", a Golden Guide that is still in print after selling over six million copies ( over the past 50 plus Years ).


Arthur Singer's best selling Golden Guide
in print since the 1960s

Arthur was born in New York City on Audubon Avenue  ( !! ) and got started in art early in life, he was drawing as soon as he could hold a pencil.  He was also an avid collector of pictures and books -especially about nature.  He was a jazz lover and dancer.  One of his close friends was Duke Ellington, and my dad designed covers for some of Duke's well known albums.



Comp for Ellington Album cover

In the late 1930s Arthur Singer went to The Cooper Union to broaden his art education and he later went back to his alma mater  to teach.  Before that he had a stint in the U.S. Army during World War ll.


Arthur Singer paints an ostrich circa 1942


My father brought his paints and brushes to the battle.  During the war Arthur was part of the Ghost Army, and they were dedicated to creating deceptions on the battlefield.  My dad painted camouflage when he was on duty and when he had some free time he went out into the countryside and painted images of war in Europe.  Now, we hope to one day have an exhibition of Arthur Singer's World War ll paintings and drawings because they are an awesome historical document.  My brother Paul has designed a new book to chronicle the exploits of the Ghost Army with my father's artwork as the centerpiece, and with his letters written back home as a text.




Ghost Army by Rick Beyer, cover art by Arthur Singer

My parents were married just before the Americans became involved in World War ll, and so later when my father returned from the theatre of war, they had two sons - my brother,  Paul and myself.  We grew up in the New York area and my father went to work in advertising first, and then publishing.

His love of nature  - in particular birds and animals -  became his main career - painting portraits for books and magazines.  So now we can celebrate his life and enjoy his art in our new show now open in Pennsylvania.  Here is a link to the Ned Smith Center for further information - it is a great looking show with over sixty works of art by Arthur Singer.  I hope you will see it !  Here is the link:http://www.nedsmithcenter.org/arthur-singer-an-american-master/




Our show of Arthur Singer at
The Ned Smith Center
for Nature and Art
Millersburg, PA











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Good Time With Friends




Big Time Celebration with a really Generous Cocktail provider -
Anderson Studios!
250 North Goodman
Rochester, NY

To insure an adequate supply, the world's largest cocktail shaker was parked in the back of Anderson Alley so people could sip their way towards celebration...  A really shiny Kenworth truck filled with good cheer was making house calls, meanwhile, I went up to the fourth floor to see what the friends were up to on a beautiful June night here in Rochester.

I moved up to Rochester from Park Slope in Brooklyn almost 30 years ago to teach in the School of Art at Rochester Institute of Technology.  While I was in New York, I had studied painting at The Cooper Union where one of my teachers back then was Wolf Kahn - so I was surprised to see his portrait among those in the show called: " Between Worlds" by Zanne that was open when I walked by.



Poster announcing a show 
by Zanne


Portrait of Wolf Kahn ( center, bottom ) by Zanne

This show "Between Worlds"  has an interesting premise, and you have to wonder how the artist can go from the near abstractions she has on one wall over to the expressive portraits on the next segment of the show.  My friend Richard Harvey said he helped make these large scale reproductions on a new color printer, and I would say that they are quite engaging - a kind of portraiture that seems made for a magazine cover. 

Nancy Valle has a big studio here on the fourth floor and she has been into ceramics - I noticed some tiles where she incorporates encaustics - to give the tiles a different color and even a reflective quality.


Ceramic Tile in the studio of Nancy Valle

It is interesting that artists in the  building sometimes offer space to other emerging artists for shows and that was the case here, and at Colleen Buzzard's space too.  Colleen has a nice light touch with her  drawing works on Duralar, and the cross-fertilization between drawing and sculpture.



Colleen Buzzard has a light touch


Down the hall I went into see the art of Kathy Farrell, Peter Monacelli, and George Wegman ( the Best Friends).  You can see them here in the funny poster that they made for the show.




Once inside the show you come fact-to-face with art that you want to get close too - trying to understand the patterns in Kathy Farrell's art - which seems so nonchalant, and quite intimate like reading someone's diary.  The paintings and collage work in this show of three artists seems to dominate the proceedings.  Peter Monacelli's art seems to honor the visions of others - with a collage that is part architectural plan and a kind of comment on the methods of art making - call it inspiration from a diverse  group ( mostly women who should be better known ) .  So here is a work in honor of Kiki Smith, and another work in honor of Gertrude Greene.  If you don't know who these women are - look them up!


Collage by Peter Monacelli

George Wegman has a group of strong little abstracts, and I was attracted to his work called: "Red Alert".  It has a graphic impact that is easy to see and the work  has a strong relationship to Peter Monacelli's approach - you can see that these best friends may have influenced each other!



"Red Alert" by George Wegman

So, Kathy Farrell has often come to my class to speak about her work arranging exhibitions for Monroe Community College where she has guided the Mercer Gallery for many years.  The small framed abstract works she has in this show have a spontaneous and intimate appeal.  They could be   a  visual equivalent of a series of dance moves, or a pattern of migration.  From my point of view they are all about movement.  But you will have to see for yourself.



Kathy Farrell's intimate  artworks

Outdoors,  once I took a look at the shows on a First Friday, going back to my car, I saw the new construction of apartments nearby and stopped to admire the big Albert Paley sculpture now so firmly rooted in the landscape around the Memorial Art Gallery.  Beautiful night here in upstate New York!



Albert Paley on a summer night







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Good Time With Friends




Big Time Celebration with a really Generous Cocktail provider -
Anderson Studios!
250 North Goodman
Rochester, NY

To insure an adequate supply, the world's largest cocktail shaker was parked in the back of Anderson Alley so people could sip their way towards celebration...  A really shiny Kenworth truck filled with good cheer was making house calls, meanwhile, I went up to the fourth floor to see what the friends were up to on a beautiful June night here in Rochester.

I moved up to Rochester from Park Slope in Brooklyn almost 30 years ago to teach in the School of Art at Rochester Institute of Technology.  While I was in New York, I had studied painting at The Cooper Union where one of my teachers back then was Wolf Kahn - so I was surprised to see his portrait among those in the show called: " Between Worlds" by Zanne that was open when I walked by.



Poster announcing a show 
by Zanne


Portrait of Wolf Kahn ( center, bottom ) by Zanne

This show "Between Worlds"  has an interesting premise, and you have to wonder how the artist can go from the near abstractions she has on one wall over to the expressive portraits on the next segment of the show.  My friend Richard Harvey said he helped make these large scale reproductions on a new color printer, and I would say that they are quite engaging - a kind of portraiture that seems made for a magazine cover. 

Nancy Valle has a big studio here on the fourth floor and she has been into ceramics - I noticed some tiles where she incorporates encaustics - to give the tiles a different color and even a reflective quality.


Ceramic Tile in the studio of Nancy Valle

It is interesting that artists in the  building sometimes offer space to other emerging artists for shows and that was the case here, and at Colleen Buzzard's space too.  Colleen has a nice light touch with her  drawing works on Duralar, and the cross-fertilization between drawing and sculpture.



Colleen Buzzard has a light touch


Down the hall I went into see the art of Kathy Farrell, Peter Monacelli, and George Wegman ( the Best Friends).  You can see them here in the funny poster that they made for the show.




Once inside the show you come fact-to-face with art that you want to get close too - trying to understand the patterns in Kathy Farrell's art - which seems so nonchalant, and quite intimate like reading someone's diary.  The paintings and collage work in this show of three artists seems to dominate the proceedings.  Peter Monacelli's art seems to honor the visions of others - with a collage that is part architectural plan and a kind of comment on the methods of art making - call it inspiration from a diverse  group ( mostly women who should be better known ) .  So here is a work in honor of Kiki Smith, and another work in honor of Gertrude Greene.  If you don't know who these women are - look them up!


Collage by Peter Monacelli

George Wegman has a group of strong little abstracts, and I was attracted to his work called: "Red Alert".  It has a graphic impact that is easy to see and the work  has a strong relationship to Peter Monacelli's approach - you can see that these best friends may have influenced each other!



"Red Alert" by George Wegman

So, Kathy Farrell has often come to my class to speak about her work arranging exhibitions for Monroe Community College where she has guided the Mercer Gallery for many years.  The small framed abstract works she has in this show have a spontaneous and intimate appeal.  They could be   a  visual equivalent of a series of dance moves, or a pattern of migration.  From my point of view they are all about movement.  But you will have to see for yourself.



Kathy Farrell's intimate  artworks

Outdoors,  once I took a look at the shows on a First Friday, going back to my car, I saw the new construction of apartments nearby and stopped to admire the big Albert Paley sculpture now so firmly rooted in the landscape around the Memorial Art Gallery.  Beautiful night here in upstate New York!



Albert Paley on a summer night







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Art Festival




6 x 6
Rochester Contemporary Art Center
an annual art feast as a fund-raiser
Rochester, New York

When you open the door to the Rochester Contemporary Art Center now, you are greeted at the desk and then you can explore a festival of visual art known as 6 x 6.  This show has become an annual fund-raiser and it has helped keep the gallery afloat through the participation of hundreds of artists who have donated their time and creativity and found community support when buyers come to select beautiful new art for a purchase.  It is a Win-Win for everyone involved... the artists get to show their work, and support the gallery and patrons  have a terrific show to look at and select art for their collections!


Jazzy card announces the show at RoCo
137 East Avenue, Rochester, NY

There is literally something for everyone here no matter what age you are - there is a work to suit your taste from serious portraits of far-away places to caricatures of your favorite stars.  As a little test, I went around to try to identify artists whose work I have seen before, and I can identify their work by the content or style.  Many of the artists whose artwork I could identify have already had their 6 x 6 inch creations snapped up, and then there were so many more to choose from!



Abundant art arranged for your enjoyment!

People like me, come back each year to build their collections.  For others, they could start and build an art collection at  a very reasonable price of $20 for each work they select.  This show builds a spirit of involvement for the arts in Rochester and attracts people from all over.  I saw on Facebook that a friend of mine had sold her art right away and posted on the social media.



6 x 6 artwork by Pamela Benham

Whether you buy the artwork online, or go to the gallery there are so many works to choose from!  I saw many little bird portraits and even a cute bird house ( or two ).    One little image of a swan had real feathers attached...


Could be yours today!  At  6 x 6

Thank you to all of the artists who participated in this years show!

I couldn't help but take a chance and add to my art collection.  I have a good feeling of supporting my community!  There are still a few thousand works up on the wall - take a look for yourself and find some inspiration!


AT 6 x 6 --after a terrific opening the show goes on , and on!


Later next week I travel down through the Southern Tier and into Pennsylvania for the opening reception at a show I have co-curated with my brother, Paul Singer.  Our exhibition features artwork made by our father, Arthur Singer who he had a long, illustrious career  as a wildlife artist - but that is not the only thing he did.  His  life and work  are featured in this new show at the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art in Millersburg, PA, right across the river from Harrisburg, PA.

If you are in the neighborhood, our reception is from 3 - 6 pm on Saturday, June 15th, and we would love to see you there.  We will be signing copies of our new book about Arthur Singer, The Wildlife Art of an American Master - and we will be having a talk about his art that is up on the walls of the Ned Smith Center.  Below is the postcard for our exhibition which is on thru August 26th, 2019.



Postcard for the new exhibition of wildlife art by Arthur Singer
Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art
Millersburg, PA







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Fantastic Finger Lakes




Lake Cayuga, view from 5th floor 
of
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
Cornell University Campus


The city of Ithaca is nestled at the inlet to Lake Cayuga - one of the fantastic Finger Lakes - and you may take in the view from the panoramic windows along the 5th floor of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art on the campus of Cornell University.  The building designed by the now late I. M. Pei was built in the early 1970s and while I was a graduate student at Cornell I watched it being built outside the window of my studio next door.

Flashback:  Cornell at that time did have a small art collection housed on campus which moved to the new museum once it opened.  I remember a very important show by Robert Smithson then that was written up in all the art magazines.  This exhibition set in motion a trend in "site-specific" art that also included Earth Art - a movement that was about to take hold.  So, Ithaca was trendy!  That was about fifty years ago!  Then, the Ithaca Commons was just being considered... before State Street ran right through the center of this upstate New York town.


Alison Lurie reads at Buffalo Street Books

Today, I am in town for the opening of our show at the Corners Gallery whose owner and director, Ariel Ecklund has given eight printmakers the opportunity to show our stuff.  The day before the opening I went to hear and see some presentations including a reading by Alison Lurie, a noted author at Buffalo Street Books.  I am reading her new memoir "Words and Worlds" and enjoying her narrative.  In her book she muses about Texts and their deconstruction - make no mistake - Alison Lurie does not want to be interrogated - just left alone to write what she feels!



Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
building design by I. M. Pei

Up the Hill on the Cornell University campus we are going into the Johnson Museum and I come across a big abstract painting by Norman Bluhm downstairs.


Norman Bluhm's  ( 1921-1999 )  "Brizo", 1968

I am hoping that they have some good shows on for this visit.  First, I come across prints and paintings of the nude - this is a history lesson that goes back to the anatomical studies by Vesalius.
There is even an old pop-up book - maybe the first of its kind to reveal inner layers of a body.  This is just a small part of the exhibition called: "Undressed - The Nude in Context, 1500-1750".



Anatomical Pop-up Book

Down the hall is a modern show of photo-realist watercolors from the Louis and Susan Meisel Collection.  The Meisels - gallery owners in SoHo had the best opportunity to develop a collection based on their interest in and support of a group of artists that they promoted.  This new exhibition is quite inspiring and gives you a brief look back at a particular branch of representation that patterned itself around creating paintings by hand that could really challenge a viewer - these watercolors are so complex and complete as to mimic color photographs.  It is funny because when photography was first "invented" photographers often tried to make their pictures look like paintings, but in the 20th Century the tables have turned.


Watercolors from the Meisel Collection
include this portrait of the Bendix Diner
by John Baeder

I noticed a painting by John Baeder of a famous diner in New Jersey near the Interstate that I once sat down in to have a burger.  Painter John Baeder has it accurate down to the last detail.  The photo realists were often attracted by shiny objects - just to demonstrate their prowess with paints and brushes ( and patience! ).



Watercolor by Ralph Goings

Upstairs, there is a major showing of textiles from India with very intricate designs.  Chintz and other weavings  on view show great inventiveness and are worth close study.   My only complaint is that the museum keeps the lights down low for fear of bleaching out the dyes used in these fabrics, so they are a little hard to see.  



"Traded Treasure" Indian Textiles for Global Markets
at 
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art

These are fabrics that must take a lot of time to prepare for sale.  The designs tell whole stories in some cases or represent different ways of thinking about patterns.


Indian Chintz fabrics on view now
at "Traded Treasures"

In other parts of the museum I found wondrous paintings like this little masterpiece by El Greco from 1610.  It is funny that this work looks so modern!  Is that because it is so simple and direct?  The figure of Saint James that the painting portrays could be anyone you see out for a walk in the world.



El Greco portrait of Saint James, 1610-1614

I had to get ready to leave, stopping off to admire a Giacometti sculpture that also seemed to be in a rush.  I couldn't wait to get to the opening at the Corners Gallery and greet new friends and old.  I wonder how they will welcome our printmaking show?   I think what we are doing is worthy of being collected and exhibited - maybe even here at this museum.  What do you think?



Alberto Giacometti in stride












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Spring Ahead




Signs of Spring:  Trillium in Ithaca, NY
2019


Time out to celebrate the arrival of Spring.  Take a deep breath and then plunge ahead.  This month is fulfilling in many ways.  The change in weather means more sunlight, and  flowers respond!
Time also for an opening of an exhibition that I have been planning on for months at the Corners Gallery up in Cayuga Heights,  Ithaca, New York.  



Alan Singer pictured  pulling a print edition for The Print Club of Rochester

I am a printmaker, painter and Professor of Art at R.I.T. and I have curated the show called "Process and Purpose, 2019".   Included in the new show at Corners Gallery are eight contemporary printmakers who all have a story to tell in each individual work on display.  We had a great crowd at the opening and all of the artists were in attendance.



Minna Resnick, one of our printmakers at the opening

There are established relationships between the artists of friendship and community and there is also a conversation between the artworks on view.  Maybe it is color, or maybe it is the mood expressed but each print is engaging as a composition worth your attention.  Don't mistake these prints for illustration though, the artists have built a deeper concept built from their experience.

It is rewarding to take the time and really see what the artists are dealing with.  In our show along with their art each printmaker has a verbal statement to make in support of their endeavors.  An artist like Nick Ruth comes back again and again to his statement dealing with communication using an image of a cell tower to get us to stop and think about how we have come to rely on devices for conversation.


Nick Ruth at Corners Gallery

The daily news about Climate Change and  striking images of forest fires out west bring into deeper focus the issues that printmaker Craig Mains has made with his work.  His giant woodcut features a lumber truck making the last haul.  Is that because there are no more trees to cut down; have the forest fires consumed them?



Craig Mains large woodcut deals with current issues... 

 Eileen Bushnell's small mixed media prints are like little science experiments, figures are falling and spells are broken.  There is a reliance on elemental charts that tell us about our atomic structures and how we can relate.  You could say that Eileen Bushnell's theme is a quest for knowledge.  Having a second sense of what that knowledge may bring - that is the job of this artist - to find it and hopefully harmonize!


Eleen Bushnell's print - "Akiko and the Buddha"

Minna Redneck's prints are sophisticated image making at its best, with delicate values that come close to photographic depth.  "Avoid Meaningless Words" is one title, and it is a mediation perhaps on childhood, looking back on a life well lived through the eyes of an artist.  Childhood joys are juxtaposed against more mature pursuits with a recognition of being judged through observation.



Minna Resnick at Corners Gallery

These are some of my thoughts about the ways these prints on view in "Process and Purpose, 2019" may cause a reaction from a viewer.  Several of the prints in our show are purely abstract, like those by the artist Kumi Korf.  She and I attended graduate school at Cornell University during the early 1970s and we share some history in our relations to art and that can become something of a signifier.


Kumi Korf and friend at the opening of "Process & Purpose, 2019"

Sarah Kinard and Shane Durgee are the youngest folks in this group of eight printmakers.  Sarah has a way with the fragments she collects and uses, but in her woodcut "Razzle Dazzle" she has a graphic vortex of energy that holds a viewer's attention.  Shane also has that energy and the bright colors of his transfer prints have a tactile depth.


Sarah Kinard at Corners Gallery


Shane Durgee, transfer print with over painting


My prints in this show engage with striking colors that seem to glow.  I have an engagement with geometry and with the translation of mathematics into something you can see and feel.  My new prints embody a search for new ways of expressing myself, but I never thought that you could use algebra to create images like what I am doing today.  Come out and see our show, I think we are on to something here.!


Alan Singer's print called:  " Nirvana"
in
"Process and Purpose, 2019"
at
Corners Gallery, Ithaca, New York
thru June 22, 2019






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Morph




"March Metamorphosis"  by Mary Buchan
at
The Oxford Gallery
May 4 - June 15, 2019
267 Oxford Street, Rochester, NY

This season brings may new art shows and each year I anticipate the theme show presented in late spring at the Oxford Gallery.  The theme is chosen on an annual basis by the gallery owner and director James Hall.  This year the show has opened and we are presented with over fifty artists dealing with the subject of Metamorphosis.  When you think of this word you immediately have to deal with change, and maybe even stages or steps that are needed to evolve.  A perfect illustration of this kind of transformation comes this season with the butterflies that flutter past.

There is the glass case, even before you enter the main gallery where small panel paintings on the theme attract your eye.  The artist is Bridget Bossart van Otterloo and she portrays the stages of the monarch butterfly from caterpillar, to chrysalis, and to a beautiful adult on the wing...and her medium is oil paint.


Alice Chen presents her "Metamorphosis"
ink and watercolor on rice paper

Once inside the show you can view bright flowers by Kate Timm and some unexpected works like the circular composition by Alice Chen.  She paints an astronomical picture that is highly imaginative and active, perhaps taking advantage of the medium she works with.  There is the benefit of having a theme like "Metamorphosis" to work with -because it is open to interpretation and contemplation.  My own entry is a monotype and the image flips back and forth with the forms presenting the viewer with a movement that is achieved through bright colors in opposition.



"Transformation", monotype by Alan Singer


Some of the artists were having fun with the subject as you can see looking at the painting by Ken Townsend called "Unmade Bed", in which the bed sheets become stormy wavelets  at the beach.  There are other surprises in store for the visitor including a painting by Daniel Mosner called: "Fruit Rot on Table Not".  I am not sure that this painting would be good in my dining room, but maybe the den!



"Unmade Bed" by Ken Townsend


"Fruit Rot on Table Not" by Daniel Mosner
at
Oxford Gallery, Rochester, NY

There are many fine works here and I was drawn into looking closely at the small print by Liz Durand which tells a mythological tale of "Selkie", which is a literal transformation.  Other artwork in this show dealt with the realm of nature and the changes of the garden that happens in March when the "Snowdrops" start to flower, as shown in the painting by Mary Buchan  ( seen at the top of this post ).

Geology, and the vision of petrified wood is the subject of a large watercolor by Barbara Page, a very slow metamorphosis indeed!


Watercolor by Barbara Page

A grand portrait of a racing dog is painted by Amy McLaren surprises me with the title: "Retired".

She is such an energetic painter that her focus on this creature is so sympathetic...  I guess that the idea of metamorphosis is all rolled into one clear statement here.


Painting byAmy McLaren


Before I leave the show I have to congratulate the artist Kristine Bouyoucos for her sensitive and interesting use of layers  in her print in honor of the music by composer Arvo Part.  She reproduces part of one of his scores behind blue blooming flowers in this work on paper called "Spiegel Im Spiegel".  Here she is with her print on the left.



Artist and Printmaker Kristine Bouyoucos 
with her print honoring Arvo Part

Take the time to visit the gallery, and you will leave with many new ideas about the word Metamorphosis,  and I think you will have a new understanding and a feeling for how artists can respond.



Bill Keyser is at Oxford Gallery
"Metamorphosis"
Thru June 15, 2019





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