Art in June

Collage by Judd Williams
Ock Hee’s Gallery,  Honeoye, Falls, NY

What can art tell us about life?  It is varied, unexpected, sometimes orderly, often colorful and intimate – art addresses YOU.  I have spent a lifetime looking at art, and I still seek out opportunities to look at something with a fresh eye.  Art tells you a lot about the person who made it, I would say that art is autobiographical, and if the art has integrity it is like listening in on an especially interesting conversation.  Why did the artist choose to do this, why did the artist restrict the color so, why did the artist make the work so large, what was the process used, how has the artists work changed since you last saw it…?
Once a professor of printmaking at R.I.T., Lawrence “Judd” Williams is having a solo exhibition of  two dimensional works on paper at Ock Hee’s Gallery this month.  Here you will find some of his recent sandpaper collages, improvised with remnants of sandpapers – some with an interesting turquoise color – alongside some charcoal drawings that have a majestic, playful quality, not unlike the 20th century artist Stuart Davis.  These artworks from Judd Williams are a little more austere than the more sculptural aspect of his recent work that you might be familiar with from other shows he has had.
Sculpture by Dejan Pejovic
Stephen Merritt’s studio

It seems that twice a year Stephen Merritt schedules a group of open studio shows at his home in Irondequoit, NY.  Stephen invites other artists to share the spotlight and on a recent visit I found the sculptural art of Dejan Pejovic out along the walk that leads to the indoor portion of the exhibition.  I stopped to talk with Dejan who has recently been working in fired terracotta clay.  The results are rib-cage like structures that hint at something monumental.  I really enjoyed the textures and colors of these fired pieces and with them I am somehow reminded of grand cathedrals in Europe with their flying buttresses.  The delicacy and strength of the “Sagrada Familia” of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona has some quality that Dejan’s work shares – something wanting to soar into space.
Stephen Merritt
in his show “Art in June”

Stephen Merritt took the time to discuss the qualities of reduction firing for his porcelain works, and how a certain red color was achieved on a glaze that he prepared.  I was wondering how such a sharp red could be the result of firing a copper glaze – and I found out that it has to do with the particular physics of the glaze components, where the pot was fired in the kiln, and the temperatures and eddies in the process itself.
Stephen’s art has a simple, elegant look to it, and ( full disclosure ) I am very happy with the artwork of his that I have in my collection at home.  Also in the show this week were wood sculpted horses by Dan Malczewski and paper collage by Christina Laurel.
6 x 6 x 2014
at Rochester Contemporary Art Center
At the opening of the 6 x 6 show at RoCo, the joint was jumpin…  Over 6,700 artworks were pinned to the walls in search of new owners.  Director, Bleu Cease is looking for sales of at least 2,500 of these little beauties.  There is something for everyone here, and you can’t beat the price!  Twenty dollars for each purchase, and after June 10th you can look at the artworks online and buy what you want.
I donated some work for this cause and so did my students and hundreds of other artists.  It is fun to go in and see if you can recognize the work of a specific artist – though nothing is signed on the front of the artwork.  It is also interesting to see what artists do within the parameters of the six inch square that they have to work with.
“Under The Influence”
1975 Gallery, 89 Charlotte Street, Rochester, NY

I went over to 89 Charlotte Street, to 1975 Gallery now open on a Sunday afternoon, to see a new show called “Under The Influence”, which presents the work of two artists – John Perry, and Pen1.
Right at the door I found an interesting small squarish painting titled “Pen One” which is a detailed full color painting of a box car with graffiti spelling out the tag of the artist: Pen One.  This is a rather interesting flip-flop of what you might expect.  In fact the whole show is rather neat, clean, and sharp with an emphasis on design, social messages, and a black and white approach to content.  I was especially interested in the series of paintings “History Teaches Us That Man Learns Nothing From History” and in each painting a different form of weaponry is featured – gripped and brandished for immediate use.
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