I Care at Bausch + Lomb

On a recent bumper sticker it said “Artwork Is Work!” and I couldn’t agree more..

Trying to dig into the summer and spend some time in my studio, it is good to know that there are people out there who will appreciate the results.  Having a place to show this art to the public is the major follow-through for the artist – trying to make that all important connection with a viewer. Otherwise you could feel like the man-on-the-moon.

At the Bausch + Lomb Building in downtown Rochester, the Geisel Gallery offers a wonderful place to exhibit artwork and welcome the public.  Bausch + Lomb is responsible for the support of the galleries and this is a very rare thing to find in this city.  The recent news that a Canadian firm has purchased Bausch + Lomb throws this into high relief – will the new parent see this gallery as an asset or just another expense to be dispensed with?

Jean Geisel in the gallery
  that bears her name.  
  Painting by Paul Garland

Jean Geisel has the vision and the administrative capacity to make this gallery space work and for that she deserves some applause and recognition.  At the moment she has selected a show of art by the painter Paul Garland (who has over forty years of experience as a creative professional).  Last year I saw many small works by Paul Garland at The Axom Gallery, so this is a nice follow-up.  I should also mention that The Axom Gallery is currently having a retrospective showing of abstract art by Paul Garland from the 1980’s and both of these shows will continue until June 22, 2013

Paul Garland’s show at Bausch + Lomb is called “Confluence” which is an apt title since many of the paintings on view at the Geisel Gallery join landscape imagery with abstraction, and these elements will sometimes mingle in the paintings but they often occupy their own different visual territory – imagine a leaf form in the middle of a Josef Albers painting – square within a square.  Paul Garland’s art is one of juxtaposition in his paintings which he calls “Junctures”.  In one painting (“Understatement”)  a suave gesture – a colorful brushstroke – might comment on a more illustrative rendering of a tree, or the rushing water of a stream might be placed over a geometric diagram that really defines the word “confluence” in purely visual terms.

“Understatement” by Paul Garland

There is a certain poetic bent to Paul Garlands work if not his titles:  going counter-clock-wise around the show, I took note of the titles: EASE, Urgency, I Have Seen It, Prior To, Understatement, Sure But,  Most Of, And Now, Somewhat, Looking Ahead, In Accord,  Each,  Tandem,  That’s All, Think About It, So,  Just That,  Factors,  A Sense Of,  Straight Forward,  Close.

You can read the paintings too:  gestures float in clouds of color, sometimes anchors of geometry press their case, other times it is all mixed up.  The paintings are sometimes decorative, sometimes somber, but always they are about color and a lively dialog with nature, human and otherwise.

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