Painting is Alive and Well

Ryan Bubnis
  paintings  at  Gallery 1975

As one show departs the other one begins, and this is to say that PAINTING is alive and well in Rochester galleries this summer.  In the Gallery 1975 this past Sunday, I looked over the work of two artists who developed a concept for an exhibition with a limited choice of colors ( Black and Blue ).  Their show included paintings and collage and there were several interesting aspects, the first of which is their collaboration.  I am seeing much more of this kind of cooperative effort among pairs of artists ( in this case Lucas Irwin and Ryan Bubnis ), and even collectives that are challenging our ideas of authorship and seemingly also challenge the art world and its structures of commerce.

‘Black and Blue” sounds a bit down for the title of a show, but it is accurate to the artwork chosen for display.  The painted abstractions by Lucas Irwin have a strong design sense and they work well as a group on the walls of this gallery.  The paintings are very linear- playing with our sense of depth perception – and this is also part of the charm of Ryan Bubnis’ artwork which has a faux naif quality.  I enjoyed the ensemble of decorated objects on a little shelf, and his (#48) “Black and Blue Landscape”.

Belinda Bryce
   paintings at Gallery r

A few blocks away, at 100 College Avenue, the invitational show “New Work” will open this week at Gallery r.  Five artists associated with R.I.T. are showing selected recent paintings in this handsome student run gallery.  The show is open through July 20, 2013, so go and check out the artwork.  Belinda Bryce has a new set of larger scale paintings ( for her ) with some refreshing textures and patterns to create a visual dialog amongst themselves.  Texture and wordplay is on view in the paintings of Elizabeth Coyne and her paintings share a palette of subdued color with another one of the artists in the show: Bradley Butler.  Mr. Butler has an impressionist/expressionist message to offer about atmospheres and landscapes that are just far enough away to be out-of-focus, so they hang on the wall and vibrate ever-so-slightly.

Bradley Butler
  paintings at Gallery r

Jose  Enrique Portas has studied painting at R.I.T., but he also brings over from his native Spain a love of the surreal and a knowledge of the local landscape of the mind.  Some of his figurative pieces involve a test of the integrity of the body – so one can identify with their vulnerabilities.  Vincent Massaro rounds out the cast of characters at Gallery r, with his framed small scale works that could be studies for sculptures – like a pile of legos that want to be manipulated into a larger form – except they are all in a painted place.

Summer flowers outside Gallery 1975
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