Arts

The first show of the Re Institute’s 2015 season opened with an exhibition of “Reverse Engineer,” an installation and videos by Lindsay Packer, and “Stairs Revisited,” a series of paintings on paper by Joel Foster.

Packer, who has had two previous exhibitions at the Re Institute, creates amazing videos and site specific installations using found objects, colored lights and the walls of the gallery.  By precisely arranging such commonplace objects as a window screen or an energy saving fluorescent light bulb, Packer draws attention to the inherent beauty of everyday objects we often overlook. 

874 Lindsay Packer installs "Square Dance" at the Re Institute

After receiving her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Packer earned her masters degree at the Art Institute of Chicago. The recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to India in Installation Art, Packer has twice been artist in residence at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. She was also an artist in residence at the Wassaic Project. Packer currently lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Arnold Wesker’s English proletarian drama The Kitchen (1959) has been revived in an American adaptation by Bard’s Luma Theater under expert direction by Geoff Sobelle whose update rings with such truth that it appears to be a new play, although the social role of women appear to be stuck in the 1950s. In the long history of this drama, sets have sometimes overshadowed actors, but I am happy to report that this did not occur in the current production which lets acting shine.  The slow pace of the realistic opening of this play makes one wonder if this is a drama at all, yet by what would be the second act (there are no breaks), one has accorded the ensemble cast a nod of sympathy that will prepare one for the upheaval of the “third act.”

On Saturday April 25, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Kardash Onnig is presenting “Transfourming Sorrow,” a multimedia installation at his 11 acre property, Baraka, on Halas Lane in Stanfordville. The event also commemorates Onnig’s journey from his family’s survival of the Armenian genocide to his life here in Dutchess County. After coming to America, he adopted the Turkish name “Kardash”, meaning brother, in honor of the Turkish family that saved his grandmother. The installation has taken him a year and a half to create. 

Like many of his people, Onnig wants the world to acknowledge as systematic genocide the slaughter of a million and a half Armenians by the Ottoman Turks between1915 and 1923. More than 20 countries, have done so. Recently Pope Francis described the World War I-era slaughter of Armenians as the first genocide of the 20th century. 

It’s always a treat to see Henry Klimowicz’s wall sculptures.  A selection of smaller works are now on view at the Moviehouse in Millerton. Klimowicz’s magical abstract pieces are fashioned from re-cycled cardboard he harvests from local businesses. He likes the idea of using recycled material. “I see this work as very positive because of the lengths that have been traveled by the material from trash to beauty,” Klimowicz says. 

Klimowicz grew up in Milwaukee. ??After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts, Klimowicz earned his MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. He went to the Skowhegan, and has been a colonist at Millay, Yaddo, McDowell, and The Vermont Studio Center. Klimowicz began working with cardboard while living in a tiny space in Brooklyn. With just enough room for some cardboard, hot glue and a utility knife, he would roll up his futon and go to work. At the time much of what he made was figurative and often painted. 

867 Circles on Wall#2

One way to keep up with today’s art world, is to head over to Bard College’s Hessel Museum of Art to see “Moves and Countermoves,” an exhibition by the 2015 class of the Center for Curatorial Studies. 

Time was when curators stayed mostly in their museums jealously tending to their collections. Now curators like Massimiliano Gioni and Okwui Enwezor have become the rock stars of the art world, travelling around the globe to put on major shows like the Venice Biennale. Each year more universities and colleges are offering degrees in curatorship. Bard, one of the earliest, founded in 1990, teaches students “to explore experimental approaches and to seek new ways to challenge our understanding of the social and civic values of the visual arts.”  

861 Deluxe Mastermix by Kenny

This year’s exhibition, which serves as the thesis for the 2015 M.A. candidates, is made up of ten individual exhibitions -- each chosen from the Marieluise Hessel Collection. The 11th installation, was a collaboration of all the students. 

John Greene is a master of color. He is also a master of most of the other visual arts including sculpture, collage and mixed media. But dazzling colors are what first strikes you at the entrance to the Millbrook School’s Warner Gallery where an exhibition of some 20 of Green’s paintings opens on Saturday April 11.   Arrayed along the far wall of the gallery as you enter are four six by four foot panels - one a deep burgundy, one a rich sable brown, another a glowing lapis lazuli and the last a shade of crimson fit for royalty.

While pursuing a successful career on Wall Street, Greene worked as a sculptor and painter during his free time before retiring in 1987 to devote himself to art. Today, he says, he works in much the same manner he began - “within my own head rather than from models or from still life or from actual landscapes. I found myself creating my own reality, painting imagined rather than real landscapes, recreating long-forgotten images and vistas...In every case, I have taken an idea and then both developed it and allowed the work itself to guide me.”

The exhibition in the upstairs gallery at Merritt Book this month is comprised of works by the gifted art students in the Millbrook Central School district. Formats including painting, watercolor, drawing, collage as well as sculpture are remarkable for the imagination and talent shown by all the classes from Kindergarten through high school. 

Exuberant color distinguishes many of the paintings but there are several examples of lovely black and white images notably three delicate drawings of feathers by Eliza Butterick, Brianna Wrightsman and Shannon Bohlun. There are over 100 works – far too many to include all that deserve mention here. 

840 drawing by Shannon Bohlen

A smattering of those I admired were Kiri di Cinto’s fanciful painting of a green parrot eyeing a cup filled with a smoothie that he clearly wants to taste. 

Several images of dinosaurs colored and etched on metal display a range of personalities. Some are humorous, some are fierce, and a couple would be worthy companions for Daenerys Targaryen in her quest for the Iron Crown.

841 dragons by Carson Dallan

The Volta art show moved from lofts in SOHO to Pier 90 where 90 galleries are each showing one artist.  Again, the galleries are from around the world, as are the artists. They are all in the “affordable” range, mostly under $30,000 and many good sized paintings are half that.  The artists are not emerging from the womb; they are seasoned to the point that they know what they are doing and they know how to do it.  My sense was that these artists show power, discipline, a mastery of technique, the result of a juried process that works. The open spaces makes for a simplicity of layout that was not possible in the confined spaces of the SOHO building where VOLTA started in 2008. It is also noteworthy that most of these works could be hung on a wall: most were paintings and most used old-fashioned paint, or ink.

The winter exhibition at the Morrison Gallery in Kent shows paintings by Vincent Inconiglios and sculptures by Insun Kim and Leah Durner.

Inconiglios’s three large paintings in acrylic on canvas plus two walls of smaller works in acrylic on paper are from his “Donut Series.” The series, which he has been working on for the past ten years, depicts circles in seductive colors and unusual combinations that float on the surface. Some resemble luscious lollipops, others eyes wide open, perhaps in surprise. As their title implies, many are simply doughnuts, albeit expensive ones.

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Inconiglios had his first one-man exhibition in SoHo, in 1972. He was one of the featured artists of “10 Downtown.” Today he divides his time between his loft and studio in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan and Falls Village.

Leah Durner's works in poured enamel on canvas consist of swirling abstract patterns that, according to her artist’s statement, have their roots “in the exuberance of the Baroque and Rococo as well as in the modernist tradition of abstraction.”

836 bluebeigegreen pour

From Monday, March 16, until the end of April, the Off the Wall Gallery at the Millbrook Free Library is exhibiting 12 pastels by Ralph Della-Volpe.  

Mr. Della-Volpe bases his paintings on what he observes in the natural world.  He begins with a series of drawings and sketches in both black-and-white and color. He explores the light, forms, values, relationships and colors of his subject before transcribing those elements into a composition “that elicits an emotional sensation and excites me.” He tries to see beneath the literal details, to discover qualities he wants to develop or explore in his final composition.

What is most striking about Della-Volpe’s work is his use of color. Although he chooses tones that in some cases may be perhaps a little brighter than those found in the real world, they always seem perfectly natural. Even the pale shades of a work like “River Reflections” seem to glow on the surface of the paper, in shimmery blues, greens, lavenders and apricots. Although he treats his subjects—landscapes and still lifes, for the most part—in an impressionistic manner, he never fails to convey their essential nature.  

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