Monday, April 30, 2012

2012 Gallery Openings (4 More from April) + Chatham Artillery Punch

David Opdyke

Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is presenting the meticulous work of David Opdyke which both delights and disturbs. Based on the concept that when "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold..." (William Butler Yeats). This concept is the artist's personal experience after growing up in Schenectady, New York and watching that city decay. It's economy was based on the ways of the past and although once known as a beacon of American Industry and home to Thomas Edison's Machine Works, G.E. and ALCOA, Opdyke witnessed the rapid decline of manufacturing which created a city of abandoned architectural remains. 

He now makes hyper realistic models and intricate sculptures of this decay and all of our civilization's waste - the result of progress and governmental/corporate policies which created our new outsourced economy. Opdyke condemns America's excesses, shortsightedness and "throw-away" nature.

On one display table is Exhibit A. A group of extremely small sculptures which show the domestic scraps of everyday life. 

As you enter the gallery you pass by his Fixed Cycle, a organic looking display of flowing trees. Alas, these are all made of plumbing pipes and the pink buds are tiny plastic toilets.

Our innate drive to consume and exploit only proves the hopelessness for any group, especially governments and corporations, to have total control - creating chaos in their wake.

Accumulated Afterthoughts runs through May 26, 2012.
Bryce Wlkowitz Gallery
505 W. 24th St.
New York, NY 10011

Kathy Ruttenberg
"The Earth
"Dogman loved Ms. Rabbit Lady so much he wanted to run deep into the woods with her so he could eat her in privacy" - Kathy Ruttenberg

STUX Gallery is showing the fairytale-like ceramics of Kathy Ruttenberg. What strange things she has observed, down that rabbit hole! 

The artist's world is filled with men being portrayed as savages (animals) in gentleman's clothing - and the women are portrayed as the outsiders and intruders, well-dressed in rounded skirts and heels. Death, her metaphor for the aftermath of failed love affairs with savages, overtakes the women and the experience allows the natural world to embrace them. Now one with the earth, the women begin to blossom. 

(Dr. Phil will probably do a show on this one!)

The Earth Exhales runs through May 5, 2012
Stefan Stux Gallery
530 West 25th Street
New York, NY 10001

Derek Buckner
"City Views"

Gallerist George Billis and artist Derek Buckner have become successful together, with many shows under their belt. With so little realism shown in Chelsea, it is a pleasure to stroll through what many art collectors really want to see on their walls, day-in and day-out, a well painted oil of something they recognize. Buckner's paintings go well beyond simple landscapes and they are more than a moment in time. These paintings are a composition of color, angles and shapes drawn from the artist's memory and his current experiences in Brooklyn, NY and its environs. 

The artist uses a vibrant palate and is intensely interested in the 1) afternoon sunlight; 2) the resulting shadows; 3) reflections in water; 4) pure design, shapes and color + 5) the close observation of clouds.

Derek Buckner grew up in and still works in Brooklyn. He is represented in many public and private collections and his work is exhibited in galleries around the world. 

City Views runs through May 12, 2012.
George Billis Gallery
521 W. 26th St, B1
Windows at street level
New York, NY 10001

Atsuya Tominaga

Ippodo Gallery, Tokyo & NY, is currently presenting the artist Atuya Tominaga and his love affair with rocks! Geology is the study of the physical Earth, primarily the study of rocks and the processes by which each type evolved. This is Atuya's interest, also. Rocks are the oldest and most basic of materials on our planet. When he touches them - he touches history, and when he makes his mark on them - he makes his mark on history. Japanese Art is credited with teaching the Western World about simplicity and abstraction - changing Western Art away from a predisposition for classical realism into the Modern Art movement. Atuya's work makes us look a second time at the beauty of simple objects, which surround us all.

When Atuya Tominaga sculpts stone he turns nature into a human object. As he says, it is his "song of joy to the fact that I am human." His shaping of the stones and the marks he leaves on them represent the often forgotten fact, humans are an extension of the natural forces of nature!  

Exhibition runs through June 9th, 2012
Ippodo Gallery
Tokyo & New York
521 W. 26th Street 
back gallery, B1
New York, NY 10001

Susan Wenyon &
Michael Gamble
"A Universe held up for Inspection"

Magnan Metz Gallery is exhibiting the collaborative photographic works of husband and wife team: Susan Gamble and Michael Wenyon. The show has two parts, images taken in India and Cuba, and the real star of the show, "holograms" made of objects at the historic Royal Greenwich Observatory, in England.

The panoramic landscapes of India and Cuba are worthy of a show, but the difference in excitement levels between the large horizontal prints and the holograms in the next room made the point about how much excitement can be attached to a work of art or its process. This buzz overshadowed the photographic prints we are accustomed to seeing, even if those works are quite good.

These holograms created by Wenyon & Gamble look as if they are suspended in water. You feel like you are viewing them through the window of a deep sea vessel. The three dimensional objects pictured, float in a rather deep space and different details are revealed when viewed from different angles, but when you look from the extreme side, you see these images are just glass photographic plates floating only an inch away from the solid wall.

I cannot explain how this process works, but everyone at the opening was trying to figure it out. It made you want Jules Verne to explain the many innovations and possibilities which probably lay ahead! After more exposure, this 3-D technology may be considered a quirky special effect, but this exhibition opening, had the WOW factor.

Gamble has a BA in Fine Art and a PhD in Science. Wenyon has a BSc in physics and an MSc in optics. He wrote the first popular textbook on holography. The couple was awarded the UNESCO prize for their contributions to new technology in art. Gamble & Wenyon currently live in NYC.

The exhibition runs through May 25, 2012
Magnan Metz Gallery
521 West 26th St.
New York, NY 10001

Chatham Artillery Punch

A few years after America's War of Independence, May 12, 1786, the Chatham Artillery was formed in Savannah, Georgia. Their first official duty was to pay tribute to General Nathaniel Green. They would go on to host President George Washington and President James Monroe. At that time in history, any social gathering of military officers was accompanied by a spiked punch to be consumed during the formal gala. The original recipe for Chatham Artillery's celebrated punch has survived all of these years. 
(The quantities in this punch are designed to serve a large crowd.) 

2 quarts Maraschino cherries
1 1/2 Catawba Wine
1 1/2 gallons strong Tea
2 1/2 pounds Brown Sugar
1 1/2 quarts Orange Juice
1 1/2 quarts Lemon Juice
1/2 gallon Rum
1 quart Gin
1 quart Brandy
1/2 pint Benedictine
1 1/2 quarts Rye Whiskey
1 case Champagne

Mix above ingredients together and keep covered in a dark and cool location for 36 to 48 hours before your event. Add the whole case of Champagne when you are ready to serve.

This punch was designed when people were always driven home in "Handsome Cabs". I think a cab IS a very good plan, after drinking this libation, in today's world also.

I had the privilege of experiencing Chatham Artillery Punch at a "Savannah Dinner" hosted by the honorable Josiah Hatch. He was born and raised in the Savannah area and a more obviously creative or smart man, you will never meet.  

(Source: Chatham Artillery Punch is in the public domain.)

Until later,
All photos of the openings are © Copyright 2012 Jack A. Atkinson and were taken with permission. ARTSnFOOD, All rights reserved. Concept & Original Text © Copyright 2012 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees

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