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Western New York Artists Group Exhibit at Art Dialogue

William C. Maggio's Presence Series #10, currently hanging at Art Dialogue Gallery.

Local Talent

Much beautiful work at the current Western New York Artists Group show at the Art Dialogue Gallery, One Linwood.

For example, William C. Maggio’s predominantly black with emergent white painting entitled Presence Series #10. Black over a white underlay in horizontal strips, the black then partially abraded, particularly toward the center of the work, so that the white horizontals incompletely show through. Then black vertical strips added, echoing the white horizontals, resulting in a black grid that screens but does not hide the dauntless underground white. It’s a stunning work in its starkness and simplicity, its binary palette, and severely limited but nonetheless expressive vocabulary of visual forms.

Priscilla Bowen has an exquisite little Tuscany remembrance piece including a cypress fragment and rice papers—what looks like parchment, what looks like gold leaf—in a delicate ancient frame.

Jocelyn Willett has an excellent portrait of a young woman in deft painterly strokes that make painting look easy, and Bill Krause a fine everyman portrait in impasto-like tentative daubs that make the piece look more labored, in terms of both artistic effort and artistic catharsis.

A digital collage by Carl Scrivani is abstract overall, but composed of art historical images from a gothic sculptural depiction of Adam and Eve in the garden, plucking forbidden fruit, it seems, to Michelangelo’s self-portrait as flayed hide and the God of Judgment from the same Sistine mural.

As to judgment of the exhibit items, first prize went to Edward Bisone for his dichotomous The Road Not, featuring two vaguely human figures, more similar than different.

Irene Haupt’s large-scale seascape manipulated or multiple-exposure photograph Aphrodite’s Morning features deep sea and sky colors overall, a splash of bright sunlight on the water below, and solitary cloud above.

Ruth Mohn has two works: an acrylic painting in what looks like casual technique evoking a sedgy still waters shoreline, called Emergence; and a photograph of shimmery patterns of what could be oil on water, but more likely just light on water, capturing the infinitely complex physics of the water surface, called Channel Abstract.

Donald Scheller has two small, grainy photos. One is an abstraction of rectangles on rectangles via double or triple exposure, it looks like, and fortuitous light effects a camera will sometimes supply of its own accord. The other is of an enigmatic semantic feature—a possibly accidental juxtaposition of paint lines on pavement that could be read as an arrow—and shadow image of the photographer alongside the arrow.

Two very disparate works but of similar motif and each lovely in its way are by Gene Witkowski and Karen Carbonara. Witkowski’s is an archival digital photo, Carbonara’s an ink and watercolor drawing/painting. Both works feature ranks of vertical tubular forms of some not readily identifiable sort. Carbonara’s turn out to be bridge structural pillars, and the work is dark and foreboding on the whole, but with contrast small areas of bright color. Witkowski’s work is predominantly soft tan, with flecks of white, and oblique horizontal black segmental divisions along the verticals, suggesting an array of harvested bamboo.

This exhibit of so-called Modern Works of artists of the group will continue at the gallery through April 15, after which selected items from the exhibit will be on view at the downtown library from April 22 through May 27. Selected items from a previous exhibit of so-called Traditional Works of artists of the same group are on view at the library (in cases back and to the right of the Fables Café) through April 15.

jack foran

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