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Faculty Artwork Exhibited at Daemen College

Tar Bathers by Jim Allen (2010).

Teaching Talent

Works by a dozen or so Daemen College art faculty members are currently on view in the college’s art gallery.

Outstanding are two photos by Kate Parzych, each of which displays a remarkable balance of formalist and pictorial elements. Both look up. One is of a room ceiling featuring several flamboyantly peeling layers of ancient paint. The other is of two glass panes of the Botanical Gardens ceiling/roof whitewashed translucent and spattered and streaked with rain, separated by a thin iron horizontal structural piece. The balance of top and bottom visual components echoes and reinforces the balance of aesthetic values.

Kevin Kegler employs a similar horizontal split line division in his paintings, which are on separate canvases top and bottom. Two works are on display. In the one, the upper and lower segments depict different aspects of a female nude, or possibly different female nudes. In the other, the horizontal split is more enigmatic, since upper and lower segments depict the same subject in continuous perspective, a ballet dancer at the bar, a straightforward homage to Degas.

The titles reflect the less and more enigmatic qualities of the different pieces. The dancer painting is called Dancer at the Bar. The nude female, or females, painting is called The Banker, or Shine on in the Wild Kindness.

More seriously enigmatic—to the point of inscrutable—is Michael Anthony’s appropriately titled “A Question of Identity #3.” It’s a photo collage of vaguely identifiable to unidentifiable elements slapdash overpainted with a vertical red/yellow stripe and black paint splotches. A suggestion of a window, with faint background greenery below, and forebodingly dark architectural arrangement above. (Maybe it would have been helpful to also see Questions of Identity #1 and #2.)

Dennis Barraclough, meanwhile, has three works almost as impenetrable as Anthony’s single work. And like Anthony’s work, comprising various media, including paint and collage items and press-on lettering. The press-on lettering is so shredded and jumbled, however, that no help there. Nor do the collage items help much. Various art historical references, religious/ecclesiastical references. But nothing really to grab and hold onto.

These are maps of a terra that remains incognita, except possibly to the artist. Among the collage elements, a single legible red-lettered word on a scrap of paper reminiscent of a Chinese fortune cookie message reads “confidential.” It seems to sum it up.

Dana Hatchett has a lovely series of three small progressively more complex and densely hued landscapes. A pencil drawing of a stream and rocks and woods; a mixed media summery scene of a trail amid elms; and watercolor gothic-looking scene of trees and grounds in the winter.

Michael Gelen has a digital print of an art deco historically actual—or newly devised but looking historically actual—poster advertising Frank Lloyd Wright’s Larkin office building, featuring Wright-like design components—or again, perhaps actual Wright designs—reminiscent of his cut-glass windows. Anyway, a handsome piece of work.

Jim Allen’s comic/serious paintings/collages treat current events themes such as the BP Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and the use of bombs and attack helicopters to foster peace and prosperity in the Middle East.

Also, Stephen Appler has several fine ceramic vases; Brian Hammer three delicate, minuscule watercolors; Felice Koenig three similar pieces that hover between minimalist sculpture and abstract pattern paintings; and Richard Christian a mixed-media Medea, looking impassive, with golden fleece.

The faculty exhibit continues through December 17.

jack foran

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