Category Archives: collage

Reconfiguration

The Everson Museum of Art is open! I mean, it’s been open – I just didn’t know it. I was able to catch the tail end of the Lacey McKinney show, Reconfiguration. The Everson Bulletin states the show’s run ended on the 24th so…lucky me and my friend Penny.

*The show has now been extended to February 28, 2021 so…lucky you!

I love the discourse between Penny Santy and me when we see exhibitions together. We don’t always like the same pieces but we understand each other’s point of view.

McKinney’s paintings are oil and acrylic. I suspect the acrylic was either a means to create texture or the underlying Frankenthaler-esque washes in some of the female populated landscapes.

Penny loved these new-technique-for-the-artist “cyanotypes” (above) but they reminded me of a crafty high school art project – female body parts minus vagina, lol, that is too mean, sorry Lacey, but, I felt like these were a bit too safe and they read more like studies than finished pieces. I did admire the size relationships though. And in person, the blue hues are lovely and more nuanced than the photograph suggests.

The larger portrait/landscape mash-ups were far more interesting to me. They offered visual collage in a successful way – female as mountain, eyes averted so as not to become a focal point – they had an ethereal beauty to them. She is quite proficient in the rendering of the subject matter, as well as holding a cerebral allocation of the structure of her iconography.

These two (above) were my favorites. I loved the softness of the colorations and the rhythm in the compositions. They whisper emotion in a powerful feminine way with subtle colorations of glaze-infused shadow. Perfection!

This piece (above) reminded me of Marilyn Monroe, but that may be because I had just watched a documentary on Arthur Miller, ex-husband of MM, and one on the fashion designer Dries Van Noten, Belgium fashion designer who created a line of menswear with a variety of images of MM silk-screened on jackets and shirts.

The literature states that the artist selected images from magazines and reconfigured them stealing fragments of different women juxtaposed as either friend or foe. So, maybe?

This collection is on view in the Robineau gallery on the first floor of the museum. I believe there were only about five other people in the entire museum today when we visited. Plenty of social distancing room to ruminate on this new work. Call (315) 474-6064 for more information.

EVERSON MUSEUM OF ART HOURS:

SUNDAY 12-5
MONDAY CLOSED
TUESDAY CLOSED
WEDNESDAY CLOSED
THURSDAY 12-5 (12-8 EVERY 3RD THURS)
FRIDAY 12-5
SATURDAY 10-5

The Aphrodisiac

“$ EVER”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“LUXE”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“FIND”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″

I created this series of twenty-four paintings, Talisman, in 2008. It is a love story: layered, filled with treasure, sparkle within dust, games and prizes, secrets and lies.

I experimented with varnish for the first time. Experimented with the permanence as well. The chalk was meant to fade with the years. It’s been thirteen years now and I admire the patina of these old friends. Yesterday I did an internet search for a solution to save that dust from settling further and the win-win came in the form of Pantene hair spray, believe it or not. So now, these paintings are fixed in time.

And the funny thing is, upon reflection, they bring me back to a place where I thought I had nothing, but in fact, I had it all. All the answers to all of my questions. I just did not know it then, which made life seem so confusing.

This game of life is a puzzle but if you take the time to look, listen and feel with your heart, you will resonate with all of it.

“CHARM”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“MAGIC”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″

The paintings are 18″ x 24″. Oil paint and chalkboard paint. Found objects, games pieces, fabric.

They work best on a wall in multiples. That’s usually the way it goes with my artwork. If you like it, you really can’t get enough and you just want more.

They hold the narrative and that is a powerful aphrodisiac. <3

“TIC TOK”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“SHADOW”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“SHIELD”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“THYME”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“COIN”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“DOMINO”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“PRIZE”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“SECRET”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“LUCK”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“XOXO”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“LIBERTY”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“PRESTO”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“HEART”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“NINE GIFTS”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“VOW”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“PERFECT FIT”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“WIN-WIN”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″
“CREST”, 2008, mixed-media, 18″ x 24″

In the Process

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Former Syracuse University Art Professor Michael Sickler knows how to put on a show.  I stopped into the Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville again (5110 Jamesville Road, DeWitt, New York 13078), and this time the tiny gallery space looked vastly different.  Sickler’s collage pieces are pure harmony.  From the process and the materials to the size relationships and the framing, this presentation is truly exceptional.

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It is a series of collage pieces, rectangles adhered together with a sort of natural (read nature-based) thread.  Drawings/scribbles are juxtaposed with leaves and patterns from textiles, as well as with pages from vintage wallpaper books to form an edited narrative depicting a landscape of perception.

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Items are layered on balsa wood to create a variety of planes.  There is precision in his process.  He alludes to an interest in fragments, as in how we, as a society perceive information that seems random yet can be organized to reveal relationships.

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This is recent work on a small scale, which has been captivating him lately, along with his strong interest/second career in poetry.  The exhibited art is indicative of visual poetry in the way that dreams are subconscious thoughts.

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Formal principles of art dominate and allow for a lovely flow from piece to piece.  This library is the perfect place to showcase these beauties because they are child friendly – Sickler is planning a presentation in the library’s Community Room on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at 7 PM.  He will discuss his process in an hour-long lesson/lecture.  Registration is encouraged for this free demo.  I’m sure the local art crew will be there in full-force for this gem, but I would love it if there is plenty of room for kids too, as in, I hope some of my students will take advantage of the opportunity to meet and know Michael Sickler.  <3

The exhibition runs through April 2020.  Call (315) 446-3578 for more information.

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Library Hours

Monday – Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

*Summer hours:

Saturday
Sunday

Services limited 15 minutes before closing

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Garden of Ridlon

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Jim Ridlon serves us a triptych-rich medley of Spring in his new exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art (401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York 13202).

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Two of these immense acrylic and collage paintings welcome museum guests at the door.  The remainder are located in the Robineau Memorial Gallery.

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According to the literature, “Cazenovia-based artist Jim Ridlon creates impressionistic portraits of gardens that are poetic meditations on the passage of time and the impermanence of nature.”  They are acrylic studies of gardens created on paper then cut and reassembled onto stretched canvas, the borders of which are all painted Titanium White.

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They are like a Claude Monet-Jaskson Pollack mash-up, but with this amazing cohesiveness that is inherent in Ridlon’s work.  The mindful decision making is what hooks me – the formal thinking solutions – harmony in the cut shapes, which leads to a rhythmic flow of color that seems to change as one travels through each trio.  Subtle coloration changes happen in the light then everything transforms upon closer inspection, as the texture begins to dominate.

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It is this deliberate action as an artist, used to create something that is meant to be fleeting, meant to be an essence of nature, that I whole heartedly admire in Ridlon’s creations.  He knows how to be present.  How to focus on the work and consciously capture the beauty of life.

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These paintings are relatively new, made in the last two years and exhibited for the first time here.  We are privileged to be among the first to witness this poetry.

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Jim Ridlon:  The Garden continues through March 29, 2020.  Call (315) 474-6064 for more information.

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EVERSON MUSEUM OF ART HOURS:

SUNDAY 12-5
MONDAY CLOSED
TUESDAY CLOSED
WEDNESDAY 12-5
THURSDAY 12-8
FRIDAY 12-5
SATURDAY 10-5

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