"This exhibition examines artists' explorations of rock, fossils and life seen through a lithic lens," notes the ambitious show's curator, Fawn Potash (my wife, for disclosure's sake). "This is the first show I have curated in a long while. Art Murphy's photos of fossils are stunning, and I am honored that Kenishi Hiratsuka is showing his carved rock sculpture with us. Kristine Tolmie and Leonard Seastone are working on a surprise collaboration for this show: three illustrated poems designed with Leonard's letterpress and Kris's gorgeous intaglio prints."
Murphy, who has moved from the City to the small Greene County community of Kiskatom in recent years, based his new body of work on his exploration of fossils that he found near his home in the Kaaterskill creekbed and surrounding quarries. The result is a series of lusciously detailed and subtly colored 18-by-24-inch digital photographs that will be shown for the first time alongside a small display of his original fossil treasures, which the photographer has been able to identify and preserve with help from one of the New York State Museum's geologists. Murphy's limited-edition series will be available in framed sets and single images, as well as an artist monograph of the complete collection.
Complementing Murphy's photographs will be a selection of stone sculptures by noted 3D graffiti artist Ken Hiratsuka, who rose alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat and others in the lower Manhattan cultural renaissance of the early 1980s, and currently lived and works in Andes.
Hiratsuka's installations create a dotted map around the world, with totem poles, steppingstones and carved boulders featuring his signature single line linking one stone to the next, the land to the sky, in what he calls a message of peace and connection. Although he is best-known for his monumental commissioned work, as well as the streetcorners of Broadway and Prince in New York's SoHo, the GCCA show will focus on some of the sculptor's more intimate works - all mysterious yet lyrical, and perfect for indoor or outdoor displays, especially when utilizing native stones.
Finally, in the Gallery's upstairs space, three poets' works exploring the mountain as a symbolic presence will be presented as framed, illuminated, handcrafted broadsides in a collaborative project between letterpress artist Leonard Seastone of Tannersville and Albany printmaker Kristine Corso Tolmie. Seastone's vast collection of letterpress typefaces and decades of experience in artist-book design dovetail gracefully with Tolmie's indigo and slate-colored imagery of plant and animal lifeforms rendered in layered silkscreen and intaglio impressions. A newly refurbished Gallery boutique shop will provide complementary items from Woodstock husband-and-wife jewelry artists Liz Horn and Ron Zukor, who incorporate actual dinosaur fossils in their iridescent brooches and earrings.
An opening reception for "GEOgraphy," an exhibition of fossils, photographs, sculpture, illuminated poetry, prints and jewelry, will take place this Saturday, January 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Greene County Council on the Arts at 398 Main Street in Catskill. The show will then remain up through February 13. For more on this show and the Greene County Council for the Arts, call (845) 943-3400 or visit www.greenearts.org.