“Long before I was a ‘collector,’ I had drawers and boxes full of photographic images. Most of them had no particular value – except to me,” he said. “They were just pictures torn from magazines or old photos I found at the flea market. I surround myself with images that mean something to me and resonate in my life. At a time when digitally captured and enhanced photographs can achieve new levels of flawlessness, I find myself increasingly drawn to handmade, inherently flawed images.”
Amongst the ten artists (or pairing of artists, in one case) that Aletti has chosen for this show are some great pieces by Dutchess County-based Chad Kleitsch, who has now moved on from images of flowers and room details to large works about the nature of light itself, and Anne Arden McDonald, who has transformed what started off as a documentary-like form of self-portraiture into something massive and eye-opening.
Elsewhere, works achieve a touching Minimalism, via Christa Kreeger Bowden’s encaustic-imbued images of nests and plants, and a remarkably new yet intrinsically reminiscence-ridden sense of painterliness and printmaking in Mariah Dorn and Johanna Paas’s mixes of collage, inkjet printing, silkscreen and other techniques to achieve sensuous and ageless abstractions. Bradley Dever Treadaway adorns what seem to be archaic images of past worlds with dream equations. Mikhail Gubin achieves a balance between graffiti-stained walls and shadows that captures much of what modern urbanity seems like, on the fly (or in one’s midnight dreamscapes).
This is a great show, in keeping with a trend of strong exhibits at CPW for several years now. “I had never done a juried show this way,” Aletti said of the long process by which he whittled 3,000 plus images from more than 300 artists down to what’s now on the walls of CPW. “It became clear quickly, with the most interesting work standing out right away… I wanted things that had content but were also engaging to look at and somehow ravishing.”
Aletti said that beauty does play into his ideal for art, along with a work’s physicality – something that can be difficult to discern looking at art via digital means, as so many of us do these days.
Showing with Aletti’s choices in CPW’s solo gallery is an exhibit of works by Hudson-based photographer Carlos Loret de Mola, “Being Upstate,” that thankfully re-personalizes the banality of our lives up here with a sense of small epiphanies. Here we see bathtubs, pensive self-portraits, family Polaroids, self-images in doctors’ offices as an installation – a full world-view that’s empowering for its normality.
Combined with the “Photography Now” Aletti choices, it makes for a great exhibition of more than art; and the recent Saturday openings, which drew large crowds from Columbia County as well as Ulster (along with the art legend Brice Marden), demonstrated its appreciated values. CPW is located at 59 Tinker Street in Woodstock. The current exhibits will be up through May. For further information call (845) 679-9957 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (845) 679-9957 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit www.cpw.org.