The current show, which has been seen in bits and pieces at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz and numerous private gallery solo and group museum exhibits in recent years, consists of approximately 50 large-scale photographs divided into three groups: “Kaaterskill (the Upper Hudson Valley),” “Mannahatta (Scenes of Urban Life)” and a new group of work newly created for the Museum’s exhibition, which shows Westchester County as a vital suburban “hinge” between the urban and the rural. Along the way, Wides’s deeply observed world of natural settings in dialogue with the brutishness of modern life becomes a commentary of the many ideals and still closely held dreams that we have based, culturally, on memory landscapes versus that which is actually before us. And yet they always find new beauties, searing in their terribly vulnerable realness and underlying tenderness.
“Susan Wides: The Hudson Valley from Mannahatta to Kaaterskill,” opened last weekend and will stay on view through September 11. For further information on the Hudson River Museum, located at 511 Warburton Avenue in Yonkers, not far from the Metro North station there, call (914) 963-4550 or visit www.hrm.org.
Seriously statuesque: Unison in New Paltz opens Sculpture Garden for the season this Sunday
Summer in the Hudson Valley: time to catch some sculpture outside. The big outdoor shows will reach into the summer with new offerings at Storm King and the Fields at Art OMI, as well as Kingston’s citywide Sculpture Biennial next month. But the first opens this Sunday, June 5 with a reception from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Unison Arts & Learning Center just west of New Paltz, where 39 sculptors trot out over 50 new works to be seen into the fall.
Unlike some very site-specific or contemporary-minded, conceptually driven exhibits, Unison’s is always accessible and concentrated. Its Sculpture Garden opened in 1999 and has maintained a central labyrinth, along with a growing permanent collection of works given to the site over the years. Among those showing, past and present, at Unison are the likes of Hans Van de Bovenkamp, Antonio Cardenas, Kaete Brittin Shaw, Kevin Van Hentenryck, Shelley Parriott, Michael Ciccone and Susan Togut. Giant gates lead one into the gardens, which spread over two fields.
Concurrent with the Sculpture Garden’s annual opening Sunday afternoon will be a show of wall-hung sculptures by Phoenicia-based Anique Taylor, whose quilt-colored, doll-adorned portraits of women feel both anachronistic and quite contemporary, and Cragsmoor-based ceramics artist Judy Sigunick, whose new pieces we discussed recently as part of another exhibit just come down in Kingston.
Unison is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road between New Paltz and Mohonk. The garden is open most days, but check for details and the many other events that this enterprising arts organization is always running. Call (845) 255-1559 or visit www.unisonarts.org.
The Rondout shuffle: Fragmented Donskoj & Co. spawns new exhibitions in Kingston’s waterfront district
The gallery scene in Kingston taketh; the gallery scene there also giveth in multitudes. Consider the bounty that the local art world has gained as two galleries have risen from what was one Donskoj & Company entity. Nancy Donskoj’s maintaining her fun Storefront Gallery, downstairs in the windows at the same 93 Broadway that also ran shows upstairs for years. There, in the Rondout, she’ll be showing some beautiful new work by Anne Surprenant – former director and curator of Surprenant Art & Design, now Oo Gallery Uptown – starting this Saturday, June 4 with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Visit www.TheStorefrontGallery.com for details. George Donskoj, meanwhile, is showing some of his own stained-glass work at his new space at 101 Abeel Street, viewable at www.donskoj.com. It’s located across from KMoCA, www.kmoca.org, where Anne Surprenant has shown in the past and the new show is of former Woodstock gallerist and photographer/conceptualist-at-large Fionn Reilly, alongside some fabulous new paintings by Nadia Petrov; visit www.fionnreilly.com for more. And George is ready to speak with anyone about his plans for this year’s annual Artists’ Soapbox Derby, set for August 19.
Oo’s next show, Book, opens on June 18; visit www.facebook.com/oogallery. Meanwhile, there’s also some fine art stuff happening at the Shirt Factory all this coming Saturday. That’s at 77 Cornell Street in Midtown. New shows also get underway at the Arts Society of Kingston, www.askforarts.org, where a fabulous show by watercolorist Staats Fasoldt has just closed, and at newer galleries in town: the city’s last big bash before its giant Sculpture Biennial gets underway next month.