• Go Figure: An Exhibition of Abstract Works

    Diana Godfrey
    Barbara Page
    Lynette Stephenson
    Richard Zakin

    January 29 - February 13, 2015
    Opening Reception Thursday January 29 - 4 - 5:30PM
    The Reisman Hall Art Gallery at Cazenovia College
    22 Sullivan Street, Cazenovia, NY 13035

    Gallery Hours: M - Th 1-4 & 7- 9PM, Fri 1-4PM
    Sat - Sun 2-6PM


  • 6th Rochester Biennial Review

    The Visual Artworker
    A dialog about contemporary art in western New York
    Thursday, July 24, 2014

    Art Critic

    At the Memorial Art Gallery the 6th Biennial
    "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like"
    That's a statement you hear from skeptics about the art world ( and its economics). The whole art thing is a kind of a sham for them - and the people they think that prolong this mistake are often art critics - misguided journalists who don't have anything better to do. So, some might point to the art critic and ask how they make sense of the vast offerings on view from artists all over the world - and that makes a
    point. What is the job of the art critic today? How can any one person stay on top of the art scene, and finally - what value is the art critic's perspective?

    50 years ago people may have read Hilton Kramer ( New York Times chief art critic ) or Clement Greenberg ( in The Nation ) and from their writing the reader had a sense of what was good, and what wasn't - and these critics had some impact ( for better or worse ). Today, there is no single path for a critic to take, and the art world is really that - a global marketplace and it is tough to get a handle on it.

    Do many art critics know what it is like to produce a work of art today? There are so many materials to take into account, and many points of view about what is relevant today. You don't have to go far to see that the arts are fragmenting and it is a real job for the artist to get and hold someone's attention, and it is difficult for the audience to slow down and be sensitive to what is being shown.

    A few years ago writers and critics like Robert C. Morgan and the late Arthur Danto were addressing the end of the art world as we know it. Actually the practitioners ( artists at work ) must not have noticed, because there is so much more to look at, and to contemplate today. Take for example the recent show that opened at The Memorial Art Gallery - their 6th Rochester Biennial. Every two years a select group of artists are chosen to show us what they've got, and this year we have a printmaker, a painter, and four artists who work three-dimensionally.

    Inside the 6th Biennial
    I've known some of the artists in this Biennial for years and I can applaud their work, and also the layout of the show - giving each artist some space to breathe - allowing the viewer to focus their gaze on the objects in question. Kumi Korf, an artist from Ithaca, NY opens the show ( her work is on the card above, and the banner outside the museum ). Kumi's prints are biomorphic abstractions - gentle curves and attractive color which she develops intuitively in series - one thing leads to another. Her art creates a field for a poem written by Bhisham Bherwani, part of the image displayed is upside down and the prints are titled "Delirium" . Artist books are on view as well, and Kumi Korf's deft handling reveals some of her background in architecture. Her books employ printmaking techniques and may include thread and photos, as in the 2012 work " Sea to Land".

    Moving in through the show I found ceramic forms by Richard Hirsch to be very rough and sophisticated at the same time. Encaustic paintings on the walls in his space reminded me of the colorfield art of Jules Olitski. These encaustic works look like slabs of sandstone right out of a quarry. His "Crucible" series is impressive in size and these often oversize vessels are accompanied with ladles, or blown glass as in the " Mortar and Pestle" of 2014. This art is all about tactility, and it makes me imagine the people who might use such equipment and how it might be used. This is more directly addressed in the works called "Primal Cup" - and here the clay looks like a lesson in topology. Isn't that what clay is all about? Something you can roll out flat or roll into a ball, or make a terrific texture or even a teacup.

    Kim Waale's work in this show is all about artifice, and her installation included a pieced together map as a flat surface on top of which she placed faux rocks and phragmites, PLUS a large plastic waterfall -
    all deliciously absurd!

    Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez hails from Mexico City, but has been at R.I.T. in the School for American Craft where he is now the Chair. His talents are very detail oriented, and the artwork he has on display is fanciful, highly cultured, tactile, and alluring. Many of these are pieces of jewelry - though not in the traditional sense - they are meant to be worn, and not just looked at in a vitrine. Juan Carlos is a gifted artist, teacher, and advocate for an open minded dialog about what art is and what it is going to be in the 21st century. You get the feeling that Juan Carlos has absorbed many influences as he grew into the artist he now is, and his art makes this manifest. The brooches he shows here have a painterly quality as if they had been imagined by Goya.

    Across the way are paintings from Lynette Stephenson and they feature dozens of eyes looking back at the viewer in one of her canvases. In another painting there are strange dislocations that probably contain a mystery or a story about a dog tugging on a rope with a watermelon, three people and some chairs. These seem like the ingredients for a short story which we get to make up as we go along. Her strategy here owes a great deal to David Salle, who made this kind of ironic juxtaposition so popular in the mid-1980's.

    Looking in the last room I found several works from Jeff Kell who is also associated with R.I.T. and the School for American Craft. His art is like a 3 dimensional illustration using clay as his medium, with an unusual humor that could work in a magazine story. At this Biennial there is something for everyone, so if you don't relate to this work, you just might resonate with something down the hall. These artists have earned a place in the spotlight, go and see for yourself.

    Posted by Alan Singer at 6:47 AM


  • 6th Rochester Biennial Review

    Spotlight on six
    By Rebecca Rafferty July 16, 2014 - Rochester City Newspaper
    click to enlarge
    • "Incidents II — Sumo" by Lynette K. Stephenson (left) and "Mother's Brooch" by Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez (right) are part of the 6th Rochester Biennial, currently on view at the Memorial Art Gallery.
    Through Sunday, September 21Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University AvenueWednesday-Saturday: 11 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. | $5-$12 | 276-8900; mag.rochester.edu.

    The 6th Rochester Biennial opened last Saturday, featuring six small solo shows of work by established, regional artists chosen for their exceptional commitment to their craft. The exhibition contains a vast range of media, techniques, and subject matter, affording the audience a glimpse into the diverse array of skilled artists working in our communities. Each collection is fascinating and engaging in its own way, and at times challenges the viewers to consider what is shared and what is unique in our experiences of this odd human existence, as well as the obvious things we dangerously miss entirely.

    Ithaca-based printmaker Kumi Korf's statement says color is the most important in her elegant and enigmatic work. In these recent intaglio and aquatint prints and etchings, Korf used stencils to create overlapping colors and shapes, with richly hued organic forms blinking into and out of existence on the papers. In "Delirium," serpentine lines chase one another over areas of shadow and light, and poetic verse is printed right side up and upside down.The prints are rife with organic forms blushing with watery pigment. Meant to represent clouds, birds, flowers, shadows, and bodies of water, each existing within shifty, half-formed dreams.

    Rochester Institute of Technology professor and Churchville-based artist Richard Hirsch's work is characterized by the term "heat." Hirsch's newly fabricated sculptural objects and paintings possess the illusion of weathered, worn surfaces. Through a nuanced attention to texture and expert glazing techniques, soda- or wood-fired clay becomes bronze, wood, or stone. Tertiary tones burst brightly against earthen hues like blooms of rust or mold, a flush of flux in timeless materials. Hirsch's nonrepresentational encaustic and clay paintings with minerals and dry pigment resemble heavily textured cement walls or an aerial view of razed land far below. His oversize crucibles and "Mortar and Pestle" are like monuments to tools of another time, and it's easy to picture a set of giant, aged, warm hands cradling the forms, steadily pulverizing plants.

    Henrietta-based artist and RIT professor Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez's breathtaking and intricate ornamentations are created in homage to his mother, who worked as a seamstress in Mexico City and patiently taught her son to sew. Throughout this collection of sculptural jewelry and vessels, the artist elevates humble materials through careful incorporation with more prized stones and metals. Nods to his mother's trade abound, in the way that plastic is ruffled ornamentally, and elements and forms allude to stitches, bobbins, needles, and repeating patterns. "Stitching II," is a beautifully balanced cuff, referencing a wrist-worn pin cushion. The otherworldly adornments seem fit for royalty, the urns gorgeous resting places for the most precious of ashes.

    Hamilton-based artist Lynette K. Stephenson says the large-format oil paintings in her "Incidences and Observations" series explores the "profound strangeness of life." Most of the works focus on figures and the ground drops away; even in "Flood," the roof of a house and treetops are the only tangible, bright spots in a wash of murky horror. Several of the paintings contain overlaid, seemingly disparate imagery, suggesting multiple inner and outer perspectives, as if the subject of the painting looks out at a world superimposed with a conjured reverie or two. Just as in life, the viewers are stuck apprehending a series of baffling partial-narratives and situations, and must bring their own interpretations and navigational tools to the table.

    Rush-based artist Jeff Kell's sturdy, archetypal ceramic work explores the various relationships and bitter-sweet memories associated with home and family, and humorous anecdotes from daily life. The dichotomy of the family dog is explored in two works, which contrast the animal's sweetness toward the owners with its explosive ferociousness toward a stranger at the door. "Dog with Bone" features an alert pup balancing a trophy on his head, the vessel illustrated with imagery of a gentlemanly pooch, while "Beware of Dog" is part pet, part rocket, his eyes crazed and face frozen in a snarl.

    Manlius-based artist Kim Waale has but one work in the show, an exploration of artifice in a room-sized installation titled "Simulacrutopia (again)," which alludes to a simulated representation of a near-perfect reality. The work is gently contemptuous toward our so-called love of nature, referencing our replacement of natural settings with surreal, sterile representations of itself for our recreational desires.At one end of the room, an outcropping of foam "rocks" juts from high up on the wall, with cast-rubber "rivers" falling in tendrils which trail off in a freeze-flow across a low collage of maps. Spun and spray-painted plastic wrap over wire effectively simulates rushes and reeds sprouting from the reordered islands and continents, and remnants of animal life, such as spiderwebs or antlers, are mere decorative relics. A mechanical songbird, set off by a motion detector, acts as a threshold guardian, releasing a jarring cry as viewers enter the environment.

    We are makers of strange, new and rapidly arising realities, rabid shapers of the world. Waale's work predicts a plastic and sanitized world, essentially nothing more than a stage on which we can finally act out our most desired roles: as revelers in a safe, alterable, anaesthetized playground. Already, scientists have discovered bacteria which consume plastics. There is little doubt that nature will carry on, working with what we put into it, but we food-chain-toppers cannot recreate what is essential to our own survival much long after we have poisoned the well.


  • 6th Rochester Biennial July 13 - September 21, 2014, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY

    Rochester Biennial featuring recent works by Juan Carlos Caballeor-Perez of Henrietta (jewelery, sculpture), Richard Hirsch of Churchville (ceramic sculptures, encaustic painting), Jeff Kell of Rush (ceramic sculptures), Kumi Korf of Ithaca (prints, artist books), Lynette K. Stephenson of Hamilton (paintings), and Kim Waale of Manlius (mixed media installation).

    Artist Lecture: Lynette K Stephenson
    Thursday July 17 @ 7pm, auditorium


  • Making Their Mark, Stone Canoe Reception at Lubin House Palitz Gallery

  • Making Their Mark, Stone Canoe Reception at Lubin House Palitz Gallery

  • Sam and Adele Golden Foundation Residency

    I will be in residence for the inaugural year of the Sam & Adele Golden Foundation Artist Residency in Columbus, New York from October 1, through October 28, 2012.

  • Horned Dorset Colony

    I will be in residence for the inaugural year of The Horned Dorset Colony in Leonardsville, New York from September 2, through September 28, 2012.

  • Exhibition at 601 Tully, Syracuse, New York

    Framed UnFramed: Artists with a Dual Practice: Featuring the work of Lynette Stephenson, Samantha Harmon, Stephanie Koenig, Marion Wilson, Abby Carter and Lori Hawke.
    601 Tully is at corner of Tully and Oswego in downtown Syracuse.
    Opening 3Th September 20, 2012 at 6:00pm

  • Warehouse Gallery: Windows Project, Syracuse, NY


    For the Window Projects at The Warehouse Gallery Lynette K Stephenson
    created an installation consisting of hand felted wool dunce caps. This exhibition
    is inspired by John Kennedy Toole’s novel A Confederacy of Dunces and
    based on her previous body of paintings, The Red Cross Series. In this work
    Stephenson engages in a dialogue about present-day social issues referring to
    New Orleans, the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, and the universal symbol of the
    Red Cross.

    Artist talk on 18 February, 2010 at 6 P.M.
    free and open to the public.

    Here is a link to the Warehouse Gallery