The coming month's new exhibits, in particular, are of note for both their embrace of two of the Hudson Valley's top behind-the-scenes artistic voices of recent years and their showing of these key figures in settings that stretch their past accomplishments - and crowds of appreciators - into new realms. Both open this Saturday evening, October 3, alongside other events in gallery and museum spots around town. Following all the big cultural activities occurring down at Poughkeepsie/Highland's Walkway over the Hudson opening, it seems a perfect capper for any intrepid scenemaker's Saturday this weekend.
At R & F Paints on Ten Broeck - a key draw for the region's arts scene via its workshops, fine products and employment sustenance, as well as its well-curated gallery - longstanding Kingston artist Hendrik Dijk will be opening up a show of recent paintings, "So Far, So Close," that's as important for the many who will come out because of Dijk's role in bringing about the Rondout area's cultural renaissance (and teaching art at Kingston High School) in the last two decades as for his art. Never mind that that art, in the form of non-representational experiments with color theory and wittily futuristic forms, is beautifully rendered and attractive in its own right. R & F co-owner Richard Frumess has said that the current exhibition's focus on his friend, the co-founder of the Arts Society of Kingston and the Kingston Biennial Sculpture Show, is his contribution to the 400-year anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage by featuring "Kingston's own Dutchman."
Meanwhile, down at the recently Quad-obsessed Donskoj Gallery on lower Broadway, the focus will be on the sorts of peopleless photography that Dijk last showed in town last spring, via the Woodstock-based artist's artist, Richard Edelman. His urban landscape photographs of Kingston and its environs are bleak and provocative, meticulously printed and innately disturbing in the ways that they resonate long after viewing. Talk about bringing the truly contemporary into play in town (as Donskoj has been pushing successfully all year).
"These photographs are of quiet, seemingly unremarkable landscapes," the artist says of these works, little seen locally but increasingly collected elsewhere. "Their inspiration is derived from the notion that all things, however grand or plain, are equivalent...within them may be distilled great complexity and emotion."
Edelman, the owner of the region's top digital lab at Woodstock Graphics Studio, is known as much for his teaching and printing work with area artists as for the many photographs that he has included in the public collections of such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.
The Dijk show will run through November 14, with its opening this Saturday, October 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. The Gallery at R & F is located at 84 Ten Broeck Avenue in midtown Kingston, and open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For further information, call (845) 331-3112 or visit www.rfpaints.com.
Edelman's opening at Donskoj & Company Gallery at 93 Broadway runs from 5 to 8 p.m. The show will then stay up through October 31. Donskoj Gallery hours are Friday and Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. and by appointment. For further information call (845) 338-8473 or visit www.donskoj.com.