2004-12-03 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance
by Susan Hartenstein

David Remfry, “Club Scene”, 2002, Watercolor on paper, 40x60”, (102x152 cm.), Signed & dated lower right. David Remfry, “Club Scene”, 2002, Watercolor on paper, 40x60”, (102x152 cm.), Signed & dated lower right. Gallery Highlights

Gifted 2004: A Holiday Member Exhibition runs through January 9, 2005 in sTudio 6 Gallery, Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA) in Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area. Admission is free. Gallery hours: Saturdays 12-5 p.m.; Sundays 1-4 p.m.. Gallery will be closed the weekends of Christmas and New Year’s.

*Next RAA general meeting: Monday, December 13, 2004 @ 7:30 p.m. in Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area in Building T-149. Elections, Holiday Party, Grab Bag.

For info and directions e-mail: rockart116@aol.com; visit: rockawayartistsalliance.org. Details below.

Elections will be held for a portion of the Board of Directors and Vice President and Treasurer. The ballot is available at the RAA office in advance of the election, as an absentee ballot. Only current RAA members (dues paid) are eligible to vote. In addition, RAA’s annual holiday party will be held on this night. Fun, friendship, gemütlichkeit, tasty treats, art, music (by the band FundusBreak) and some surprises. And, yes, the Grab Bag. As the wise woman said (I think it was Madam Rayah’s bubbe), one person’s dreck is another person’s…treasured dreck. Did Aunt Sally give you yet one more pair of argyle socks? Has the clock in the Buddha that Grandma gave you ticked you off one time too many? Then dust it, wrap it and transport it to the Grab Bag table at our holiday party. Then go ahead and select another’s wrapped wonder. My spine tingles in anticipation. Of course, as usual, bring your latest (and, if possible, greatest) artwork for display and supportive discussion. All are welcome. Just to keep you on the edge of your collective seat, more details next week.

What a wonderful time of the year this is to visit galleries in Manhattan with your family. Holiday decorations turn the city into a jewel.

An air of festivity hangs everywhere. Check out the new Tiffany Snowflake (officially known as the UNICEF Snowflake), the giant electric snowflake suspended over the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 57 Street.

Two exhibits this columnist highly recommends are at the same address – the Fuller Building at 41 East 57th Street off Madison. In fact, there are several galleries in this building. Spend an afternoon riding the elevator from one to another.

The Zabriskie Gallery, on the fourth floor, is host to Pin Zhuang, a photographic installation by Spanish artist Joan Fontcuberta. The title of this exhibit is Chinese for “dismantled,” “dismounted” or “puzzle.” The work was inspired by the 2001 crash of an American spy plane in China. The plane was completely dismantled and returned to the United States. Chalenging the idea that photography reveals truth, and questioning scientific and political authority, Fontcuberta has arbitrarily re-assembled model planes in random fashion and photographed them against backgrounds that create the illusion that these “vehicles” are flying through space. The artist has deneutered these objects as spying instru-ments, turning them instead into elegant abstract sculptures in a silent, majestic setting. In contrast, among the prints are diagrams of the correct assemblage of the planes. The ultimate effect is haunting, poetic and thought-provoking. Pin Zhuang runs through January 8, 2005. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

At the Neuhoff Gallery on the same floor is Paradiso, an exhibit of paintings of dance scenes by British artist David Remfry. His work is dynamic, insightful, sensual and brilliantly rendered. This is the third in a series of dance scenes in watercolor and graphite by Remfry. Filling the walls of the Neuhoff are bodies in movement, draped in clothes that sweep and sway in accompaniment – one of the men will fall if he does not shift in the next moment. Partners are linked in the trance of dancing, yet frequently appear to be lost as well in themselves, in their own worlds. Interspersed are those who seem to be looking at other dancers, but as one comes closer to the painting one realizes that they are looking at the viewer. The effect is hypnotic. Remfry’s lines flow, tilt and swerve, as do his dancers. These figures may be solo or in group; clothed or not; fat or thin. But all fascinate and intrigue. Paradiso is on view through December 17. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The sun shone on the opening reception for Gifted 2004: A Holiday Member Exhibition. Last Sunday’s morning rain didn’t discourage all those who enjoyed an afternoon of hot mulled cider, holiday cookies and cakes, great music from acoustic guitarist T.K. Kearney and the beautiful artwork of the Rockaway Artists Alliance. As always, thanks to all those in RAA who made it possible and to our partners at Gateway National Recreation Area. Special thanks to all our supporters who attend our exhibitions and events. Gifted is on view through January 9, 2005. The sTudio 6 Gallery will be closed the weekends of Christmas and New Year’s. Gallery hours are Saturdays 12-5 p.m., Sundays 1-4 p.m.

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