2005-11-11 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance Three Must-See Exhibitions

Rockaway Artists Alliance
Three Must-See Exhibitions

Brooklyn Bridge” Medium: Photography, Artist: Kenneth Axen
Brooklyn Bridge” Medium: Photography, Artist: Kenneth Axen by Susan Hartenstein

Gallery Happenings –

The opening reception for GIFTED: A Holiday Member Exhibition and SEWN AND THROWN: A Pottery and Quilt Exhibition of Juried Original Works. is Sunday, November 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. and features live entertainment. The exhibitions and special events run November 12-December 18, 2005 in the Rockaway Center for the ArtsĀ (RoCA), Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area, Rockaway, Queens, NY. Admission is free to the exhibition and special events. Gallery hours: Saturdays 12-4 p.m., Sundays 1-4 p.m. and by appointment. For further information contact Rockaway Artists Alliance: (718) 474-0861; E-mail: RockArt116@aol.com; or visit: www.rockawayartistsalliance. org.

The DFN Gallery in Tribeca is celebrating its first decade of existence with a 10th Anniversary Show. And what a striking and artistically satisfying show it is. Each of the nearly 30 works in the exhibition is of high quality and is very interesting. These factors and the comfortable size of the exhibit and of the gallery space encourage the viewer to return again and again to each piece. DFN Gallery is one of the most respected contemporary art galleries featuring representational painting and drawing, and the 10th Anniversary Show makes it patently clear why this is so. All 26 artists have presented work at the gallery in the past, helping to build DFN’s fine reputation. Five of them will have their first solo shows next year.

One of the first characteristics to strike the viewer about the show is the diversity of mediums and styles represented, and the command each artist has of his/her medium. The artists of DFN are classically trained and have a knowledge of art history. They combine this with 21st Century techniques, sensibilities and subjects. Robert Selwyn’s oil on linen rendering of a “Desperate Housewives”-type suburban house is the first piece encountered.

It is hypnotic.

And disturbing.

The All-American perfection of the subject and the clarity of line are set in high contrast to the wavy quality of the image, rendered in an unnerving blue-gray scale, and the sense that this house is in the middle of nowhere. The Beav is not only underwater, he is also isolated. In Met Liquor by Dan Witz, a brightly-lit store sits in the center of almost total darkness. The light seems to emanate from within the mixed media “painting.” Alyssa Monks’ Stalemate is mesmerizing. The flesh tones breathe with life. The face of the nude woman who sits alone in her bath is red from the heat of the water. Each aspect of the body and her surroundings is created with extraordinary skill and sensitivity. One has an overwhelming sense of a human being situated at the center of this portrait. The figure is seen from a height of 45 degrees and the image of the tub is cropped, resulting in the feeling that the woman is enclosed and cut off. Susan Shatter is one of the more exciting watercolorists working today. Her Wave captures the fury and pounding drama of the sea.

To call Mary Reilly’s View from the Highlands a work in black and white, would be to ignore the range of temperatures this artist achieves in graphite on paper. The variety of textures and Reilly’s arsenal of “marks” is impressive as well, as one is pulled into this majestic world of trees and water. Susan Grossman creates a shimmering, electric night in pastel and charcoal in Night Out. Brenda Zlamany’s Portrait #80 is a spot-on oil on panel portrait of Osama Bin Laden, originally commissioned by The New York Times.

10th Anniversary Show is on view through December 10, 2005. DFN Gallery is located at 176 Franklin Street, between Greenwich and Hudson Streets.

For further information and to view more of the 29 artworks from the exhibition visit www.dfngallery. com or call Rick Novakovich at 212 334-3400.

Special thanks from the Minotaur himself to all those wonderful volunteers and visitors who made this year’s RAA Halloween extravaganza such a raging bull of a success. Thanks go particularly to Geoff Rawling, Apryl Green, Jan Nebozenko and the psychic guidance and inspiring spirit of Marina Callaghan, Queen of all Halloweens.

At last count, almost 2200 bodies came through the Maze for all four nights. Thanks to a community that supports and enjoys this very special event and to Gateway National Recreation Area/The National Park Service for making it possible. Congrats also to our partners across the parking lot, The Rockaway Theatre Company, for their Happy Halloween hijinks.

Cu@RoCA.

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