Fall Twigs and Berries

Fall is my happy place. The summer was very busy with shows and classes, so a lighter schedule is welcome. I do most of my longer travels in Fall; this year I spent time in Toronto and Western New York. It’s hard to think of a place where more can be done, in such a small area, and for so little money, as in this area of the Great Lakes.

Toronto has the Royal Ontario Museum, a huge place, and there I saw Roman mosaics and Greek and Minoan black figure pottery. I’ve been considering an exploration of red and black printmaking, iconic modernist graphic colors. So the black figure pottery struck a nerve. I also saw period dioramas of home interiors that resonated when I later went to visit the Susan B. Anthony house in Rochester. Toronto is a very international, user friendly, walkable city. The food is great, and reasonable places to feast on French, Indian, and Asian fusion, as we did.

The prices are noticeably higher than the two smaller cities I visited, but owing to exchange rates, you come out fine.

Rochester is a small city that did take some recent economic hits (Kodak closed), but also has a large University presence to help it through, and it appears to be starting to bounce back. There’s the University of Rochester’s Metropolitan Art Gallery, which I didn’t visit this time, but we did tour their outdoor sculpture garden which featured nice work by Rashid Johnson, Tony Cragg and Tony Smith, among others. I saw a nice artists’ studio complex in a warehouse district a few blocks away. Rochester reminds me of Denver in the 1980’s.

In between the two, Buffalo continues to be an architectural wonderland. The Doors Open Buffalo event featured exceptional examples of Gothic Revival, Nouveau, Prairie, Craftsman, Deco, Gothic Deco and Moderne, all within blocks of each other. Buffalo features an extensive Fredick Law Olmstead park and parkway system, making the two cities pretty much required visits for devotees. Throw in a Beef on Kummelweck, and you’ve got a legendary day.

On another day, I visited the newly reopened Albright Knox Gallery, now known as Buffalo AKG, recently expanded with an addition by OMA/Shohei Shigematsu, and now with more space to show off its spectacular collection of modernist art. This is on the site of the Olmstead Delaware Park, across from Buffalo State, my first University. The list of art history book staples you can see there is prohibitively large, but I’ll restrain myself to mentioning a room full of Kiefers, More Pop and Ab Ex than you can see anywhere outside of MOMA, and my new favorite Nick Cave piece.

Returning to the theme of architecture, we walked across the street to the Richardson Hotel, a refurbished portion of the H.H. Richardson State Asylum complex, a masterwork of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. It contains a small architectural museum and a bar, which we didn’t get to visit as it was closed till 4 PM.

Traveling and reading are aspects of mental drifting that I see as a nice break after a big show. My mind ‘shops’ for new ideas. A lot of my traveling is about relaxing and eating good food and drink- I got on an Old Fashioned kick while away. I’ll be back in studio soon, and I predict that Russian Constructivist red and black, as well as Ernst Barlach’s The Avenger might make their presence felt in new work.

The Fall temperature was congenial, too. The leaves were starting to turn. I tend to hide from Summer. Fall is good reading time. Summer is too busy to focus on big reading projects, graphic novels tend to rule. September came, and suddenly I was reading Tristram Shandy. I’ll be reading it all Fall I’m sure, and will write about it when done. So far, with its digressions and long mazy sentences, it reminds me of an early Modern Pynchon or Barth.

My next class is Monotype Starter, a detailed Beginner/Advanced Beginner class that still has spots available for next week.You get certified to use the print room independently, and we generally enjoy the Fall weather out the tall windows at the (Richardsonian ) ASLD. Click on ‘Contact Me’, if you have questions. Here’s the link for registration.

MoPrint at the League is also on its way, though the date has to be changed owing to a conflict with another League show. There is a holiday show the League is presenting called WHAM ( Winter Holiday Art Market), which sounds interesting, and I’ll be doing it and posting more about that later. I’m also doing the Portfolio Show at Botanic Gardens during March as part of MoPrint ’24, and there is lots of new work in all sizes, so starting your own collection will be very easy this next 6 months.

As I settle in at home with all my new books, I’m sure I’ll be back to graphic novels as well, and I’ll have a post about those

#travel #architecture #art galleries #culturaltourism #buffaloakg

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