The latest exhibit to open at The Art Associates Gallery offers views of vistas far afield, as well as landscapes that are closer to home.
Organized by photographer Chris DeMarco, “Picturing Nature” features works by a dozen photographers who fixed their lenses on the natural world.
Opening the show are several large-scale pieces that take viewers around the globe. Perhaps the most sizable is “Twilight View of the Majella” by David Brickman. It spans several feet across and provides a peaceful, mist-covered view of the mountainous Italian landscape. The dark foreground is dotted with homes and lush rolling hills.
Not too far away, William Jaeger transports viewers to Japan with “Cherry Blossoms over Kyoto.” From the title, one expects to see vibrant pines, yet the blossoms are seen in black and white, lending a sense of mystery to the work, and leading viewers to see beyond the straightforward beauty on the cherry tree’s branches.
Along that same wall hangs a smaller yet stunningly vivid landscape by Connie Frisbee Houde. Called “Aspens,” it depicts a mountainous Colorado landscape with dappled sunlight illuminating a valley in the foreground. Clouds, some bright white and others threatening of rain stretch out above the mountains, filling nearly half of the composition.
Later on in the exhibit, Houde takes viewers to Arches National Park in Utah with works like “Sunrise Glimmer.” In it, a patch of sunlight illuminates a section of the rich red and brown archway, with a sky packed with rolling clouds in the background.
Other works featured in the show give one a new appreciation for the flora and fauna around us.
In a series of works by Rob O’Neil titled “Untitled (Elegy),” the artist captures a golden yellow plant (possibly an Cacia Pravifolia) and contrasts it with a brooding sky behind it. Another photo in the series depicts a hibiscus flower backlit by the sun, which it is blocking from the camera lens.
Nearby, several photographs focus on forested landscapes, some on individual trees others offering wide-ranging views. In “Silvery Birches” by Brickman, a well-traveled path winds its way in a forest full of birch trees, with a few yellowing leaves hanging onto their branches.
In “Tree Shadows,” Joe Putrock offers up 30 reflections on said shadows. Some are wispy or blurry, others stark and each offers a different perspective on an otherwise ubiquitous scene.
Ben Palmeri’s “The Grin,” focuses on an anthropomorphic tree, the bark of which is curled and twisted into half of a face, with an eye and a strange smile.
Most works in the show directly depict the world around us, though some distort or amplify it.
In Jeanne Finley’s “Lily Bud 2,” the lily pads take on a neon purple and the water has taken on a golden and green hue, and the bud is an amalgamation of neon yellows, greens and blues. Another work by Finley, depicts a lily pad in vibrant orange, surrounded by neon yellow water.
“Picturing Nature” is filled to the brim with accessible works that help viewers convene with the world outside their homes and after a year where many of us spent more time indoors than ever, the visual journeys these photographs take one on is refreshing.
The show will be up through May 29. The Art Associates Gallery is located at 21 Railroad Ave., Albany, and is open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
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