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“Danny Goodwin: Object Oriented” at WAAM Danny Goodwin is a serious dude. Looking at one of his large doctored photographs, you may think you are looking at a surprisingly striking image of a roll of duct tape, but in reality, you are taking in an “interrogation of photographic veracity and a critique of authoritarian power.” Upon closer examination, the roll of tape we think makes pictorial sense is actually replete with contradictions and falsehoods. Given the post-truth world we are trying to navigate, it’s harder and harder to know what is real and what is not, and would-be authoritarians use this as a weapon in the service of narrative manipulation. Goodwin’s wake-up call is that seeing should not be believing. Using technologies like texture mapping, 3D printing, and augmented reality, in addition to photography, he creates a false reality, making it hauntingly overt how easily deception is achieved. July 3-August 4

Danny Goodwin, Gobo, pigment print, 2019.

“Yellow” at September Gallery

A visitor to September Gallery was once asked by Kristen Dodge to free associate on the color yellow. Dodge, the owner and curator of the Hudson gallery, was then conceptualizing the show now on view. The 14 talented artists whose work she has assembled (including Brenda Goodman) have answered the chromatic call in various hues of meaning and observation. In her writing about the show, Dodge herself sees everything from egg yolks to yellow journalism in this little buttercup of a color, and traces its history from a yellow ochre horse on the walls of the caves of Lascaux through a patch of light on a wall in a Vermeer painting rhapsodized by Proust. The work on view is distinctly of our time by artists who thankfully have cast the amber of caution to the wind. Through August 4

“Water in Art” at Mark Gruber

In stressful times, simple things can bring comfort, or at least things that appear simple on the surface. Anyone who has actually attempted to paint a cloud, or render the shimmering surface of a stream in watercolors will attest to the impressive skill sets of the many artists on view in this group exhibition. Take Staats Fasoldt who, like a Zen master, can evoke the aesthetic aspect of H2O with just a few deft strokes of his brush. To see one of Jane Bloodgood-Abrams’s illuminated clouds is to believe. This is an exhibition directly expressing the beauty we can find right here in our region and, in so doing, helps us rediscover what we may be missing, overwhelmed as many of us are by the perpetual swirl of news cycles. July 13-September 7

“Madness in Vegetables” at the Dorsky

You may think of veggies as healthy, but did you know they can also be crazy? The title of this show references a poem by 19th-century French writer Francis Jammes who chose inspiration from the natural world over the sophisticated concerns of urban art. Curators Alyson Baker and Candice Madey selected 17 artists from our region who explore the natural world from divergent vantage points using a variety of conceptual maps. The politics of moving upstate, the looming catastrophes of climate change, the weird beauty of plant life, the footprints (and fingerprints) of anthropomorphism, and the heady poetry of the wild demarcate the territories explored. Through November 10

“Juxtaposition: Contemporary Collage” at Barrett Art Center

Many people think that collage began in the 20th century with Picasso and Braque, but in fact, it has been an art form for centuries. That said, the Cubists, Dadaists, Surrealists, and Pop Artists of the last century made extensive use of collage techniques, as do digital artists of all stripes in our current era of Photoshop alchemy. The collage gambit is arguably at its most interesting when disparate signifiers collide, leading to unexpected shards of meaning. Expect multiple brain warping experiences at the Barrett Center where 31 contemporary practitioners, chosen for this national juried show, are exhibiting assemblage, photomontage, mixed-media, and installation. Through August 11

“David Shrigley: To Be of Use” at Art Omi

An artist Roomba, perhaps a renegade from the cleanliness-obsessed family of robots, retrofitted with a set of markers, tirelessly creates artifacts for display on the Newmark Gallery walls at Art Omi. An outsized phone devoid of zeros challenges viewers to make a call. There are guitars that don’t play right and a calculator that can’t add (only subtract). Welcome to the world of David Shrigley. The British artist is best known for his cartoonesque drawings and slyly subversive pieces that objectify the absurdity of prosaic human interactions. Shrigley once reported being asked, “How can you be a famous artist if you can’t draw?” If you’re looking for the answer to that question and also wish to experience more than one or two knowing smiles (seasoned with really deep thoughts), this show is for you. Through July 21

“Never Was a Slave” at Historic Huguenot Street Born in New Paltz in 1829, Jacob Wynkoop was one of the first African Americans to buy land in the village. The son of former slaves, he served in the Union Army during the Civil War, was a political organizer for the local black community, and a builder of multiple homes in the late 19th century that still define a neighborhood in the village of New Paltz today. An exhibit at the DuBois Fort Visitor Center of the Historic Huguenot Street district, curated by Josephine Bloodgood, Director of Curatorial and Preservation Affairs at HHS, uses historical documents and photographic materials to illuminate the extraordinary legacy of Jacob Wynkoop and his family. Through July 14


Profile for Chronogram

Chronogram July 2019  

Chronogram July 2019