Posts Tagged ‘Wendell Castle’

Wendell’s Castle

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Bleu Cease and Wendell Castle at the Makers Mentors opening at Rochester Contemporary

We got a personal invite from Heather Erwin so we started First Friday at her place. Met an up and coming photo journalist there and told him I thought photo journalism was getting better. This opinion is only based on the number of photos I’ve cut out of the newspaper lately.

We cut through the creepy leather store in Anderson Alley and stopped in the Bop Shop. I had tried to download Billy Bang’s newest, “A Prayer For Peace”, but it wasn’t in the iTunes store and I thought I’d pick up the cd here but they were sold out. Like any good record store Rick made a persuasive argument for picking up another cd, “Tara’s Song” by Ahmed Abullah who used to play trumpet with Sun Ra. His band does two beautiful versions of Ra tunes and a amazing cover of Ornette’s “Lonely Woman.”

Onward to Record Archive where Lucinda Storms showed some brand new luscious Valentines Day paintings. Stan Merrell was onstage playing a therimin. Alayna offered us Genny Bock Beer and we settled in for some free ranging conversation. Rick Simpson who had earlier tried to sell me a down jacket that he picked up at Eddie Bauer for forty bucks and was now trying to sell the coat to Jeff Spevak. Jeff’s dad had just died and he wrote a beautiful piece on him. Stan and Brian Williams tried to help me find the black and white mode on my new Nikon and I bought one of the Dick Storm’s appropriation t-shirts. He did a tempting Warhol VU banana one but I went for the bright green “Archive Rock Beer” shirt.

It was only fitting that Wendell Castle would be holding court when we got to Rochester Contemporary for the Makers/Mentors show featuring his work. Perhaps Rochester’s most successful artist, he has influenced a generation of woodworkers.

We were looking at the other makers’ armor art with Martha O’Connor when Martha exclaimed, “Of course!” It dawned on her that Nancy, Wendell’s wife, had certainly crafted these dwarf sized amour suits to hang in their “castle.”

We discussed going to Abilene for the Spampinato Brothers but had spotted a beautiful black and white snow scene painting on the First Friday website so we headed off to a place called the Living Room Cafe on Monroe Avenue. Perfect name! A small crowd was watching “Reality Bites” on a projection tv. The screen was pulled down over some of the paintings that we had come to see but this place was comfortable. We were offered a free cup of coffee and stuck around for the rest of the movie.

American Vs European Impressionism

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Raoul Dufy painting from the MAG
Raoul Dufy “The Race Track at Saint-Cloud”. Click painting for enlargement.

I didn’t even know there was an American Impressionism movement but the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester has mounted a show in the main gallery of such paintings from the Phillips Collection. It is not my cup of tea and I do like tea. My favorite of late is Yogi Tea “Green Tea Rejuvenation”. And I love the European Impressionists.

The MAG has a beautiful small show at the same time in the Lockhart Gallery of Impressionist Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection. Don’t miss this show. There are some real beauties in there that are not normally on display. The Raoul Dufy painting above reminded me of Leo Dodd’s paintings. The Europeans win hands down.

A more interesting contest is the one between Wendell Castle’s clocks and the Midtown clock that he calls “1960s’ kitsch” and “junk”. I like the Midtown one better. Someone has been quietly tidying up MAG’s permanent collection and familiar paintings are shown in new company. I have my own favorites.