While every edition of M&T's Second Friday brings something new to the Burchfield Penney Art Center, the August event is particularly special. The show "Charles E. Burchfield: Transitions" opens Aug. 9 with "a significant number" of Burchfield works on loan from private collections and other galleries. They will be on view with works by the artist from the center's collection and previously unexhibited works from the Charles E. Burchfield Archives.
"Transitions" highlights Burchfield's landscapes – art in which he broke free from conventional scenes of peace and serenity to create images of a vivid, active and ever-changing natural world, full of life and sound. The show continues through Dec. 1.
Also opening Aug. 9 is "The Past Is Present," a show of paintings and prints by Harold L. Cohen. A World War II Navy veteran, Cohen is a former dean of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning and has focused much of his work on the importance of human equality and on history's failure in achieving that goal. His art looks at atrocities by earlier authoritarian governments such as the Nazi genocides and other horrors of WWII, along with the more recent suffering of refugees from Darfur and the ongoing struggles of the Jewish people. The artwork in the show is drawn from Cohen's output from the past 20 years. The exhibit continues through Oct. 31.
Viewers become part of the art in "SCAN," another new show which uses light as artistic performance. Created by John Rickus and Carlie Todaro-Rickus, the tubal light sculptures of SCAN use cues from the viewers to create unique light patterns. The artists say the work is a counterpoint to medical scans used to diagnose problems; in the art, the individual is in control of the outcome.
All the openings are part of M&T's Second Fridays at Burchfield Penney Art Center (1300 Elmwood Ave.). Galleries are open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with special openings plus free outdoor screenings and performances beginning at 5:30 p.m.