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Mark Lavatelli


Robust creative energy combined with an unusual painting technique dominates Rodney Taylor’s survey show in the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts gallery. Taylor’s tendency to adopt figurative imagery on occasion serves to illuminate his pure abstractions and gives rise to the show’s title, “Impure Abstraction.”Taylor paints with flashe (a vinyl-based matte-finis…

People's relationship with nature and themes of personal and cultural identity emerge as the chief artistic concerns in the current "Beyond/In Western New York" exhibits. The biennial's "downtown" venues include Hallwalls, El Museo, CEPA, Squeaky Wheel and Big Orbit.At Hallwalls, Roberley Bell's installation includes six sculptures made of brightly colored fiberglass blobs…

Having chosen to work exclusively in watercolor, the American modernist Charles Burchfield enlarged already existing works by adding strips of paper to create more imposing artistic statements. The current show at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center, titled "Ecstatic Light," contains a dozen of these late-career, never-before-exhibited paintings.Burchfield juxtaposed fully re…

Bruce Adams' sprawling midcareer retrospective at the University at Buffalo's Anderson Gallery affords ample opportunity to see his development as an artist, to compare work from different periods and to applaud his achievement. The 70-plus paintings that make up "Half Life, 1980-2006" reveal both skillful technique and a keen intellect, using subject matter as diverse as …

One of the distinct pleasures of the Burchfield-Penney's current biennial exhibit, "Craft Art Western New York 2006," is the to-be-expected excellent level of craftsmanship. Yet viewers expecting to see primarily functional art in clay, wood, metal, glass and fiber will soon recognize that such objects are outnumbered by works that would be more accurately characterized as…

Art about art is a popular subject. It allows artists to focus on a world close to their hearts.Bruce Adams makes paintings based on his own photographs of people in museums looking at paintings. Employing photo-realist technique, he examines the connection between photography and painting.The artist isolates the paintings and their viewers by filling the rest of his canva…

The human figure, the oldest subject matter in the history of art, links the sculptures of David Derner, the photographs of John Opera, and the drawings of Michael Parker. While Derner and Parker handle their respective mediums in a more or less traditional manner, Opera opts for a contemporary approach.Several of Derner's bronze sculptures display an affinity with classic…

PETER STEPHENS: NEW WORK WHERE: Nina Freudenheim, Inc., 140 North Street (Hotel Lenox) WHEN: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays through April 28 ADMISSION Free INFO: 882-5777Working in the tradition of painters who use photographs, local artist Peter Stephens' exhibition of new work at the Nina Freudenheim Gallery demonstrates how rewarding this continues to be.…

Jazz music culture underlies Tierney Malone's tensely wrought word-images in his exhibition at El Museo, entitled "cines and lps."The title refers to movies and album covers that evoke an aura of historic jazz heroism. The acrylic on paper paintings initially appear to be exercises in minimalism, consisting of constructions of flat rectangles and squares. But they also con…

Eric Gansworth's gentle and strong voice resonates in both the images and the poetry in his consummate exhibition entitled "Nickel Eclipse: Iroquois Moon." Underlying the poems that depict life on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation and the pictures that abound with Iroquois iconography is resentment at the wrongs suffered by Native Americans.Rather than lash out, Gansworth p…

The most obvious quality of nonagenarian French artist Eugene Leroy's paintings is their incredibly thick paint, often built up over years of labor. This obsession with surface and paint makes these objects fascinatingly sensual. But it also makes them pathetic, as Leroy's repetitive layering of pigment finally suffocates his subjects instead of revealing them.One might ex…

The nearly 70 works in "Ground Zero," CEPA's annual member's exhibition, range over a variety of subjects and venture into various current stylistic approaches to photo-based art.A number of pieces stand out as especially accomplished. Caroline Koebel's three short videos, for instance, are incisive and humorous. By using slow motion and negative-like lighting, she manages…

SHADOWS AND BUTTERFLIES *** WHAT Paintings by Jung Hyang Kim WHEN Through Jan. 15. Hours 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday WHERE: Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 2495 Main St. TICKETS: Free admission INFO: 835-7362The title of Jung Hyang Kim's exhibition of diptych paintings at Hallwalls, "Shadows and Butterflies," calls to mind the interplay of light and dark, …

BECAUSE PHOTOGRAPHS represent reality so faithfully and with such ease, fine art photographers as a rule pay close attention to how their images create meaning, especially in relation to an audience saturated with media imagery.Fundamental to post-modern art, this quality together with its simultaneous assertion of both presence and absence explains why, as critic Susan So…

"DOS VOCES: Mujeres Latinas" (Two Voices: Latina Women), a collaborative exhibition by Yolanda Daliz and Anita Welych at El Museo, addresses the roles of women in Latino culture. A welter of images carved, painted and collaged on small double-sided wooden panels form the walls of a house structure that is the centerpiece of the show. The panels also are hinged together to …