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Art from an Abstract Point of View in Rockaway

TimesLedger Newspapers

When the reviewer went up to the Rockaway Artists Alliance sTudio 6 at Fort Tilden last Sunday to see its latest exhibit, Abstract Point of View, the place was closed. There’d been a snowstorm the day before, so the powers that be at RAA just decided to keep the place shut for the weekend.

“And the buses were running so well for once!” the reviewer fumed, but before she turned around and walked all the way back to the bus stop, she crunched through the snow to the side of the building, and peeked through the windows.

The exhibit is made up of abstract works of art that stand for the artist’s state of mind at the time they were created rather than any real or concrete thing. Since “Gourd” by Karl Lorenzen was the only work the reviewer had a good look at, here’s the review.

The first thing the reviewer was reminded of when she saw this work was that it was inspired by RAA’s “Moon gate,” the beautiful wrought iron gate between sTudio 6 and the barn that houses its other exhibits — which, by the way, was also closed. On closer inspection, “Gourd” seemed like both a gourd, a Christmas ornament, and something indefinably female, with its swirls and arabesques, gold ribbons and open spaces and what looked like two baroque pearls or fruit hanging in the center.

The viewer might also think that “Gourd” is at least partially a result of the mirror function that some computer software systems have on their painting application. This is where, if the artist paints a swirl on one side of the screen, another will mirror it on the other side. But on closer look this isn’t true with “Gourd.” One side of the gourd isn’t an exact mirror image of the other, though they greatly resemble each other. More, at the top of what would be the throat of the gourd is a tiny blue Star of David. The longer you look at this image the more you wonder what it means, which, the reviewer guesses, is the point of this work and the other works in the exhibit.

Another work, and the reviewer is not quite sure who made this one, looks like a dinosaur fossil still trapped in its rock matrix. There are teeth, bones and maybe some preserved skin and internal organs? The reviewer also saw a large painting on the wall full of what looked like reddish squares, but that was about all she could see of it.

Many of the usual RAA artists are represented in the exhibit. Esther Grillo, primarily known as a sculptor, has her “Whimsical Metallic Blue,” a watercolor painting on embossing and rag paper (wonder if that’s not the fossil?). She also has “Ghost Metallic Blue,” a colored embossing with metallic litho-ink on rag paper. Joseph Abbate has several works in the show, including his photographs “Boston Crabs,” “Life on the Edge of the Abyss Pool,” and “Floridian Fall.”

Igor Gushchin has “Evening,” an acrylic on canvas. The water colorist Helen Lewis-McGlynn, who is fairly new to RAA, has several watercolor or watercolor marker works, including “Balz,” “Con Fedee,” “Char Truce,” and “Tea-el.” Photographer Jessica Schulman has “Moon Reflection,” “Field of Gold,” and “Ring of Fire,” while Shirl Holt, another name that’s new to the reviewer, has the sculptures “The ..” and “Order.” Another photographer, Wendy Armenio, has “November Winds,” “Gateway into Night” and “Circular Lines, and painter Linda Rufo has an acrylic and mixed media on canvas board called “9’11 Fumes, Dust and Gestures.”

Abstract Point of View is up till Feb. 19. If the weather’s been a little inclement before you go, call and make sure RAA is open (which the reviewer didn’t!). The organization’s telephone number is (718) 474-0861.

If You Go

Abstract Point of View

Rockaway Artists Alliance

sTudio 6 Gallery, Fort Tilden

rockawayartistsalliance.org

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