by Sara Farizan
CONCORD- The Albright has always been up to the challenge of stretching it’s guests boundaries and collective imaginations, but two of it’s shows, one currently exhibiting and the next to follow, will have you wondering where the edge of reality and the abstract actually meet.
The Albright begins this surreal journey with George Herman’s second solo show Mans and Other.
Herman has used abstract imagery and dream-like landscapes before in his work. This time he re-visits neglected aspects of his older pieces by scraping paint and surfacing old textures and forms to make a new work. What is old becomes new and Herman doesn’t end there.
His portraits are an amalgam of different images of people from mug shots to embarrassing year book photos or glossy advertisements to create, as he refers to it, “realistic portraits of imaginary people”.
In his portrait, “Girl 2”, a 48 x 48 mixed media on wood piece, Herman lets his scrapings make a beautiful young woman, with her head thrown back, rough, unsure and in doing so makes her ethereal and youthful.
“Man 7” a 32 x 32 mixed media on wood reminds one of that uncle with a dodgy history who never fails to embarrass you at important family gatherings like graduations or weddings.
All of his portraits feel like someone you know, someone you’d want to know or someone you are trying to forget. The scraping technique adds to this by making the portrait seem all the more nostalgic.
After Herman’s show of fictitious men comes Amy Goodwin’s show of fantastical worlds and thoughts titled What She Saw.
Goodwin has said that her work is a “place between sleep and dreams.” One can infer that the She in the title of the show is Goodwin herself as many of the pieces are self-portraits, but her thoughts and what she has seen is anything but dreary.
The portraits show a place where strength, the power of positive thinking, and a whole lot of flowers ruminate and reflect on what is it we really want out of our dreams but aren’t allowing our subconscious to let us.
Everything is bright, the paint looks as though it were freshly brushed on and the portraits seem to say ‘Nothing can hurt you in this alternate reality. Take some of it with you.’
Mans and Other will be at the Albright until March 11th and What She Saw runs from March 13th-May13th with an artist reception Thursday, Mar 15, 6 pm-8. pm