Bruno and Julian LaVerdiere Exhibiting Together in Lake George
Two prominent artists, both associated with the Adirondacks, will exhibit their work together at the Lake George Arts Project’s Courthouse gallery this month. As it happens, they’re father and son. “Bruno & Julian LaVerdiere: Metaphysical Monuments: A Selection of Sculptural Works By Father & Son,” opens January 17 and will remain on view through February 20.
Bringing the artists together in one show on Lake George was the idea of the gallery’s curator, Laura Von Rosk.
“Bruno has lived and worked in the Adirondacks for more than forty years, but he has not had a show at the Arts Project since the 1980s. Julian’s career has skyrocketed since 2001, when he was one of the artists who designed “Tribute in Light,” the famous installation honoring the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center. And both are long time supporters of the Arts Project,” said Von Rosk. “It’s a show that’s a natural for the Lake George Arts Project and we’re very excited that they agreed to do it.”
Von Rosk said the two curated the show themselves, selecting its theme, choosing the work and overseeing its installation.
It was a welcome opportunity to work together, they said.
“We thought it was a great idea; why not?” said Bruno LaVerdiere. “We’ve been planning it for a year.”
According to Julian LaVerdiere, the show was an opportunity, not only to work together, but to reflect upon their relationship as artists, and as father and son.
“When I was younger, I suppose I suffered from what’s known as the Anxiety of Influence. Now I’m in a position where I recognize that we share some obvious, common traits, which I hadn’t really thought about earlier in my career,” he said.
Although the trajectories of their careers could not be dissimilar – Bruno came to art as a monk at St. Martin’s Abbey in Olympia, Washington and moved to the Adirondacks in 1970, Julian was educated at Cooper Union and Yale and has a high profile in New York as a multi-media designer – the two have been engaged in a dialogue about art, sometimes verbal, sometimes not, since Julian was a child.
“Metaphysical Monuments” opens at the start of that conversation with puppets they made together when Julian was five and busts they made of each other not long after, and shows that it continues to this day.
“In many ways, we’re very different artists,” said Julian. “My father has made art from universal symbols: houses, shelters, temples. They’re messages for the ages. But they’re still messages, and how you find and convey messages – the struggle with semiotics, signs and signifiers – is a preoccupation of mine as a designer.”
“Julian’s symbols are symbols of power, of politics. His work is more engaged by immediate concerns than mine,” said Bruno.
“My work is more political,” Julian affirms. “My father works from some inner space. His sculpture doesn’t reflect the ephemera of the day. It’s timeless. ”
A reception honoring the artists will be held on Saturday, January 17 from 4 to 6 pm at the gallery, which is located in the old courthouse on lower Amherst Street. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, from 12 to 5 pm, and on Saturday from 12 to 4 pm.
“Metaphysical Monuments” is funded in part by The Sherwood Group and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.