Two Artists at Lake George’s Courthouse Gallery: “What You See, Might Not Be What You Get”
Mary Gaynier and David Greenberger’s art work at the Court House Gallery, in Lake George Village is a wonderful show. Having seen the work beforehand on the Lake George Arts Project website and receiving a post card announcing the reception, I can’t express how surprised I was when I entered the gallery. Art is a manmade endeavor, and in a world where we access so much art through reproduction (internet, television, print), it’s important that we physically experience it. Whether it’s art in your home, gallery, museum, live music, theater or reading a novel; that intimate relationship is critical in appreciating and understanding not just the art, but the hands that created it. Modern and Post-Modern Art has allowed artists to combine mediums and styles which communicate concepts that traditional art(narrative) can’t convey. Abstraction would certainly come to mind. I thought Mary Gaynier and David Greenberger might be abstract artists. As I stood in front of the work and realized what I was looking at, I couldn’t help but smile. Both artists have synthesized abstraction with representation(symbols). Mary Gaynier works in Scherrenschnitte(traditional German scissor art), snowflakes and lace patterns might come to mind(which she used to make for the holidays). However, Mary’s snowflakes have morphed into complex “Pop Culture” icons. David Greenberger’s abstractions become simple visual essays of observations of his life.
Mary Gaynier is a great example of Post-Modern Art. Some of these artist employ various traditions, ethnic cultures and styles, and new mediums to express contemporary concerns. She is also a retired 2 Dimensional Design teacher’s delight. I can’t imagine the amazement of seeing these intricate paper cuttings unfold for the first time. Diners, waiters, workman, animals, villains and nursery rhymes are just some of the characters and scenes that weave there way through the repetitive and rhythmic compositions. I also appreciate the combination of Fine Art with Folk Art. To assume that artists(art) are one or the other is a tenet that has to be re-evaluated in our Post-Modern culture. The blending of styles, mediums and ideologies reflects our forever connected world. Although she retains the purity of the paper(left natural), I can envision them in color. They also have a “stored energy”that suggest movement and excitement. I want to spin them, imagining they would come to life.
David Greenberger’s minimal approach might suggest abstraction or at least the influence of abstraction(David mentioned Mark Tobey and Grosz as influences, I couldn’t help but think of Hans Hartung) until you read the titles. You retreat from abstraction into “Dave’s Place”. A witty, whimsical, sensitive and thoughtful world of distilled American culture into a hand crafted “snapshot”. Vertical and horizontal black ink lines and small colored penciled squares became “The Party Explosion Embedded With Confetti In The Window Screen”. Simple geometric and organic shapes become licorice nibs, crows, dogs, and everyday objects. Black ink lines become paper clips, screen, springs, and grass. On the surface, all of this seems very funny, but there is a reflective dimension(acceptance) to it as well. David’s “audio art” shares and expresses the same concerns. David narrates edited interviews with individuals who share a brief story(reflection) about a particular moment(event) in their life. These compilations are enhanced with his original music compositions(CD’s are available at the gallery).
As in all exhibitions at the Court House Gallery, the work is well crafted. It’s an intimate venue which lends itself well to this presentation. If you need some cheering up, go see this show.
“Mary Gaynier and David Greenberger” is funded in part by Price Copper’s Golub Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. The Courthouse Gallery hours during exhibitions are Tuesday through Friday 12 – 5 pm, Saturday 12 – 4 pm, and all other times by appointment. The Courthouse Gallery is located at the side entrance of the Old County Courthouse, corner of Canada and Lower Amherst Streets, Lake George, NY. For more information call (518) 668-2616