Expect the Unexpected

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It’s official! Westchester’s loss is Long Island’s gain. Neil Watson, former director of the Katonah Museum, is heading to the Long Island Museum at Stony Brook as its new Executive  Director. But it’s still possible to see Neil’s curatorial prowess at ArtsWestchester.   Twelve artists are “Pushing the Line” in a new exhibition at the Arts Exchange, reflective of how artists are making their marks in this Age of Anxiety.  When I ponder the idea of pushing the line, my thoughts go to work that may live outside the traditional bounds of drawing as we know it and as we think about it.  These artists are using rope, clay, ink brayers, combs, tape, mud, you name it.  So, what’s wrong with charcoal, pencil, ink or markers, you may ask?  The answer is “Nothing.” The exhibition has some of that too.

The real line that gets crossed, however, is not just the materials, but the strokes. Several pieces defy the definition of drawing, such as Creighton Michael’s video of shadows of hands typing with a soundtrack of the clicking keys. Judy Glantzman took over our vault, drawing images of war and violence in color, influenced by Tiepolo, an 18th Century Venetian  painter and printmaker.  While it’s not the Sistine Chapel, it’s ceiling to wall art. Kathleen Kucka’s Burn Bright installation reflects the hot plates, irons and charcoal lighters with which she burn images on cloth, paper and other materials. Then there is the monumental works of Cynthia Lin, which may at first look like a landscape, but a closer look reveals human skin. Lin, a SUNY Purchase Professor, will talk about her work and insights about contemporary drawing when she speaks at ArtsWestchester on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m.  Expect the unexpected from this show and from Neil Watson in his new post, which lucky for us, is within driving distance from Westchester.

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