Galleries’ winter shows offer feast for the eyes

11/26/2011 12:00 PM |

'Against the Tides,' photograph by Conrad J. Obregon Sirens' Song Gallery

You won’t find a partridge in a pear tree or eight maids a-milking, but you will find 12 nudes cavorting and one duck a-splashing among the offerings at North Fork galleries this holiday season. There are no holiday themes, but there is something for everyone looking for art and, in the spirit of giving, a number of galleries are donating a portion of sales to worthy causes.

Everyone wants to be at the front of the line — the one leading to Greenport’s South Street Gallery for the annual “10 x 10 = 100” fundraising art exhibit and sale (preview Friday, Dec. 2, 6 to 8 p.m.; sale, Dec. 3, 6 p.m.). Each year, participating artists complete a work of art on a 10-inch-square board provided by Greenport gallery director Amy Worth. All works sell for $100 to buyers who queue up for this first-come, first-served opportunity to own, for a tiny price, an original work by an emerging or well-established artist. This year, half the proceeds will benefit North Fork Environmental Council.

Sibylle Maria-Pfaffenbichler "Swing" oil on canvas 9x12

“Joy of Music and Dance,” a concurrent exhibition at the gallery (through Dec. 31), features works by Sibylle-Maria Pfaffenbichler, an artist with a remarkable flair for translating the sensuous and riotous rhythms of jazz and rock-and-roll into joyous explosions of color. Each painting embodies the synergy of couples as they slide, glide, slither and swing to the plaintive wail of a sax calling to an unruly roll of drums. A 20-foot-long scroll rendered with disarmingly simple lines explores the unself-conscious movements of the body as it responds to the harmonies and dissonances of music and dance.

Caroline Waloski, director of The Sirens’ Song Gallery in Greenport, conceived the exhibit “All A Twitter” (Nov. 19-Jan. 8) with a bird life theme, juxtaposing Dianne Martin’s semi-abstract, often surreal images with Conrad Obregon’s photojournalistic portraits of North Fork wildlife. Ms. Martin uses twigs, weeds and feathers to create etchings, monotypes and collage works that she further embellishes with ink on paper. Her most interesting results are cropped in ways that play the textural details of feathers, flora and fauna against the abstraction of her flattened compositions. Much of the work by Mr. Obregon, an avid bird watcher, was photographed on North Fork shores. He demonstrates his quick, sharp eye for the split-second body language of birds with his image of a common merganser making an uncommon splash as it zooms through the water. Ms. Waloski is donating 20 percent of the gallery commission to the North Fork Audubon Society.

There’s a one-man exhibition at deCordova Gallery in Greenport (through Dec. 18) and that man is gallery owner Hector deCordova, who says, “If there were a theme to this show it would probably be called ‘The work he is most proud of … so far.’ ” In an exhibition celebrating 10 years of his career, Mr. deCordova curated his oeuvre in groupings by theme: floral, energy-fueled abstraction, compelling immigrant narratives that explore diversity and figurative works that include pets as memory connections to childhood pasts.

“Group Exhibition: Emerge 1.0” (Dec. 3-31) at Terrence Joyce Gallery in Greenport was curated by gallery manager Mathew Salerno and artist Colin Goldberg. Mr. Salerno and Mr. Goldberg recently founded Emerge.li, an online blog devoted to Long Island artists. It aims to help those artists emerge from the shadows of the New York City art world by spreading the word about their own work and by helping others find appropriate venues for what they are doing. Six Long Island artists culled from this networking were chosen for this show: Ellen Wiener, Colin Goldberg, Bryan Landsberg, Steve Miller, Brian O’Leary and Oliver Peterson. They work in a variety of media that includes etchings, digital prints, painting and mixed media.

'Rothman's' by Mike Stanko Rothman Gallery

Art in Southold (aka Rothman’s Gallery), a funky gallery where you can buy art, a guitar or a washing machine — and listen to some great music provided by gallery director Ron Rothman and friends — continues its ongoing exhibition, “Greetings from the North Fork” through Dec. 31. It offers works by Mike Stanko, Stacy Brandfon and Mr. Rothman. Mr. Stanko’s acrylic paintings of local street scenes, plates of food and flowers riff on pop art in a simplified, charming style reminiscent of Grandma Moses. His storefront portrayal of Rothman’s captures the charm and character of the historic Southold department store, where in 1939 Albert Einstein bought sandals, played the violin and chatted with Mr. Rothman’s grandfather, David. Ms. Brandfon, who helps run the gallery, presents a series of “Kai” paintings in which she combines watercolor on canvas to create pastel effects, and Mr. Rothman exhibits a selection of realistic photographs taken from his highly imaginative perspectives.

“Collected,” the new exhibition at Art Sites Gallery in Riverhead (Nov. 26-Dec. 31), says thank you to the many artists who have for eight years participated in this venue’s much-heralded exhibitions. Director Glynis Berry has selected works that reveal her evolving choices over time and that tell stories about how artists came to her attention. Some artists introduced her to others, guest curators brought fresh talent and new perspectives and sometimes artists just appeared at the door, portfolio in hand, and asked, “Will you take a look at my work?”

The show reveals a curatorial map with no set boundaries. It includes works by environmental artists Bob Braine and Leslie Reed; multi-media and performance artist Andrea Cote; and self-taught artist/curator Candyce Brokaw, founder of Survivors Art Foundation, an organization that promotes the work of all who have suffered physical and mental abuse. It also includes works by the late Mac Wells, a well-known contemporary of major mid-20th-century masters, and Darlene Charneco, a rising young new star.

Those looking for art in the form of handmade holiday ornaments will want to visit East End Arts’ Holiday Gift Market in Riverhead, which runs through the end of December.