Albany Center Gallery presents the 2011 Mohawk Hudson Regional Invitational, featuring the work of Amy Cheng, Katie DeGroot and Douglas Durning, held from February 21 through April 16. The reception will be held on Friday, March 4, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. There will be a closing reception on Friday, April 1st from 6pm - 8pm.
For 23 years the gallery has chosen artists from the annual exhibition by artists of the Mohawk-Hudson region for a focused exhibition showcasing their work in more depth. Typically, the gallery seeks to use this opportunity to expose regional artists who have not had major exhibitions in the Albany area.
This year’s invitational fits that purpose well. Curated by ACG Exhibits Committee member David Brickman, the show brings together three painters whose overlapping concerns include color, form, figurative allusion, and symbolic spiritualism. Cheng, DeGroot and Durning all draw from the natural world to produce works of near abstraction that transform their subjects and explore the act of painting.
“I saw an affinity among these three that I thought would work well in an exhibition,” Brickman said. “Also, it seemed important to me to try to express the broad geography of the regional’s sweep, and the fact that this fall’s show was up north at the Hyde Collection for the first time.” DeGroot and Durning are both from the northern part of the area (Saratoga County and Washington County), while Cheng is at the southernmost reach, in New Paltz.
Cheng was born in Taiwan and raised in Brazil and the United States. She is a professor in the art department at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Cheng’s oils on canvas are largely inspired by the lush, natural forms she immersed herself in during a recent six-month Fulbright fellowship in Brazil.
DeGroot spent decades in New York City before settling on her grandparents’ farm in Fort Edward. She is currently the Director of Skidmore College’s Summer Studio Art Program. She will present watercolors on paper made by observing found tree branches, then adding her own lyrical interpretations of their personalities.
Durning is a landscaper based in Schuylerville who each year devotes several months of the off-season to full-time studio practice in drawing and painting. His work, whether in black and white or color, explores complexly structured compositions that express his interests in abstract art, the material world, and chaos theory.