May 2015

Although Don Gummer is best known for his powerful abstract sculptures, his works on paper are equally compelling. A selection of these images is strong enough to hold their own in the vast space of the Morrison Gallery where they can be seen until June 21.

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Although the majority of the pieces are water colors, several are executed in encaustic or mixed media. Encaustic, sometimes known as hot wax painting, involves adding colored pigments to melted beeswax, which is then used to paint the image on a chosen surface. Gummer uses encaustic to create small geometric forms which he arranges on the surface of the paper in patterns that call to mind the tesserae of a mosaic. As might be expected, texture is an important part of the design.

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As a rule when visiting an exhibition, few of us spend more than a minute or two looking at each of the pieces. Although we may be pressed for time, such brevity is an injustice to most artists. This is especially true with Gummer’s works. The more one looks, the more one discovers in his complex figures. 

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Iran is, sadly, a repressive society.  The press labors under a form of self-censorship based on extreme punishment for those who make the slightest negative comment on the regime.  Women are denied the right to be independent in their thinking, dress or social behavior.  Women accused of adultery are stoned to death. Women who dress improperly are subject to arrest.  Journalists are imprisoned and tortured.  The writer of this article would be imprisoned and tortured were he in Iran.

Totalitarian regimes are uniquely thin-skinned.  The regime, not having the security of being elected, fears that negative comments could spiral out of control and start a revolution.  So they cut off all negative comments at their source.

Center for Performing Arts, Rhinebeck: The Me Nobody Knows, a musical about the lives of young people, $24, 3pm. (845) 876-3080
Center for Performing Arts, Rhinebeck: The Me Nobody Knows, a musical about the lives of young people, $24, 8pm. (845) 876-3080
Center for Performing Arts, Rhinebeck: The Me Nobody Knows, a musical about the lives of young people, $24, 8pm. (845) 876-3080
Music Mountain: The summer chamber music festival launches its 86th season with a gala performance and reception featuring David Finckel (cello) and Wu Han (piano), artistic directors of Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center. Music by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Scriabin, and Rachmaninoff. 3 p.m. $75; includes a voucher for any regularly priced 2015 concert. Music Mountain Road, Falls Village, CT. www.musicmountain.org.
Kaatsbaan: Maya Dance Theatre. 2:30 p.m. $30; student rush and children, $10. 120 Broadway, Tivoli. (845)757-5106.    
Bardavon 1869 Opera House: Academy Award– and GRAMMY-winning artist Melissa Etheridge: This Is ME Solo. 7 p.m. $79–$104. 35 Market Street, Poughkeepsie. (845) 473-2072.    
UPAC: Saugerties Ballet Center: 2015 Dance Presentation. 2 p.m. $18; students/seniors/children 12 and under, $12. 601 Broadway, Kingston. UPAC box office, (845) 339-6088; Bardavon box office, (845) 473-2072.
United Presbyterian Church, Amenia: 42d annual Strawberry Fair. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Vendors wanted. North Street (Route 22), Amenia. (845) 373-4222.
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