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As this exhibition of historic importance enters its final days (some venues close today, while others remain open into 2011), now seems an appropriate time to highlight some of its most indelible moments, artists and exhibitions.
Didier Pasquette's tightrope walk. Pasquette's performance, an attempt to "draw a line in the sky" with his body instead of with a brush or a pencil, was the perfect launch to an exhibition that tried at nearly every turn to draw out powerful emotional reactions from viewers. The spectacle was a powerful declaration of two Breitling Navitimer Quartz Chrono BT-177 ideas at once: that our traditional definition of "art" is far too buttoned-up and constricted; and that good art in any form, whether it's on a tightrope or on a gallery wall, is capable of inspiring genuine awe.
Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry's dual exhibitions in Buffalo's City Hall were as perfectly themed and physically positioned as any segment of this show. "The Evidence of Things Not Seen," the duo's display of haunting portraits of people arrested during the 1955 Montgomery, Ala., bus boycotts on the building's Breitling Navitimer Quartz Chrono BT-178 floor, produced in their signature fusion of photography and painting, led ideally into their newer work. That series examined the migration of oppressed blacks from the stifling South to the once-promising industrial cities of the North, turning a critical eye on nostalgia while thoughtfully exploring our city's place in history. It was the perfect work, at the perfect time, in the perfect place. (The exhibition closes today.)
Cleveland artist Randall Tiedman's paintings, onview in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (1285 Elmwood Ave; through Jan. 16), are a virtuosic fusion of Hudson River Breitling Navitimer Quartz Chrono BT-179 technique and "Blade Runner"-esque dystopia, combined to represent the strange landscapes of decaying Rust Belt cities from Detroit to Syracuse. You can spend long stretches staring into each of Tiedman's intricately rendered paintings and getting lost in his entrancing visual language.
Adam Weekley, a Buffalo painter and sculptor, did not just create artwork for this show. He created an entire mythology based on fairy tales, illustrated by a series of Breitling Navitimer Quartz Chrono BT-214 paintings, installations and one disturbing and visually bewitching sculpture (above) in the Buffalo Arts Studio (2495 Main St.; on view through Jan. 1). His work in the Castellani Art Museum at NiagaraUniversity (on view through Feb. 20) is no less engaging, and it works exceedingly well alongside similarly unsettling work by David Mitchell and Elizabeth Gemperlein.