Otherworldly sculptures on display at Saratoga Arts – The Daily Gazette

“Progressions,” a three-woman exhibit at Saratoga Arts, seems sparse at first glance, but closer examination proves otherwise.

The sculptures of Mia Westerlund Roosen and Caroline Ramersdorfer, both presented in the main gallery, evoke a sort of new landscape. Ramersdorfer, whose studio is in Wells, brings out the delicate, crystalline nature of marble, creating icy and perhaps otherworldly figures.

Roosen works with resin-treated felt to create these twisted sculptures that are an industrial gray color but have the movement of something plucked from a wild, organic landscape.

Works on paper by Dorothy Dehner hang in the gallery hallway. Dehner (1901-1994), who lived in Bolton Landing for much of her life, worked in a variety of mediums and was best known for her sculptures. The etchings and oil paintings presented, which date from the 1950s, offer a captivating look at the beginning of the artist’s career.

In the main gallery there are two anchor pieces in the exhibition, one by Ramersdorfer and the other by Roosen.

The latter looms large, exceeding the size of most viewers. Called “Carmelite II”, one side appears as a smooth, concrete-looking column, while the other features twisted bands of the same material running out from the center. The piece plays with the expectations of the spectators with regard to the materials used; many can guess that it is made of clay or wood, although what lies beneath the resin is felt.

Small-scale works dot the space around the sculpture and play with similar visual themes. One, titled “Hoosick Falls,” features cascading loops from a single, slender column. Another appears as a messy cloud of criss-crossing strips of resin-covered felt. Roosen’s section of the exhibition also features intricate drawings by the artist, many of which come from a few series titled “Incarceration.”

Across the gallery is Ramersdorfer’s “Inner View_Nexus II,” a visceral work that feels both familiar and alien. Slender marble columns cut an opening in a geometric figure. The inner edge of the figure features tiny cuts, echoing the gauze pattern found on the undersides of the mushrooms.

Surrounding this work are several small-scale drawings and models that provide insight into Ramersdorfer’s process. She starts with light drawings to work on some of the concepts for each piece, then moves on to collage work and finally builds models in wood and then marble. The way the artist’s process is depicted in the exhibition is gratifying. Locals who have visited the Opalka Gallery will also be familiar with a model of Ramersdorfer’s “Inner View_ Nexus-Open” sculpture displayed outside the Albany Gallery.

Along with “Progressions,” Saratoga Arts’ Dee Sarno Theater presents “Ageless Dancers,” an exhibit highlighting the photography of Betti Franceschi. The uplifting show captures iconic dancers in their later years, their elegant and lithe poses. The artist was inspired by retired ballerinas at a New York City Ballet gala in Paris. As Franceschi states, “The ageless artistry of each of these great ladies and those who followed must be recorded and honored.” This is part of a series of exhibits around Saratoga Springs featuring dance photography this summer, including at the Tang Teaching Museum and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

“Progressions” and “Ageless Dancers” will be on view until August 13. For more information, visit saratoga-arts.org.

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Categories: Art, Life and Arts, Saratoga Springs

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