Through Nov. 2
at Buffalo Arts Studio, 2495 Main Street
They “capture the anxiety” of our current situation, according to Buffalo Arts Studio curator Shirley Verrico. As part of an ongoing statewide initiative entitled Activism in the Arts, BAS is showing the work of artists Patrick Foran (his Cart, 2020 is shown above) and Adele Henderson, in two separate exhibitions. Foran has been visible in several recent shows, and we welcome the opportunity to see Henderson’s new work, as we haven’t heard from her in a while.
Foran’s show, entitled Exploded View, is concerned with the nature of emergencies and the way we experience and respond to them from a distance. His drawings and paintings often isolate, fragment, and reframe events within the context of contemporary catastrophes. Foran’s drawing style is graphic and expressive—the images confront the viewer. It takes some time to get comfortable with them and start making some connections, but it’s well worth it.
Henderson’s show, Industry and Abundance, seeks to visualize the complex causes of global warming. Henderson’s charting of the carbon economy, what Amitav Ghosh refers to as “the Great Derangement,” begins with nineteenth century steam-powered gunboat diplomacy, then tracks the rapid expansion of global free trade, and finally ends with a view of the speculative future. She points to contributing factors including the rapid growth of private ownership, sanctification of wealth accumulation, and the exploitation of the earth’s abundance. The final artwork serves as a visual, visceral indexing of fears about both present and future, but this isn’t all about scare tactics. Henderson’s skillful, evocative printmaking strategies always result in intricate and beautiful imagery that pleases the eye as much as it challenges the brain.