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Facing Abstraction

The full title of this exhibit at the Hyde Collection is Facing Abstraction: Refiguring the Body in the Twentieth Century. Drawn from the permanent collection of the Neuberger Museum of Art at SUNY Purchase, the exhibit charts the varied effects of the abstract movement on figurative art, capturing the tension between representation and abstraction as “many artists painting the figure felt conflicted, as their works became suspect.”

The works in the exhibit range in time from 1909 to 1969. Judging from the artist comments compiled by the good folks at the Hyde, the contrasts between the works should be lively. Czech artist Ludvik Durchanek argued of abstractions that “I somehow always find them inadequate. Pure aestheticism always looked to me as a betrayal of man.” Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo, however, explained why his faces “no longer have eyes”: “What is important is the structure of the figure.” Leave it to Paul Klee, however, to be the most concise: “Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.”

Pictured is Untitled (Standing Torso), circa 1914, marble, by Alexander Archipenko.

Facing Abstraction opens Sunday (Aug. 27) and continues through Dec. 10 at the Hyde Collection’s Charles R. Wood Gallery (161 Warren St., Glens Falls). For gallery hours and other information, call 792-1761.


The renovations are complete as per schedule, the politicians have given their blessings, and now, finally, another piece of the Cultural Pittsfield puzzle is in place: The Colonial Theatre is ready for prime time. This multipurpose performing-arts center will host pop and classical concerts, comedy shows, and, as per the grand-opening engagement, Broadway productions like Rent.

Jonathan Larson’s downtown New York City rock musical has proved both as resilient and continually popular its source material; you know, La Boheme. (And to think, some said an AIDS musical would be a tough sell.) Rent has some genuinely terrific songs and a decent—if occasionally too cute—book, and kindly provides its cast with numerous opportunities to stop the show.

And if you’re wondering if it might be better to just rent the DVD of the recent film version, take our word for it: It isn’t. Boy, how it isn’t.

Rent opens Tuesday (Aug. 29) at 8 PM at the Colonial Theatre (111 South St., Pittsfield, Mass.) and continues through Sept. 3. Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM; Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM; and Sunday also at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $59-$20. For more info, call the box office at (413) 997-4444.

Sheryl Crow and John Mayer

Sheryl Crow has come a long way since doing session work and touring as a backup singer for Michael Jackson in the early ’90s. She has become a bona fide superstar, overcoming odds, dating celebrity athletes. . . . She’s even contributed a song (“Real Gone”) to a Disney/Pixar movie (Cars). The nine-time Grammy winning-singer songwriter will perform at SPAC this weekend along with John Mayer, a Grammy Award winner in his own right. The Atlanta-via-Connecticut babyfaced guitarist has a new album, Continuum, that’s due out in September, so we suspect you’ll hear some material from that disc as well as his hits.

Special guest Nashville-based singer-songwriter Mat Kearney will open the show.

Sheryl Crow and John Mayer will perform at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs) tomorrow (Friday, Aug. 25) at 6:30 PM. Tickets for this show are $30.50-$66. For more information or to order tickets, call 587-3330.


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