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Art Beat

CELEBRITY PARADOX If you’ve even glanced at the art listings in this paper’s calendar section lately, you couldn’t help but notice ’tis the season for major exhibitions opening at your favorite museums and galleries. There is Andrew Wyeth at the Hyde Collection, Picasso and Juan Muñoz at The Clark, For You at the Tang, Petah Coyne at MASS MoCA, Photography Now 2010 at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, William Steig at Norman Rockwell . . . you get the idea. This weekend, the Albany Institute of History & Art gets into the act with Ransoming Matthew Brady: Re-Imagining the Civil War, Recent Paintings by John Ransom Phillips. In 25 watercolors and oils, Phillips “portrays the paradoxes and complexity of the famed 19th-century photographer.” If you take a gander at the exhibit notes, Phillips draws an interesting parallel between Brady and Andy Warhol, both in terms of technique and effect. The exhibit opens at the AIHA (125 Washington Ave., Albany) on Saturday (June 19) and runs through Oct. 3. And don’t forget to check out the companion show Ransoming Matthew Brady: Searching for Celebrity, which is on view through July 30 at the Opalka Gallery (Sage Colleges, 140 New Scotland Ave., Albany). For more info, visit albany institute.org and sage.edu/opalka.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY It’s a joyous occasion for perennial Metroland “Best Of” winner the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza this weekend, as they celebrate their 35th anniversary. This happens to dovetail nicely with another milestone, the 75th anniversary of Penguin Books. And since Penguin happens to be William Kennedy’s publisher, someone had the very bright idea of combining the two celebrations. So, on Saturday (June 19) from 4-6 PM, there will be a celebration of both these anniversaries, at which, in a treat of a sneak peek, Kennedy will be reading from his next book, not due to be published until 2011. The maestro of the Book House, Susan Novotny, promises that there will be “good wine and Honest Weight [Food Co-op] cheese” to celebrate with. Sounds enticing, eh? For more info, visit bhny.com.

SPEAKING OF SNEAK PREVIEWS Albany’s Palace Theatre has been using Twitter to stealthily announce titles in their 2010-11 classic film series. So far, they’ve announced Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Graduate, Chinatown, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Since a number of these are in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio—Cinema-Scope, more or less—this is the ideal way to see these films. (Though, grump that I am, this is where I am forced to posit that there are no ideal circumstances in which to watch E.T. Never got the popularity of that one.) And at $5 a ticket, who can resist? You can follow the Palace on Twitter @PalaceAlbany. And if you haven’t heard, Metroland is Tweeting, too—and we don’t share The New York Times officially expressed, elitist disdain for the term “Tweet.” Here’s the general rule on Metroland’s Tweets: If they’re serious and informative, they’re by the News Editor. If they’re snarky and stupid, I wrote them.

—Shawn Stone

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