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Adrian Carr: A Retrospective

Adrian Carr performed pieces from his previous recordings at the opening of his new show,  “The Hidden Art of Adrian Carr—A Retrospective 1976-2005,” on display at ROTA Gallery in Plattsburgh through Monday, May 6.

Adrian Carr performed pieces from his previous recordings at the opening of his new show, “The Hidden Art of Adrian Carr—A Retrospective 1976-2005,” on display at ROTA Gallery in Plattsburgh through Monday, May 6. Photo by Shaun Kittle.

If You Go

What: The Hidden Art of Adrian Carr—A Retrospective 1976-2005

Where: ROTA Gallery, 50 Margaret Street, Plattsburgh

When: The gallery is open daily, from noon-5 p.m. Carr’s show is up through Monday, May 6.

Cost: Free.

— On Saturday, April 20, Adrian Carr put his life on display at ROTA Gallery.

His show, “The Hidden Art of Adrian Carr—A Retrospective 1976-2005,” includes about 20 pieces and is open through Monday, May 6.

It all starts with Carr’s first oil painting, “Farmhouse,” completed in 1976.

It’s of his grandmother’s farm in Wilson, NY, located in western New York.

Carr admitted that the hills in the brightly colored painting are a bit exaggerated, but said that is how he saw them.

It is in this way that Carr’s surroundings affect his work.

In 1977, Carr painted a blizzard in Buffalo. The colors aren’t as bold as they are in “Farmhouse”—instead, its whites are splashed over grays in a lively, twisting fury.

And then Carr moved to New York City, and his paintings changed again.

It was there that his “Subway Series” was born.

The pieces in that series have a dusty, grimy appearance. There is a feeling of movement to them, a soft, geometric monotony expressed in tarnished watercolor whites and incomplete blacks.

“When I went to New York (City), everything changed. Your whole vision changes when you hit New York City,” Carr said.

Carr’s surroundings certainly illicit a distinct response, as do events in his life.

“You don’t put brush to canvass unless something inspires you,” Carr said.

Perhaps most striking is “Black Squares,” a piece that represents Carr’s reaction to the World Trade Center bombings.

A painting so large it spans two canvasses, Black Squares is as abstract as any of Carr’s other pieces, but what comes through clearly is something intangible.

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