May 2, 2013

Pine Harbor exhibition highlights CCC professor


---- — PLATTSBURGH — The space between and after classes is when Ian Burcroff paints his brilliant collages with echoes of Romare Bearden and James Rosenquist.

“Ian Burcroff: New Paintings” opens Tuesday at the Pine Harbour Assisted Living gallery.

“These are all paintings that I have worked on during the last three years,” said Burcroff, who is an assistant professor of art at Clinton Community College.

“The style of my work, the process, I developed for myself. I definitely look at modern art as an influence, the art of 20th century … and the cubists of the early 20th century — Picasso and Braque. I think their era was really a changing era, and I think our era today changes drastically. Every decade brings new technology and so forth. I think painting should focus its time. The form of the paintings should have that sort of motion, I suppose.”

In his artist statement, Burcroff writes:

“My recent paintings involve a process of pictorial dissection. Each composition contains multiple visual fields representing a variety of pictorial impressions of places and objects, metaphorically relating these to broader themes.

“By manipulating the structure of a painting in order to allude to the disparity of elements that form contemporary points of view, I hope to demonstrate the constraining impact of this diversity. Each painting is approached with a spirit of improvisation. Very little is planned or drawn. The images consist of fragmented concepts both real and imagined that give a sense of movement within a two-dimensional space. Information is layered and often stacked on top of patterns and color fields, creating rapid visual changes. Paint application differs in areas of the canvas; it can be additive or subtractive, painstaking or expressive. Each painting is carefully ‘built.’”

The exhibition features 11 acrylic paintings.

“I like acrylic because it dries quickly, so I can work quickly. The process I use involves a lot of editing to cover up areas really quickly. Oils tend to be more about blending. Acrylic is more of a flat application,” he said.

Burcoff grew up in the Rochester area. He holds a bachelor’s degree in painting from SUNY Plattsburgh and a master of fine arts in painting from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

“I lived in a variety of places and ended up at the University of Alaska. Upon finishing that, I moved back to the Champlain Valley. My wife’s family is from the Massena area. We moved back here to be closer to her family,” he said.

His CCC post opened after he relocated.

This is his first exhibit in Plattsburgh since an undergrad. He regularly shows in Saranac Lake and Burlington.

At CCC, his works-in-progress are always on view.

“So I’m visible in the classroom,” Burcroff said. “It’s a point of influence for students to see someone actively working. I spend three or four hours a day painting between classes.”

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IF YOU GO WHAT: "Ian Burcroff: New Paintings" WHEN: An opening reception is from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, with an artist chat at 6 p.m. WHERE: Pine Harbour Assisted Living gallery, 15 New Hampshire St., Plattsburgh. GALLERY HOURS: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Saturday. CONTACT: 561-5307