Art show celebrates biological regionalism at the Chace-Randall Gallery in Andes

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Andes — Chace-Randall Gallery presents Trout, new paintings by Alberto Rey. The show will hang from May 1 to June 7 with an opening reception for the artist on Saturday, May 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. Alberto Rey’s recent body of work embraces the concept of biological regionalism and celebrates trout of the Catskill Mountain Region. All works are in oil on plaster—painterly renderings of brook and brown trout species in their river and stream environments.
“As our culture becomes more homogenized by mass media and consumerism, the one element that remains true to a region is its natural environment. Although we may try to manipulate them to fit our needs, the landscape and the biological inhabitants characterize a region’s nature,” says Alberto Rey, who has lived in rural Western New York for the past 20 years, researching the biological cycles of regional salmonids (trout) and the role of local rivers in culture. Simultaneously, Rey found himself seduced by the painters of the Hudson River School and the angling art of Henry Inman, Thomas Doughty, Winslow Homer and Thomas Cole.  “The study of biology, botany, geology and art was popular during the early 19th century, and nature painting was considered a form of “high art,” says Rey, observing a lost connection between nature and culture in art as 20th century social and economic reliance moved to urban settings.
Rey began to focus his Biological Regionalism Series on the Catskills several years ago when working on a project for Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum; which has two of Rey’s paintings in their permanent collection. The exhibition documents selections from his research on the wild brook trout and wild brown trout from the Catskill streams.  A fly fisherman, himself, Rey has created his paintings in a manner that captures the solitude, beauty and connection with the trout that many fisherman/women feel when they encounter them in the regional waters.
Influenced by the fish still life of Gustave Courbet, William Chase and Emil Carlsen, the landscape work of Martin Heade Johnson and Jose Maria Valesco, and the contemporary paintings of Walton Ford and early work of Alexis Rockman,
Alberto Rey’s work is in 20 museum collections throughout the United States and Spain, including the Bronx Museum of Fine Art, El Museo del Barrio, and the Brooklyn Museum, in NYC, as well as the National Museum of Wildfife, Jackson Hole, Wyo. and the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum, Livingston Manor. His work has been in over 130 national and international exhibitions. He holds a M.F.A. in painting and drawing from State University of New York, Buffalo, and continued postgraduate studies at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., in the late 1980’s.
Trout is presented by Chace-Randall Gallery in cooperation with the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum and museum director Jim Krul.
Chace-Randall Gallery summer hours are Thursday – Sunday and Holiday Mondays 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and by appointment. Info: www.chacerandallgallery.com or call 676-4901.